Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Mulligan: Congrats to Lucas Glover

Well the 2009 US Open is in the books, and what a wild tournament it was. So many players had the chance to win up until the final round, but Lucas Glover was the only player to keep it together for the length of the tournament. I was very impressed with his play and his cool demeanor, especially during the final round. It is always fun to watch players win their first big tournaments. It says a lot about Glover's game that he did not buckle under pressure as we have seen so many do in that position. I have heard nothing but good things about Glover off the course as well. It sounds like this years US Open champion is a class act. We all look forward to watching Glover in the future, and I personally hope to see more of him in the big tournaments in coming years.

Another interesting story in this year's Open was Ricky Barnes. Where did this guy come from? He set the 36 hole US Open scoring record and had an 11 shot lead at one point. If Barnes can avoid the occassional hook off the tee, he might be a player to watch in the coming years.

Of course David Duval and Phil Mickelson got their fans excited on Monday when it seemed that one of them might take home the cup. Duval came out and started the day with a triple bogey after his ball was lodged under the lip of a bunker. He rallied back to put himself in contention, but Glover was too much for him in the end. Mickelson's tournament was like a rollercoaster ride. One second he was rolling in birdies from 50 ft, and the next second he was missing 5 ft par putts. He strung together another good Open performance, putting himself in contention to win. In the end, Glover would hoist the cup, and Phil would finish 2nd for the 5th time in a US Open.

This week the Tour heads to Cromwell, Connecticut (basically Hartford) and TPC River Highlands for the Traveler's Championship. After Bethpage, the players will be able to regain some confidence on TPC River Highlands, one of the easiest courses on the tour.

Unlike last week's US Open where long hitters were favored over the short hitters, this course is pretty neutral. Anyone can play well here. The Par 70 course is 6844 yards long, so distance is not essential. That being said, the long hitters will benefit on certain holes that the shorter hitters might not be able to reach, or will be forced to take extra clubs. My strategy this week is to pick players who are riding high on momentum, and also players who have played well here in the past. I think Kenny Perry, Hunter Mahan, and David Toms will play well this week.

Kenny Perry has seven Top-10 finishes here. As we have seen this year, Perry is playing the best golf of his life. He has six Top-10 finishes this season including a win at the FBR Open and a T2 at the Masters. He should have a good weak at Hartford.

Hunter Mahan loves this tournament. In his past 3 starts here he has won the tournament once, and finsihed T2nd twice. That is consistency. Something about Mahan's game works on this course, and there is no reason to think that wont be the case this week. This is especially true coming off of his strong performance last week at Bethpage. Mahan has 9 Top-25 finishes this year as well, making it even more likely that he will play well this week.

David Toms is back to his old self. Over the past few weeks he has been in contention consistently, and his putter is on. 6 is Toms magic number. He has 6 Top-10 finishes already this year and he finished 6th here in 2007. Despite falling off at Bethpage, Toms played very well last week at the Open. His score didnt reflect how well he played. Also, remember how well he played the week before at the St. Jude where he tied for 2nd.

Toms is also one of the good guys on tour. Despite the fact that he played his college golf at LSU and avidly cheers for LSU sports, he is a great guy. Toms will be cheering for his LSU Tiger baseball team this week in the College World Series. He has done a lot for the area surrounding LSU as well. After Hurricane Katrina, Toms started a charity that raised over a million dollars in relief funds for the region. Even though I am a Big 10 guy, I think this makes Toms a good guy, even if he did go to LSU.

Good luck this week and lets keep moving to the top of the fantasy golf rankings!

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Mike Colligan said...

Great article this week. What are your thoughts on David Duval? I saw a few of his interviews throughout the weekend and I'm not sure if he was just brutally honest or downright cocky. I guess it could be a little of both, but I got the feeling his ego got in the way last time he became one of the top players on the tour. I'm curious if you have any further insight on him.

Chris Stanley said...

I think Duval is a great story. At one point he was a top 2 golfer in the world, going toe-to-toe with Tiger Woods and winning at times. His swing-timing was perfect and his fundamentals were all solid.

Given this history, I think Duval is probably right when he says he is a top-10 player in the world. He knows he has the potential to be one of the best players out there. He has seen his swing carry him to the top of the world rankings. In his mind he is trying to get back to where he was before, and realize his full potential again.

The only problem is likely his swing timing. This is something that I remember gave him a little trouble when he was playing his best golf. I think it is something that will take time to get back. But when he gets it back, watch out. Duval can be a great player again, and his performance at the Open proves this.

Just look at how he came back on Monday at the Open after scoring a triple-bogey on his first hole of the day. He bounced back and put himself in position to win. I think Duval is a winner, and now that he has silenced some of his past demons, he will be a winner again.