Maggie Blackbird

Romancing Canada's Indigenous People

Golfer

Fore!

Woohoo, The Masters is this week.  If you don’t follow golf, The Masters is one of four major golf tournaments with players from the PGA, European Tour, Asia Tour, etc. (who qualify), competing for the prestigious green jacket.

Born in 1934, The Masters is the youngest golf major, with The Open Championship (formerly known as The British Open) being the granddaddy of them all with its birth in 1860 at the Prestwick Golf Club in Scotland.

I play Fantasy Golf.  Here are my picks from the European Tour:

  1.  Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland).  He’s won four majors already, and he’s only twenty-eight.  It’s why I chose him as my “captain” because if he wins, I get double the points.  He’ll also join the elite five players who’ve qualified for a Career Grand Slam (Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Gary Player, Ben Hogan, and Gene Sarazen).  This means these five men have won The Masters, The Open, The US Open, and The PGA Championship during their golfing career.  Not an easy feat.  It’s hard enough winning one major.
  2. Jon Rahm (Spain).  This man has come out swinging and putting like a true champion, although he’s only twenty-three.  He’s already won two tournaments on the PGA after turning pro in 2016, and another win on the Euro Tour.  Having already played at Augusta last year, he has a good chance of donning the green jacket.  They’re not calling Jon the next Seve Ballesteros for nothing.
  3. Paul Casey (England).  He’s my “sleeper” pick.  Paul has performed well at previous Masters’ tournaments, and there’s a good chance he could pick up a green jacket.  Paul has clinched a PGA tournament win this year.  We all know how well he’s performed in Europe.
  4. Justin Rose (England).  He is the Olympic gold medalist when golf was re-introduced in 2016.  Rosie also has a US Open trophy to show off.  Last year, he slugged it out with Spain’s Sergio Garcia for the green jacket but came in second.  Rosie’s on top of his game and stands a good chance of securing another major.
  5. Henrik Stenson (Sweden).  They don’t call him the Ice Man for nothing.  Under the gun, this man doesn’t back off.  He secured his first major in 2016 by winning The Open (what he coveted most).  Lurking on the leaderboard’s top ten this past month, Henrik’s got a good chance at nabbing the green jacket.
  6. Patrick Reed (USA).  He has a solid game, but his putting seems to let him down.  Still, I won’t give up on Patrick.  He loves pressure play.  He excels at slugging it out down the 18th hold on a Sunday afternoon with the crowd against him.  This man is simply biding his time to don a green jacket, and I believe he will, one of these years.  He’s still  young.  Only twenty-six, I think.  Go, Patrick!  I’d love to see you win!

Next, there is the PGA Tour Fantasy Game.  I’m only allowed four.

  1.  Justin Thomas (USA) is a no-brainer.  He is at the top of his game and is winning tournaments like the PGA is handing them out for free.  If he’s not winning a trophy, the guy’s always in the hunt.  I’d be a fool not to pick him.
  2. Rickie Fowler (USA).  The fan favourite and loved by all, he’s more than a personality.  Rickie’s got game.  He proved everyone wrong when they said he was all show by nabbing what the golfers call the “fifth major”–The Players Championship.  I think Rickie’s got it in him to win a major.
  3. Dustin Johnson (USA).  He’s the world number one golfer.  He beat the odds after choking at the US Open and losing to Jordan Spieth by coming back the following year and winning.  Pressure?  Dustin can do anything once he sets his mind to it.
  4. Marc Leishman (Australia).  Another “sleeper” pick.  He’s Australia’s most consistent golfer.  There is never a high or a low with him.  He’s always there, lurking.  He’s got a good chance at winning.

Then there is the One and Done by the PGA Fantasy.  I picked Jordan Spieth  (USA).  He’s already won a green jacket, and I can’t see anything stopping him from winning another one.

Last but not least is the Golf Channel’s Fantasy Game.  The Golf Channel includes everyone who is playing in the tournament.  There is a cap on the money I’m allowed to spend, and each player costs so much money for a pick, and the better the player, the more money he costs.  I have to be careful with my picks and stay within my cap.

  1.  Tiger is back, and he’s playing awesome.  Does he stand a chance at winning another green jacket to hang with the other four he already has in his closet?  You betcha.
  2. Hideki Matsuyama (Japan).  I keep hearing how he’s due for a major.  Even though I’m a bit iffy about picking him, I picked him.  He just came back from a wrist injury, but I’ll give him a chance, because he’s a solid, solid, solid player.  If any player from Japan is due to become the first major winner, this is the guy.
  3. Xander Schauffele (USA).  He’s on a tear.  He keeps getting better with every tournament he plays.  He’s already won a tournament and he’s a noOb.  If anyone can secure a green jacket playing their first masters, Mr. X is up for the job.
  4. Charley Hoffman (USA).  He’s Mr. Consistent.  He’s always hanging around on the leaderboard.  Nuff said.
  5. Phil Mickelson (USA).  Considering he’s won a WGC event at the age of 47 this year, he’s still got it.  Considering he went head to head with Henrik Stenson at The Open in 2016, he’s still go it.  The man’s in peak form.  He has three green jackets hanging in his closet.  I won’t be shocked if he nabs a fourth.
  6. Jimmy Walker (USA).  Lyme’s disease stopped him from doing much of anything last season.  He’s 38.  He’s battled back from something that almost crippled him.  He’s won a major.  He’s got tons of experience.  His game’s rock solid again.  I think he’s got the stuff to win a green jacket.

As for the Golf Fantasy One and Done, I chose Sweden’s Alex Noren.  If any Swede, besides Mr. Stenson, has a chance at flying home with a green jacket, Alex is the guy.  He’s come close at majors.  He’s come close at PGA wins.  He’s got European Tour wins.  If given the opportunity, he can do it.

Okay, that’s it.  My picks are done.  Let’s see how I do come Sunday evening.

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