7th Edition (Shell Houston Open + Trophee Hassan II)
Sponsored by Colin Stuart Montgomerie, holder of 0 weeks at World Number 1 and the catalyst for every bit of our woe!
What we learnt this week:
- When DownThe18th back D.A. Points he misses the cut
- When DownThe18th don’t back D.A.Points, he wins a tournament – we’re not bitter
- Henrik Stenson is back
- D.A. Points uses his mother’s putter, to great effect as well
- We had three 2nd places this week, that is surely unlucky?
- Jimmy Walker is now coined ‘Mr Inconsistency’
- Maximilian Kieffer had more bogeys than clubs in his bag
- The Masters is only 2 weeks away!
- We love the new trend ‘Dufnering’
What another rollercoaster of a week we had again! We ended up with 4 places from our picks this week, a tidy bit of money but still that bitter taste in our mouths. The week ended with D.A.Points picking up his 2nd PGA Tour title whilst the long haired German Marcel Siem picked up the title in Morocco on the European Tour. But forget all that, let’s look at the week from a DownThe18th perspective!
Let’s start in North Africa and the beautiful country of Morocco. A place perhaps not known for their golfing exploits, but they certainly put on a great few days for the ‘European’ Tour this week. We highlight the word European because it has been 6 months since there was actually an event in Europe now, all the way back on October 11th 2012 at the Portugal Masters. But we will brush that under the carpet as this was the 1st week on the 2013 calendar where we haven’t had to wake up at silly o’clock. There is always that nervous wait when you awake at 8am, load your laptop, and somewhere across the globe your picks will be finishing off their rounds, with us being none the wiser as to where they are! But this week was brilliant, a lovely 11pm tee off for most of our players and even some coverage on the TV for us to sit back and enjoy our Easter break.
Day 1, and things didn’t start well. Most of our picks where late starters and naturally the weather was gorgeous before any of our lads teed off. As soon as they heard DownThe18th had a few picks coming onto the 1st tee, the wind was summoned and it was like a scene from ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ (maybe a slight exaggeration). Marcel Siem posted a sun-drenched 64 to top the leaderboard and ultimately make it his own for the rest of the week. Meanwhile Pablo Larrazabal, our number 1 pick, was frightfully unlucky at times eventually finishing level par, even being compared to a ‘young Seve’ from the commentary team. Perhaps a bit strong for someone who only has 2 European Tour titles to his name.
Onto days 2 and 3, and the leaderboard started to shape up. From a DownThe18th perspective, very nicely so. Larrazabal, David Horsey and Mikko Ilonen, all our main picks made up 3 of the top 4 places going into the last day, which is always good to see. Sadly, the long haired German at the top was not budging and it left our boys battling it out for 2nd spot. At times we were brought to the edge of our seats, at the start of both the final 2 days, Siem started with a bogey meaning he was only 1 shot in front, but always managed to pull himself together and consolidate that top spot. Ilonen found himself level with Siem on day 4 after a stunning front 9, but the notorious DownThe18th bottle came back to haunt us and a double bogey (something most of our picks inevitably pick up at some point) put pay to any chance he had of the €250,000 prize fund. Quick mention to our other pick Maximilian Kieffer, +13 after day 2 and he had more bogeys than clubs in his bag. It appears we backed the wrong German! But all in all, not a bad return for us, Horsey and Ilonen both finished tied 2nd whilst Larrazabal was 2 shots back in 4th.
Now onto the PGA Tour and the Shell Houston Open, and most of our picks certainly didn’t come out of their ‘shell’ this week! Let’s start with Edward Norton look-a-like and general enigma Jimmy Walker shall we! 7 top 30’s in 8 starts he’s had this year, an animal on the par 5’s and was driving it superbly at Bay Hill! So naturally we back him and he finishes 50th… But that really doesn’t tell the whole story. He was our leading pick after day 1, sitting nicely on -4, 5 birdies and one bogey, not bad at all. Then day 2 came. 2 birdies to start off, lovely. Then from the 4th tee to 9th tee, he went bogey, bogey, triple bogey, par, double bogey. Ouch. Then on the back 9 he followed up with 4 birdies and an eagle, talk about rollercoaster! So day 3 came and he was still nicely poised. 6 bogeys on the front 9 and a bogey on the 11th is what he served up for us, you can imagine how we were feeling! When Ben Crane, no disrespect, is shooting a 67 on day 3, Jimmy Walker should not be coming away with a 78!
Carl Petterson, our outside pick, was never really involved but he’ll certainly remember his hole in 1 on the par 3 7th on day 2. Chris Kirk was very similar to Jimmy Walker, birdies here, bogeys there but perhaps not quite as extreme. Then we come to Keegan Bradley and Henrik Stenson. Now Keegan truth be told was always on the periphery of this tournament, but was always only a couple of shots behind and was our big bet of the week. So it was sad to see him +3 at one point on the final day, sad but expected when you’re a member of DownThe18th. In many respects it might not be a bad thing as we’ve also backed him for the Masters, and surely he couldn’t have won 2 tournaments in 3 weeks! He still finished a respectable 10th. Our Scandinavian friend Henrik Stenson on the other hand, went more than close! He found himself 2 shots back going into day 4, and he gave it one hell of a go. Spurred on by the prospect of a Masters spot, Stenson shot a -6 round of 66 and left himself on -15 in the clubhouse with a few boys still out there. One annoying thing had to be, Henrik ‘big hitting’ Stenson who loves to take advantage of par 5’s, somehow bogeyed the par5 13th to record his only dropped shot of the day, the 13th was unlucky for some eh? That eventually cost him his chance at a play off as D.A.Points (a man we backed a few weeks ago and subsequently missed the cut but we’re not bitter at all about that) got VERY lucky on the 18th and avoided bogey to claim his 2nd PGA Tour title at -16. And all this with his mother’s putter in the bag. It will have kids across the world scrambling to get their mother’s clubs after that performance.
As we said, with 4 places overall, we can’t grumble at this week, but as ever, it could have been so much better. We hoped you all followed our tips this week and it will be onwards and upwards to next week at the Valero Texas Open. Let’s win some more money!
Also, feel free to send us your ‘Dufnering’ pictures, we’ll get them on the blog