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  Did you pick a winner this year?  
  A buddy of mine and I like to have a little bet for bragging rights before each major
golf championship. We each get six (6) picks before each event begins to see who
can pick the champion or which of our picks make it to the top of the leaderboard.
The original format was based on who finished with the lowest cumulative score (we
doubled two-day totals for anyone missing the cut). This year we changed the
format to $ winnings, so picking the winner or even runner up could really change
the outcome.

We also agreed that we would not pick any of the same players since the results just
offset each other. What started to become obvious was that our typical picks –
Tiger, Phil, VJ, Furyk, Ogilvy, etc. – we being overshadowed by less familiar names.

What were the Vegas odds on the eventual winners of this year’s majors?

There is always a lot of pre-tournament commentary about who’s going to win,
who’s hot, who’s not. Of course, a considerable amount of commentary focuses on
Tiger, some Phil, but it gets pretty spotty after that. And the pre-tournament
commentary on the eventual winner was almost non-existent (maybe completely

As much as every one would like to be clever and pick the champion, there is a
reason why the tournament is played. If David brings his “A” game to the
tournament, Goliath may not have a chance.

Check out the Top 6 results for each tournament and think about how little you
know about some of these great players. It would be nice if the networks could
spend a little time getting us familiar with these guys. Think about other sports –
you may have a favorite baseball or football team, but you are also aware of the
great players on most of the other teams (you are probably more familiar with other
teams’ quarterbacks than many of the names on these lists). It helps to develop the
rivalries, which keeps things more interesting.

I’ve also included the current World Rankings. I’m embarrassed to say that I don’t
really know that much about a lot of these players. Test yourself on the results from
each major– just fill in the country where the player is from (will you see him at the
Ryder’s Cup or the President’s Cup)? This year – four majors, four different
countries! Check yourself with the Top 50 list.

I think that while Tiger is usually the story, he’s not the only story. I wish the
sportscasters could think outside the box on this one and start to develop some story
lines for some of these other great golf professionals. This year, a few of them have
ended up being THE story.

Brad Townsend
August 17, 2009
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