Sorry for leaving everybody hanging the past couple of weeks, I've been on vacation and didn't watch any golf and followed very little. I'm not gonna lie, though, if I had been watching, I still probably wouldn't have written anything...the beach is for relaxing and getting burnt, not for working and getting carpal tunnel. On that note I have to recommend a trip to St. Kitts to any of you who have never been. It's an awesome island in the Caribbean with great scenery, great beaches, and great people...oh, and great rum punch. Anyway enough about me, there's golf to be played!
I hope y'all weren't too lost while I was away, but I'll give you a quick recap of what has happened...none of our guys won the past couple of weeks, the PGA Tour is still traveling around Florida, and my predictions were subpar per usual. It's actually probably a good thing I took the week off to clear my head.
This week the Pros are at Innisbrook Resort in Palm Harbor, FL for the Valspar Championship. This tournament has a very short history with the inaugural championship taking place in 2000. Since its inception this event has gone through several name changes, most recently the change to the Valspar Championship in 2014. Call me stupid, but I had to look up what Valspar was. I obviously need to spend a little more time at my local home improvement store. (It's paint for those of you who don't get out much either)
The usual suspects are in the field this week: Morgan Hoffmann, Charles Howell III, and Bo Van Pelt are looking to take home the winner's share of the $5,900,000 purse...that's a lot of rum punch. They are also trying to become the first Cowboy to leave Innisbrook victorious. Charles Howell III has been the closest thus far, losing by one to Retief Goosen in 2009.
Last year at the Valspar was good to Howell and Hoffmann...not so much Van Pelt. Howell finished T-14th last year while Morgan finished T-25th and Bo missed the cut. This year we should see some good golf out of the Cowboys at Innisbrook. Coming into this week, Morgan has some momentum following his best finish of the year (T-17th) last week at the WGC event. Bo is also coming off of one of his better tournaments of the year last week in Puerto Rico. He continued his trend of improving on his first round score, but he still needs to get off to a better start in the first round to find himself in contention over the weekend. Last but certainly not least, Charles Howell is looking to continue his strong play. He has made 7 straight cuts and is looking to make it 8 this week.
The Pokes can make an early statement this week. Bo Van Pelt is the second group off of number 10 at 7:55 with Howell following an hour later at 8:55 and the Hoff teeing off immediately after Chuck. So if you're going to be at the tournament this weekend, you won't have to run around too much to see our guys playing. I think it was really nice of the PGA Tour to do that for us, and they should continue to do that throughout the year. If any of you have connections, do us all a favor and pitch that idea, please...thanks in advance.
We've reached prediction time in Florida. Every week I am always super confident that these guys will make the cut and cash big checks at the end of the tournament because I know the high level they can play at...this week is no different. Look for all three of our boys to make the cut this week. Prediction number 2 is that Chuck will finish the week in the top 5 in driving distance. He is ranked 23rd on the year in driving distance and 7th in driving distance of all drives (driving distance is measured on a couple of holes each tournament, usually holes they know people will be hitting driver on...distance on all drives encompasses every drive hit), so if he can catch one solid on the measured holes this is a virtual lock (Jinx alert). My last prediction is a bold one...Morgan will make a hole-in-one this week. With five par threes on the scorecard, we have an extra chance to see a hole-in-one each day. After his ace Morgan will be awarded a lifetime supply of Valspar paint and proceed to paint the town red...see what I did there?
How To Watch
THUR - 3/12: Golf Channel- 2-5 PM (CST)
FRI - 3/13: Golf Channel- 2-5 PM (CST)
SAT - 3/14: Golf Channel- 12-2 PM (CST); NBC- 2-5 PM (CST)
SUN - 3/15: Golf Channel- 12-2 PM (CST); NBC- 2-5 PM (CST)
Be sure to cheer on our boys this week from the comfort of your home or, if you're lucky enough, in person at Innisbrook!
Go low, Pokes!