The Jack Nicklaus Memorial

Our Golf Handicapper returns with write-ups and analysis on the Dublin, Ohio Tourney

The PGA Tour pays its annual tribute to Jack Nicklaus in Dublin, Ohio.  The Memorial is a fantastic tournament and Nicklaus has his fingerprints all over it, from inviting the NCAA College Player of the Year to giving out exemptions to people that normally would not be in the running by the PGA Tour, this tournament continues to be Jack’s tournament.

A typically strong field as most of the top U.S. players (save for Phil Mickelson) will play this week.  Another exceptionally strong field will play in the Victor Chandler British Masters this week.  The United States Open is two weeks away so this may be the final tune-up before this major.

An interesting situation occurred in last weeks Kemper Open as Greg Chalmers was disqualified for signing an incorrect scorecard on the first round.  The unusual thing was that he was disqualified on Sunday night during a rain delay (they did not discover the incorrect scorecard until he played an additional 53 holes).  Chalmers was paired against Corey Pavin and Kirk Triplett who both missed the cut.  Don Best has scored Chalmers as the winner against both Pavin and Triplett, which I do not have a problem with since he played more holes than Pavin and Triplett.  I do see the argument for the other side and it will be interesting to see if anything more is considered.

Another winning record in this column during the Colonial but we had another unit loss, though miniscule.  It’s a tough beat when Justin Leonard takes fifth and loses to Sergio Garcia who won the tournament.  I really expected to Sergio to not be around on Saturday and Sunday much less be a factor to win the tournament.  Sergio is quietly putting together a nice year on tour, a quick glance at the tour statistics show that his driving and total driving stats are significantly improved from last year.  Unlike his fellow countrymen his driving has improved so much that he is hitting shorter field shots into the greens and this alone makes him very dangerous.  We also got lucky when Mark Calcavecchia finished DFL (Dead Friggin’ Last) but his opponent Scott Hoch had withdrawn, so that was incredibly lucky.

            Last Week (Mastercard Colonial)            2-1-1            -.06 Units

            Season                                              23-18-3            -.49 Units

Justin Leonard (+135) v. Vijay Singh (-155)- These were the opening numbers posted by Lenny at Cascade Sportsbook but the wiseguys quickly bet up Singh to –170.  I knew I would like Justin Leonard in this spot as soon as I heard Jim Nantz say how good Singh plays at the Memorial.  I knew everyone heard that and the value is in Leonard.  Leonard has an incredible record at The Memorial including a 2nd place finish last year when he was in the midst of a bad year.  Throw in the fact that he is playing very good of late and I think he is a very “live” dog at +135 or better.  Singh has won this event before but may feel that he may be focusing on the U.S. Open which he has a very good chance of winning.  I will take the hotter player right now at +135 (Play Leonard +135, 1 unit).

Paul Azinger (+100) v. Jasper Parnevik (-120)-  Parnevik has played well in this event before but like Azinger’s record in this event that includes a win.  This is an Azinger golf course where the player’s will miss a lot of greens and have to grind out good scores.  Not enamored with Azinger’s recent play but see him playing good on a golf course he likes. (Play Azinger +100, 1 unit).  Will take another stand against Parnevik with Hal Sutton (-110) who had a top ten finish last year in this event (Play Sutton –110, 1 unit).

Mark Calcavecchia (-115) v. Brad Faxon (-105)-  Hate the fact that Calc shot snowman type figures at the Colonial but can’t say that I really like the way Faxon is playing either.  Calc may be added to our unhandicappable list because he either wins or shoots a 100.  Wouldn’t play this match-up with monopoly money.

Sergio Garcia (-110) v. Jim Furyk (-110)-  Talk about grinder’s Furyk fits that bill as his record indicates two recent top 3 finishes and always seems to be in the top twenty.  I just feel that Garcia may be ready to become one of the top players in the world.  The Colonial win was huge to him and an 11th place finish last year shows he will like the golf course.  Garcia establishes himself as one of the top ten players in the world and will be right there on Sunday (Play Garcia –110, 1 unit).  I will also take a stab at Sergio (-115) against Scott Hoch. (Play Garcia –115, 1unit).

Ernie Els has not found his game yet this year, but he has played well in this event.  Els may try to get into U.S. Open (a tournament he loves) form this week and expect a good effort from him.  He is matched against Singh and Stewart Cink and I would think he would thump Cink and don’t want any part of Singh.  So the prudent play would be to take the Big Easy Els against Cink. (Play Els-155, 1 unit).

Frank Lickliter comes off his first career win at the Kemper Open last week.  Though he was leaking oil coming home he remains a go with player.  Cascade offers him against Sluman but don’t like the fact that he wins on Monday and tees it up on Thursday, just don’t think you get prepared with two practice days and travel.  Passssayvoo.

Where are all the Tiger Woods match-ups, has he just gotten that tough.  The answer may be yes.  Still I could see a Tiger vs. Garcia and Singh that may garner some interest.

I don’t know if I will have picks next week but may try to focus on the U.S. Open.  The U.S. Open is taking place at Southern Hills and is a unique type golf course for the USGA to consider to host and so that may present some opportunities for the astute handicappers.  Good luck to all players. | May 30th, 2001

– – – – – – – – – – – –About the writer
Jack brings over 20 years of experience and knowledge as a student of the game to the golf wagering arena.

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