Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Three Guys You've Never Heard Of...

It been a long week already.  Things are heating up again in the office and the San Diego Chargers were on Monday Night Football.  The stupid chargers kept me up until 1:30 and then proceeded to lose the game.  And, when I get in to the office this morning, sleep deprived and all, I spill my coffee all over my desk.  Not the way you want to start a day.

To be honest, I really didn't think much about golf or the blog today.  It has just a nose to the grindstone day.

So when I finally do get home and futzing around on the internet, I realized that I haven't even looked at the field for next week's Tour Championship.  To be honest, there were a few surprises.

The first, and highest ranked of the group was Martin Laird, who has obtained the ninth most Fedex Points going in to Eastlake.  I absolutely couldn't believe this one.  Laird, a Scotsman, has no wins, and sits comfortably in the middle of the road in every statistical category this year.  He only has made 16 of 24 cuts this year and has only managed to squeak into the top ten on three occasions.   But Laird's presence in the top ten isn't an anomaly; he performed well at the Barclays earning a significant amount of points at the first playoff event, and he played well at other "valuable" tournaments. Laird has yet to win in the U.S. but his strong performance on the tough Westchester CC against a deep field tells me that his first W is not to far away.

The second is Kevin Na.  Na, a South Korean born American, is ranked #20 going into the final stage of the  FedEx Cup.  He has not won a tournament all year.  In fact, he has never won a PGA Tour event.  But what Kevin Na has done is become one of the most consistent players on tour. He has made the cut in 88% of his events this year, and finished in the top ten 4 times.  He is 13th on the Tour in scoring average and 13th in putting average.  Not the flashiest of players, Na knows how to get the job done without entering the winners circle. 

And third is Kevin Streelman.  Streelman, like Na and Laird, has never won on tour, but still squeeked into this year's Tour Championship with a good combination of steady, timely play.  Streelman finished 3rd at the Barclay's and managed to squeeze into the top thirty by the skin of his teeth. Streelman is best known for winning last year's Kodak Challenge, a year long competition that compiles each players scores on the 18 prettiest holes on tour.  For his troubles, he picked up a million dollar check.  He hopes to follow last years bonus off with an even bigger one at this year's Fedex Cup.

The Cup format continues to surprise even some of the most loyal golf fans.  I for one, love it.  I dont know how anyone could dislike having the best players in the game play week after week.  The tournaments are held on great courses.  And I really like the dwindling field, no cut events.  Even if Tiger, Vijay and Rory are out, so what?  We've now got three new guys to cheer for.

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