This week is the last week of the West Coast Swing and we get treated with two tournaments. The WGC – Accenture Match Play Championship is being held at La Costa and the Chrysler Classic of Tucson is being held in Tucson, Arizona. Most fantasy leagues do not include the Accenture Match Play so we will focus our attention this week on Tucson.
Last weekend’s Nissan Open was full of drama right down to the last hole on Sunday at a great venue with a strong leaderboard. Adam Scott turned in a brilliant final round to narrowly miss out on a share of first place and a sudden-death playoff for the second consecutive year but a great shot on 16 propelled Rory Sabbatini to his first victory in three years. My picks did not fare so well. Tiger Woods was one of many players in the field battling illness and it was evident in Round 2. Woods made the cut on the line but was forced to withdraw after his round. Tim Clark had another good week but struggled on Sunday and wound up in a tie for 12th. England’s Brian Davis struggled in two consecutive rounds and was never in danger of having to play on the weekend. My final pick, Ernie Els, had an up-and-down tournament but a final round 67 pushed him into a tie for 23rd position.
This week we look ahead to the Chrysler Classic of Tucson. Although the world’s top 64 players are playing in La Costa this week the Chrysler Classic still manages to draw some top name players. A look at last years top ten includes guys like Geoff Ogilvy, Mark Calcavecchia, Aaron Baddeley, Billy Mayfair, Lucas Glover, Joe Ogilvie, and Jose Maria Olazabal. The tournament offers a big opportunity to those players not ranked in the World’s top 64.
Justin Rose enters this event as one of my favorites. A first-round 64 last week tells me all I need to know about his game right now. We haven’t heard much from Rose on the PGA Tour but he has had a decent start to 2006 and this week is as good as any to pick up his first victory.
Steve Stricker is a player who could surprise some people this week. Although he has only played in one event this year it was a good one finishing 14th at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. He had success in this event last year finishing fourth. I’ve always had a soft spot for Stricker, maybe this week he will finally recapture some of the promise he showed early in his career.
We had a South African win last weekend so why not pick another one this weekend. How about Trevor Immelman. Immelman has had two strong showings this year at the FBR and The Nissan. His stats in 2006 are very good, he is ranked in the top 20 on Tour in Driving Distance, Greens in Regulation, and Scoring Average. The Chrysler Classic has had a number of first-time winners and this could be Immelman’s week.
Finally I will take Henrik Bjornstad as my fourth pick. Bjornstad is another solid player to come from Europe. At 26 years old he actually gave up the game for a period between 2004 and 2005. Bjornstad is back enjoying it now. He made it through Q-School in the fall and has already had a T10 and T12 finish this season.
That’s it for the Chrysler Classic of Tucson. I’ll talk to you all again next Tuesday and we’ll find out how I did. And in case anyone cares, my picks for the Match Play are David Toms and Lee Westwood. Bye for now.