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TEE TIME: Even golfers can have a fantasy

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By Dennis George

Like many of you, I keep an eye on the weekly golf tournaments and occasionally become glued to the television during the non-majors to watch a captivating finish.

While many sports fans have strong loyalties to a particular team or live and die by the finish of their favorite NASCAR driver, golfers for the most part watch a tournament just to see who wins.

Don’t get me wrong. Tiger Woods has a strong following and television ratings are undoubtedly higher when he is in contention. Rory McIlroy is now the face of Nike Golf and Jordan Speith is captivating the golf world. We Kentuckians feel a sense of hometown pride and cheer for J.B. Holmes of nearby Campbellsville when he plays.

To be honest, we usually watch a tournament and if a player we like is on the leaderboard, we might cheer for a win.

But how many of you will raise your hand if I ask if you pay much attention to the golfers who haven’t won much money or aren’t very glamorous?

I don’t see any.

I used to be in that boat but not anymore.

Why?

Fantasy golf.

Yep, it’s the craze of football and other sports, and it’s crossed over into golf.

I now compete in a fantasy golf league.

And if you don’t think I’m checking websites to see how my players performed in each round, think again.

My nemesis on the course and now in fantasy golf, Terry Huff, invited several of us who play golf together to join his league through Golf Channel.

Each week, we look over the field of players and must pick an A, B, C, and D golfer. The players are grouped by their world ranking. When the tournament is completed, the money won by our picks is added to our amount.

There are usually a little more than a handful of players in the A group, with progressively more in each category after that.

As you might expect, once you get out of the top 75 players, it’s like flipping a coin. Many of the players are not recognizable. (It was amusing to see Tiger listed as a D player in The Masters.) Each player’s last four results are highlighted, as is their trend in the rankings.

Oftentimes, I will pick a golfer and if he gets hot, pick him every week until he cools off.

It is not uncommon to closely peruse the golf results each day to see how my players are doing. I hung my head in embarrassment one week when each of my picks missed the cut. I also hit the jackpot a few weeks ago when I had Speith and Holmes and they were in a playoff.

There are also occasions when the LPGA or a European event is included. Talk about difficult to make a pick when you don’t know the players. Call me a typical male but when I pick my C and D golfers in the LPGA tournaments, I tend to pick the best looking in the group.

By the way, there are 40,874 people participating in Fantasy Golf on the Golf Channel website. I rank 14,981 with $8,896,756 in winnings.

This week’s pick:

A. Jordan Speith

B. Sergio Garcia

C. Brendon Todd

D.Tiger Woods

 

Did you see the Sports Illustrated survey (anonymous, of course) of golfers?

Most overrated player — Ian Poulter and Rickie Fowler (tied)

Most underrated player — Bill Haas

Best course on tour — Riviera

Worst course on tour — Torrey Pines

 

Here’s our tip of the week from Bob Gates, golf professional at Maywood.

“In my last lesson tip, I talked about practicing with the clubs you use in a round. (Use the percentage of drivers you hit in figuring how many drivers to hit on the range). 

“In that last third of your warm-up time, use your imagination to visualize the golf holes you are familiar with playing, or some of the famous holes you see on TV. Get creative, paint in your mind a tree-lined fairway down the range, pull out your driver, select your target line and let it rip. How’d you do? 

“If you’re right on target and left with a mid-iron to the green, grab your 8 iron, pick a target and knock it close. If your drive was way off line, pull out a 4 iron and punch one back in play, then a wedge to the hole.

“The important thing is you are hitting a different club with every shot, and picking new targets. The more you practice how you play, the more confidence you’ll have on the course.”

(For more personalized tips, contact Bob at 348-6600)

 

LEAGUE RESULTS

Boone’s Butcher Shop Morning League

First place: Joe Judson/Byron Corbett   (22.5 points)

Second: Wally Bowling/Bobby Lewis (20.5)

Third: John Peterson/Don Hardin and Tim Gilpin/Chris Gilpin (tied with 18 points)

Low gross: Joe Judson (1-under par 34)

Low net: Byron Corbett (29)

Closest to the hole: Mike Wheatley (#2) and Doug Lyvers (#7)

 

Boone’s Butcher Shop Afternoon League

First place: Joe Burks/Chad Johnson (21.5 points)

Second: Alan Cecil/Wally Bowling (20)

Third: Tony Edelen/Ed Ditto and Chuck Filiatreau/Randy Burba (tied with 19)

Low gross: Mouse Culver (even-par 35)

Low net: Mouse Culver and Joe Burks (tied with 30)

Closest to the hole: Bill Hardin (#2) and David Vittitow (#7)

 

Bud Light Women’s League

First place: 8-way tie for first

Low gross: Joan Rizer (37)

Low net: Vicki Renisch (29)

Dennis George is a contributing writer for The Kentucky Standard and can be reached at dmg11854@gmail.com.