I’m heartbroken, because I just pushed a wrong button and lost a HUGE, entire post that it took me ages to put together. I had all sorts of interesting analysis in it. But I lost it. So the abbreviated version contains 18 names to watch (in the tradition of 18 holes, or 18 professional major titles for Jack Nicklaus), without the analysis that made it so interesting. I just don’t have time to re-create the whole thing. Without further ado: Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Jim Furyk, Vijay Singh, Zach Johnson, David Toms, Steve Stricker, Sean O’Hair, Adam Scott, Ian Poulter, Scott Verplank, KJ Choi, Tim Clark, Rory Sabbatini, and two crazy veteran picks, Lee Janzen and Justin Leonard. Also, Ryuji Imada (my analysis on him was, for a golf nut, quite interesting, I think). Then, to make fun of myself for overanalyzing all the stats, it turned out that I was going to urge everybody to watch somebody who, I now see, isn’t even in the field: Jose Coceres. Even if he WERE in the field, the choice is so outlandish that it should make all you readers take this whole post with a grain of salt. Still, consider his stats, because maybe he SHOULD be in the field: 1st in drving accuracy. Third in putts per round. 1st in birdies on par 3s and ist in average scores on par 3s, along with 11th ni par-4 average scores. 1st in scrambling. 9th on tour in promiximity to the hole. 21st in scrambling from the rough. Hell, with these stats, why isn’t this guy the leading-money-winner-not-named-Tiger?
Stats are for losers, I guess. Watch, and enjoy. The winner will come from that group above. Which means that if Retief Goosen, Geoff Ogilvy, Colin Montgomery, Luke Donald, or Stewart Cink wins, I’ll be mighty embarrassed for leaving them out.