Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open
October 16-19, 2008
Tournament #45 of 48
TPC Summerlin [Las Vegas, NV]
Par 36-36=72 - 7,243 yards
Years hosted: 1992-present
Purse: $4,100,000 (Winner-$738,000)
Field size: 132
Cut: Top 70 & ties after 36 holes (if >78 golfers are tied, another cut of Top 70 & ties will occur after 54 holes)
In partnership with NBC Sports Philadelphia
This week's host, Justin Timberlake (duh!), was born on January 31, 1981 and shares the day with legendary talents Jackie Robinson (1919), Ernie Banks (1931), Nolan Ryan (1947), Jersey Joe Walcott (1914), George Thorogood (1950) and Franz Schubert (1797). Your challenge this week is to name the PGA Tour member who, while not quite "legendary," can say that he was also born on the last day of the first month. (This test is clearly hint-driven.)
HINTS: He's in the field this week and holds the distinction of earning his PGA Tour card via Q School a PGA Tour-record nine times (in 13 attempts). He also turns 50 next year. ANSWER can be found at "The 19th Hole."First Tee
At the turn of this century, would you ever have thought that Justin Timberlake would host a PGA Tour event before Britney Spears would host a social gathering for professional athletes, other than at her residence? Meanwhile, who among fitting celebrities to host a golf tournament has a more appropriate surname for the sport? "Timberlake" just sounds like a great walk, doesn't it?
Ask anyone I know, I'm about the last guy that pays any attention to gossip and all things entertainment, but I still remember the general dynamic at the time, albeit brief, when Timberlake must have really screwed up to end his relationship with Spears. Fast forward to today and, well, the rest is history, ain't it? Timberlake has evolved into a megastar that reaches several generations. Spears has become a sideshow, and that's being polite. That I even still connect the two probably gives you plenty of insight into my seven-year delay on what's hot. What's that? Puff Daddy changed his name? When?
Nothing could be more transparent as to why Timberlake has become host of a PGA Tour event - youth, style and the ability to steal Tim Herron's fans, allowing the big guy some much needed privacy and quiet (I love Lumpy, I really do) - but JT can golf his ball, fellas. He's a 6 handicap and made news by shooting a 98 in that Golf Digest U.S. Open Challenge at Torrey Pines in June. I bet Tiger Woods couldn't post that number at Torrey right now. So, ha!
The field in Timberlake's inaugural year is pretty good, too, no surprise considering you know that there are a few daddies on tour whose little girls begged them to tee it up at TPC Summerlin this week. The event has truly reinvented itself. TPC Summerlin and only TPC Summerlin will host the touring pros and only the touring pros. Gone is the four-day pro-am and the multiple-course format, a first in the history of the event (circa 1983). And if you - meaning YOU, not the competitors - need to cool off on Saturday and Sunday, you can mosey up to "The Hill" near the 17th tee. Under a sprawling tent will be 28 50-inch HDTVs broadcasting all things college and pro football, with spirits - collegiate and otherwise - to boot. These aren't market-crashing changes either; just some smart plays towards a renewal.
Summerlin is a spectator course, and with very little wind expected, spectators are likely to witness some fireworks in the form of low scores. Hitting greens is the order of the week if guys are going to contend on Sunday. With lots of open air and an absence of grass on many holes benefiting the worst drives - or best shanks, depending on my, er, your perspective - hitting from the fairway will be more about the better lie, not necessarily the better angle. Today's technology can do wonders from off the short grass but nothing can help you hit it through a tree. At least nothing legal. With fewer vertical obstacles, it'll be a shootout.The Elements
Not much to it this week. Chamber of Commerce weather is in store through Sunday. It will be dry and warm, with sunny skies and a temperature topping out in the upper 80s every day. And, somehow, the breezes with which the event has become associated will be nonexistent.Course Scoring Averages - 2007
Round 1 - 69.250
Round 2 - 70.236
Round 3 - 73.542
Round 4 - 71.265
2007: George McNeill (1) - 1st
2006: Troy Matteson (2) - MC
2001: Bob Estes (13) - MC . T-3 (1993/1992)
1993: Davis Love III (10) - DNP . 2nd (1996); T3 (1992); T-4 (2001); 5th (1998); T-7 (1995)
1987 (pre-TPC Summerlin): Paul Azinger (11) - DNP . T-3 (1993); T-8 (1996/1992)
George McNeill. Even when he puts himself in trouble, he escapes nicely, and the layout this week will underscore that asset. He's hardly having a Sophomore Slump, but it's more like a Sophomore Snooze, if you can call six Top 25s and $925K in the bank taking a nap.
Projection: Top 25
Zach Johnson. This is the Texas Open champion's first foray in the Las Vegas stop, an oddity since his precise iron game is a perfect fit for Summerlin.
Projection: Top 10
Jason Gore. I'm going with the guy who has the highest birdie average in the field (4th on tour overall). Tack on that he finished T-19 in Texas and T-8 at the Viking and you see the pattern. In fact, he's posted four Top 20s in his last four starts, a grand return to form after dealing with his thyroid health scare. Gore also finished T-7 at last year's Timberlake although he opened with a 63 at the no-longer-used TPC Canyons.Top 5
Davis Love III. Spectacular history (see "Past Champions in the Field" above) and owns the course record (61, 2001). This is critical moment of Love's career. He's done "battling back" from the ankle injury. The time has come to see if his game can return to its once lofty echelon. If it does, then the jury is in and the case is closed. But if he scuttles long-term, his denouement will have been begun from merely a valiant effort rather than from one more taste of the top.
Stephen Ames. And to think I had all but given up on Ames a few months ago. That must have just been the drone of the summer talking. He hasn't teed it up since 2003 but clearly stands out in this field. He took a month off after a T-5 at the BMW and still pasted a T-6 in Texas last week thanks to a Sunday 62.
Pat Perez. I gave PP a long look to win this week, partially due to the kind of vibe he exudes, not dissimilar to the anything-goes lifestyle in Vegas. Inside the ropes, he finished T-10 at Turning Stone (still one of the more impressive outings of his season) and placed T-8 in Texas. He's made just two of five cuts at the event, but four rounds at Summerlin exclusively will play into his aggressive and sharp game. He's an average putter, which will make all the difference.
Bill Haas. Pretty soon, if we're not there already, any projection that matches Haas' actual result will simply be coincidence. And this week could be it. He's finished T-21 (2007) and T-11 (2006) in his only starts in the event and hasn't played in golf-friendly conditions since a T-4 at the Viking. (Haas missed the cut at the weather-skewed Turning Stone.) His infrequency of finding the fairway is neutralized this week with the open layout, but Haas is 6th on tour in hitting GIR from lies off the fairway, a very real advantage at Summerlin.Top 10
Mike Weir. Where better and in what nicer conditions to let the stack-and-tilt thrive! His short game will do the rest. Weir finished T-10 last year and returns off a break since the FedExCup Playoffs, during which he posted three Top 7s.
Mark Wilson. Great ball-striker and birdie-maker is having a terrific season that no one is noticing. In five starts at the Timberlake, Wilson has four Top 20s, including a T-10 last year. Also ranks 7th in sand saves, which certainly doesn't hurt this week. Oh, and he's coming off a T-2 at LaCantera.
Tim Wilkinson. This is probably a generous projection considering the rookie has had just one Top 10 since April Fools' Day, but it came at the Texas Open last week. The T-2 took the burden off securing his tour card, which should, I say should, allow the lefty to loosen up. That said, he looked great at LaCantera, hitting irons with chips on the table like a seasoned vet. When he found the key and finished T-6 in Puerto Rico, he followed it up the very next week with a solo 3rd in New Orleans.
Jeff Overton. Quite simply, Overton comes in with a T-10 at the Turning Stone and a solo 5th in Texas. He needs only a Top 25 to lock up a 2009 PGA Tour card, but his recent play projects for something greater. Then again, you heard this same song and dance a few months ago.
Chris DiMarco. All right, after tens of thousands of words over several months for you to base your own judgment, I'm allowed one sentimental selection, no? DiMarco hasn't had a Top 10 all year but he's coming off a T-19 in Texas. He had missed his previous four cuts but mustered up the game to gallop through the tape last week, with a final round 64. He has a career money list exemption waiting to be punched if it doesn't work out this year but I believe in DiMarco right now.Top 25
Charlie Wi. First-timer at the Timberlake. Closed out the Texas Open with a 61 en route to a T-2.
Tim Herron. Continues to grind away although it's evident that his best days are taillights. Herron was T-8 in Texas and placed a career-best T-14 (in 10 starts) at last year's Timberlake.
Ben Crane. Has cashed in all six starts in Vegas, including four Top 20s, led by a T-2 in 2006. Solid ball-striker that scores exactly where you'd expect it - on the greens.
Bo Van Pelt. Has been playing steady golf lately, cashing in his last six starts, but it's his consistency in this event that has me intrigued. In the last three of these, BVP has placed T-16 (2005), T-11 (2006) and T-5 (2007). His 2009 tour card is all but locked up so that confidence combined with a comfy track is dynamite.
Kevin Na. Talk about a guy whose fellow twentysomethings have left without a lift home this year. Na has zero Top 30s in his last five starts but has posted Top 25s in his last two Vegas' starts, both of which were earned after similar dry spells.26+
Hunter Mahan. He's missed the cut in both previous appearances but not since 2005 when he was still finding his way on tour. Truth be told, with his propensity to go low, Mahan is as likely as anyone to shoot a 59 this week. But he'll need the kind of putting he exhibited at Valhalla to make that happen. (Wait a minute, did I just project a 59?)
Chad Campbell. Let the run on UNLV products begin . CC has one Top 60 in five starts in Vegas (T-16, 2006) but another dud would belie his studly stats. Nonetheless, here he is. (Remember, when I pick him to win, he hides, so maybe you need to play the opposite card this week.)
Ryan Moore. Just one Top 50 in three starts (T-16, 2005) here for the former Runnin' Rebel. And has just one Top 25 - a T-25 at Turning Stone - in the last four months.
Charley Hoffman. Finished T-5 in 2006 but missed the cut last year. Blondielocks has also failed to post a Top 25 since the Byron Nelson on April 25. Look for him to round out this trio of UNLV reps well off the leader board.
Arron Oberholser. As much as I'd love to project higher for Oberholser, who hasn't played in over three months, it wouldn't make any sense. His only Top 25s this year came at the Match Play, where he won one match, and at the Masters, where he placed T-25. But both of those are like three injuries ago. AO has the goods to make the cut anywhere so let's just leave it at that.MC
Fred Couples. Someone needs to tell Mr. Couples that the Silly Season hasn't started quite yet. This is the Fall Series, which a lot of people think is the Silly Season, but is more like a break until the Silly Season. At least it is for Couples, who has parlayed his one-time Top 25 career money list exemption into Top 125 status for 2009, which will bridge him into the Champions Tour for 2010. (He turns 50 on October 3, 2009.) But Freddie - or is it Freddy? - has missed three straight cuts dating back to the PGA Championship. No matter how the weather and setting could convince the king of the unofficial event that this is a real tournament, with careers on the line, it will look like anything but for the crowd favorite.
Charles Howell III. Has missed the cut in the last two years here. One-and-done duffer leagues can go ahead and get giddy now.
Parker McLachlin. No-brainer, boys. Has now posted four missed cuts and a T-66 (Turning Stone) since the Reno-Tahoe victory. Also missed the cut in Vegas last year. Keep doubling down.
Eric Axley. And what in the world has happened to this guy? After 10 straight paychecks, the stack-and-tilter has tumbled over the last two weeks, missing the cut in Texas and at the Turning Stone. And this projection ignores last year's missed cut here simply because Axley found his game this summer. (Even if he had posted a Top 10 here in 2007, you always stick with recent play over history with the younger guys.) Abstain until he finds it again.
Chris Riley. And finally, the UNLV alum and Las Vegas resident has missed the cut here in each of the last four years. Still nails on the greens but has trouble creating birdie putts. For a guy that was in a quandary last winter, Riles has done a fair job, earning over $400K on the PGA and Nationwide Tours combined this year, but he's headed for Q School for the third straight year.Bubble Boys
For each remaining event in the Fall Series, I will give sort out the simple data for the guys on both sides of the bubble ($800K-$840K) that arescheduled to play
in the current event. Everyone listed is in danger of losing his tour card. So, because they are already exempt for 2009, you will not see guys like Nick Watney (117th) and Todd Hamilton (153rd) even though they are in the field.
Inside Top 125
Money List: 115th
Money List: 119th
Money List: 120th
Money List: 121st
Money List: 122nd
Money List: 123rd
Money List: 124th
Money List: 125th
Money List: 126th
Money List: 127th
Money List: 128th
Money List: 130th
Money List: 132nd
Davis Love III
Money List: 133rd
Money List: 134th
Money List: 135th
Money List: 137th
Money List: 138th
Money List: 139th
Money List: 140th
Money List: 142nd
Money List: 143rd
Frank Lickliter II
Money List: 145th
Money List: 146th
Money List: 147th
Money List: 148th
Money List: 151st
Money List: 162nd
Money List: 164th
Money List: 167th
Money List: 175th
Money List: 179th
Money List: 195th
Money List: 196th
Money List: 224th
Money List: 234th
Money List: 245th
The final reshuffle was made at the conclusion of the Viking Classic; therefore, only earnings will be updated here now. Golfers whose earnings are in bold type are projected to have secured a 2009 PGA Tour card. From the fantasy perspective, this list provides non-weekly formats a projected value (i.e. likelihood of qualifying for a field on merit, ability to set schedule) of golfers playing out of this category.
Final "number." Golfer, 2008 earnings
* - In the field at the Timberlake Open
# - Top 10 alternate at the Timberlake Open
1. *Nicholas Thompson, $1,585,211
2. *John Merrick, $1,280,507
3. *Kevin Streelman, $1,173,515
4. *Michael Letzig, $858,477
5. *Tim Wilkinson, $1,121,007
6. *Brad Adamonis, $768,113
7. *Martin Laird, $741,515
8. *Patrick Sheehan, $763,257
9. *Matt Jones, $712,360
10. *Jason Day, $669,335
11. *Marc Turnesa, $580,052
12. *James Driscoll, $639,726
13. *Jon Mills, $489,510
14. *Frank Lickliter II, $508,300
15. Roland Thatcher, $445,212 (out until 2009)
16. *Justin Bolli, $438,022
17. *Tag Ridings, $466,527
18. *Y.E. Yang, $405,548
19. *Brett Rumford, $386,419
20. *Scott Sterling, $347,722
21. *Carlos Franco, $368,200
22. *Omar Uresti, $290,210
23. *Brenden Pappas, $247,934
24. *Kenneth Ferrie, $228,398
25. *Jin Park, $227,102
26. *Kent Jones, $242,714
27. *John Riegger, $228,168
28. *Bob Sowards, $251,459
29. *Jimmy Walker, $232,569
30. *Chad Collins, $234,675
31. *Brad Elder, $221,421
32. *Todd Demsey, $178,214
33. *Tom Scherrer, $136,131
34. *Chris Stroud, $286,220
35. *Alejandro Canizares, $134,899
36. *David Lutterus, $120,088
37. *Jim McGovern, $124,203
38. *Kyle Thompson, $145,523
39. *Paul Claxton, $116,678
40. Michael Bradley, $104,816
41. *Jason Allred, $91,781
42. *Cody Freeman, $68,673
43. #Ron Whittaker, $59,977
44. Jonathan Kaye, $41,375 (probably out until 2009)
45. #Travis Perkins, $36,583
46. #Tommy Gainey, $48,905
47. Duffy Waldorf, $7,350 (out until 2009)
48. Carl Paulson, $0 (hasn't played anywhere since 2005)
Golfer (PRIORITY RANKING) - has: # of events played/$ earned . remaining: # of events remaining under extension/$ remaining unearned
* - In the field at the Timberlake Open
# - Top 10 alternate at the Timberlake Open
*Ben Crane [MAJOR) - has met his requirement and will retain this status for the remainder of 2008
Jason Bohn (MAJOR) - has met his requirement and will retain this status for the remainder of 2008
*Brett Quigley (MAJOR) - has met his requirement and will retain this status for the remainder of 2008
Dudley Hart (MAJOR) - has met his requirement and will retain this status for the remainder of 2008
*Shane Bertsch (MAJOR) - has met his requirement and will retain this status for the remainder of 2008
Chris Perry (MAJOR) - has: 0/$0 . remaining: 18/$515,445
Joey Snyder III (MAJOR) - has: 0/$0 . remaining: 25/$647,466
Brandt Jobe (MAJOR) - has: 19/$293,214 . remaining: 4/$480,950
David Berganio, Jr. (MAJOR) - has: 1/$0 . remaining: 5/$346,345
Hank Kuehne (MAJOR) - has: 0/$0 . remaining: 18/$636,221
*Paul Azinger (MAJOR) - has: 8/$42,590 . remaining: 6/$568,521
Wes Short, Jr. (MAJOR) - has: 0/$0 . remaining: 15/$743,061
*David Duval (MAJOR) - has: 18/$83,727 . remaining: 2/$629,508
Patrick Moore (NATIONWIDE/3 WINS) - has: 0/$0 . remaining: 12/$452,636
Jonathan Kaye (Q SCHOOL/NATIONWIDE) - has: 8/$41,375 . remaining: 13/$743,805
#Michael Bradley (Q SCHOOL/NATIONWIDE) - has: 12/$104,816 . remaining: 2/$648,475
Carl Paulson (Q SCHOOL/NATIONWIDE) - has: 0/$0 . remaining: 15/$428,522
10/15 . Len Mattiace (41); Richard S. Johnson (32)
10/16 . Bruce Fleisher (60)
10/17 . Blaine McCallister (50); Jay Delsing (48); Ernie Els (39)
10/18 . Denis Watson (53); Todd Hamilton (43); Nick O'Hern (37); Steve Allan (35)
10/19 . Brian Henninger (46); Gavin Coles (40); Ryuji Imada (32)
10/20 . none
10/21 . Bob Rosburg (82); Tommy Tolles (42); Philip Price (42); Craig Lile (32)
Well, Mark S. from Glen Burnie, Maryland, at least you got your name in the "paper." I received zero help in response your inquiry last week about traditional fantasy golf leagues online. But I get a lot less email than people think, and it takes a diehard reader to make it all the way down here. The silver lining is that there is certainly a niche for it as I've said before. It's definitely on my Top 10 list of things to do when I win the lottery.
"Starter" ANSWER: Michael Allen was born January 31, 1959. He starts this week 135th on the money list with $607,446. In this PGATour.com article on Tuesday, Allen revealed that if he fails to earn his 2009 PGA Tour card, he will focus solely on Q School for the Champions Tour, where he would burn a one-time exemption into its final stage. (Of course, if Allen finishes 126-150 on the money list, he'd have conditional status on the PGA Tour for next season.)
Incidentally, Japan's Shingo Katayama was also born on January 31 (in 1973).