Calling the Golf Gestapo (aka Tarpon Springs, FL PD)

Tampa Bay Times – TARPON SPRINGS — Like most Saturdays, the group of golfers gathered at the Tarpon Springs Golf Course for its weekly league. And like most Saturdays, at this course and courses around the country, the round involved a few side wagers. Until Feb. 8. As the group of golfers walked to the clubhouse that morning, it was greeted by general manager Chuck Winship. No more betting in league play, said Winship, revealing he was under investigation by Tarpon Springs police. 

Ok I get it. Running an illegal casino is illegal and there are technically laws against gambling but are these guys serious?  Also nowt sure who is worse in this whole story – the cops or the “former employee” who tattled. Call him a whistle blower or a good Samaritan, but lets not confuse reality this guy got fired, hates the guys who dominate the leagues and probably didn’t tip him enough so he decided to be a little B. Well done. Hope you are happy with yourself. Hardo move right there.

Good thing we never bet on golf.

STEVE

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MMGP – WGC Cadillac

Well that was one hellava tournament. Again it’s great to see tough courses, tough conditions and high scores. These guys are supposed to be the best of the best (WGC should mean something), so I was happy to see guys aiming for par instead of being upset over their mediocre 65s. Anyways here are the winners and losers from this week at Doral.

Winners

Patrick Reed – This kid can play. Sure he looks like an overweight, unathletic 30-something out there but the fact is that he is 23 and just dominating these days. Make no mistake about it this was a legit win. This kind of victory is how guys win majors, specifically a US Open, where everyone is trying to tread water and he just kept on going. Not to mention he causally went wire to wire and was never in real jeopardy down the stretch. Kid kept his nerves in check for his biggest win of his very young career. If he keeps this up he will play himself into major contention and maybe even onto the Ryder Cup team (guy dominates match play).

Doral and The Donald – Completely redone course in under 12 months. Only 3 guys under par and only 2 more at even. Seriously the US Open might have more guys in the red. The lack of trees may make for fewer blocked shots, but wind, water and length all mixed to bring the “monster” moniker back to Doral. The Donald took this over and while the TV couldn’t get enough of him you have to give the guy credit who apparently played a large role in the redesign. Food for thought – he wants to add more water for 2015. Have fun guys.

Losers

Rory, Adam, Tiger – Talk about a mega letdown. Pair the top 3 in the world for the first 2 rounds and they just sucked. Combined for only 2 rounds under par between the 3 of them and while Tiger shot up the leaderboard on moving day with his 66 his back (and insanely inconsistent game) let him down on Sunday. All 3 finished T-25 at +5. I expect more from these guys and honestly so does the majority of people watching, not to mention the TV execs. Need to step it up boys.

JON

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Sorry I’m Not Sorry – Tough Golf

Call me a masochist, but I absolutely LOVE when the golf course (maybe mother nature too?) gets the best of these guys.  I like birdies as much as the next guy, but it’s refreshing to see these guys struggle once in a while.  I have heard commentators say things like the tournament directors don’t want to embarrass the players and things like that, but that’s all bullshit.  If the course is impossible and everyone’s over par, no golf fan thinks any less of the players. If anything, it’s actually a discussion point and something that generates interest in the game, something that is inherently beneficial to the players. (See 2004 US Open at Shinnecock)

But when the going gets tough, what I really love is that it really shows me the golfers who have balls. Sure, you can be mentally tough when you’re 5 under, but what about when your goal on every hole is par; how do you handle that? Can you grind it out and be patient for 18 holes? Because at the end of the day, they all play the same course, and those that handle that mental side of things the best, tend to get the best results.  It’s why a guy like Graeme McDowell can make up 30 places in the leaderboard just by hanging tough with a -1 round on Friday.  I will gladly root for guys like that all day. It’s going to be a good weekend of golf.

CHRIS

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US Open South – AKA Friday at Doral

No use trying to commentate on the Friday carnage at Doral. This sums it up just fine.

JON

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Because … Locks

When it comes to locks and golf, we here at Under the Number tend to get a little competitive. As Steve mentioned in his Locks blog last week, he is tracking his successes and failures in terms of dollars.  As a fellow wagerer, I could not pass up on the opportunity to make my own bets and see how I stack up against our resident gaming expert. I will spare you my nonsensical thoughts related to the “why” when it comes to my picks, just know that all of these are rooted in hours of strenuous research….

Graham DeLaet to win: 40-1 ($100 to win $,4,000)

Harris English to win: 33-1 ($100 to win $3,300)

Jordan Spieth to win: 25-1 ($100 to win $2,500)

Ryan Moore top 10: 11-2 ($50 to win $275)

Peter Uihlein top 10: ($50 to win $1,050)

CHRIS

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Big Break Florida – Knowing Your Audience

After a few cocktails the other day Steve, myself and another friend found ourselves flipping through the channels when we landed on pure golf dude gold … Big Break Florida. Now I’m not a fan of reality TV. Sure maybe the first Survivor was interesting and growing up you could waste some time watching the original season of Road Rules and the Real World, but with most of TV filled with self-important reality crap these days I could really care less. But Big Break Florida is an exception. Group of pretty attractive women (for the most part), competing in various golf challenges, in very small outfits … winning all around.

Now this isn’t great TV and certainly it isn’t even great golf, but it is just another example of the Golf Channel completely understanding their target demographic. These women, their outfits and the commercials for Johnny Walker are not a lucky coincidence. Just like Holly Sonders and Lauren Thompson aren’t mistakes and lucky casting choices on Morning Drive.
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Listen I’m not going to complain about any of this, but these folks know what they are doing and can count on this loyal viewer to keep watching. (FYI: Big Break FL on at 9 PM on Mondays). You’re welcome!

JON

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WGC Cadillac – Locks for the Week

Hey, thanks Rory.  Looked like I was going to have a nice $800 payday last week before Rory threw up all over himself… again.  I think long term this is a good thing for Rory, but for my bank account, not so much.

Last week:  $220 on the line
Winnings:  $0
Total:  -$250 (Season -$220)

ADAM SCOTT –  Win (12-1)  $100 to win $1200
I’m sure Scott will be a popular pick this week but I’m rolling with him because he has a perfect trifecta of ingredients that I think are important that week.

1) He has great course history at Doral.  He’s finished T-6 or better twice in his last three starts.  I know it is not the same course, but it certainly doesn’t hurt.

2) Not every hole has change and he has the best, most experienced caddie in the game.

3) He’s playing really well.  Had 4 rounds under par last week at a tough PGA National.  He is right on schedule.

JORDAN SPEITH –  Win (25-1) $100 to win $2500
There’s no question he is a huge risk this week, but with no cut at Doral I love him in a one-and-done type of league.  There are a ton of reasons why I like him this week.  First, nobody has a tournament history on this course, so any advantage the veterans may have on him this week is basically gone.  If anything, Jordan may have an advantage because he skipped the Honda to play practice rounds over the weekend in Miami.  I LOVE how he played in his best finish of the year, a T-4 at the AT&T, after shooting a 78 on Saturday.  He battled back with a 67 on Sunday.  I know he had a mini-mental breakdown at the match play, but I’m not worried about it.  This kid is going to win a big one soon.

STEVE STRICKER – Top 10 (4-1)  $100 to win $400
I just love the value.  Steve crushes top 10s.  Crushes them.  He played 13 events last year and was top 10 in 8 of them.  Invest.

MATTEO MANASSERO –  Top 10 (10-1)  $50 to win $500
Certainly a gamble, but I’m going to bet on his recent form.  He played well at the match play before getting bounced in a close match with Jason Dufner and was T-13 last week at the Honda after a final round 67 (tied for best of the day).

DARREN FICHARDT- Top 10 (21-1)  $50 to win $1050  I have an unhealthy love for South African golfers in big events so it’s really a natural fit for me.  Darren has been a on a nice little run recently on the Euro tour with two top 10’s in his last two events.   The Euros seems to do well in WGC events, and at this price, a worth investment.

STEVE

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