Kevin Na — Getty ImagesThis year I was coerced by a hockey writing friend of mine to do a weekly one-and-done golf pool that allows you to pick one golfer, never to use them again in 2013. Since I'm doing it for fun (and DEFINITELY not for money, no way, no how), I figured I'd post my weekly picks here, with who I've already used under it and my record for the year, and against the others in the pool. We're calling this Darts in the Dark.
Waste Management Open pick: Kevin Na
Before you start, I know what you're thinking; "Kevin Na? Really? Why not pick Rickie Fowler after his fantastic finish at Torrey Pines or Jason Dufner with his recent success at TPC Scottsdale?" I get both of these arguments and I accept them and I think that you, dear golf fan, are probably right.
But this is a one-and-done pool where you can't use a golfer again for the rest of the year and my thoughts on the two names above are this:
-- I like Fowler but I am not in love with his consistency right now. He would be my pick if it was strictly a "who is going to win this week" contest but it isn't, and I'd like to save him for later in hopes that he goes a few weeks with the same golf game (remember, he opened with a round of 77 to start the Farmers before going on a really solid run).
-- Dufner is a cut-making machine (22 straight and counting) and I want him when I need him, like at the end of the year or during the Texas swing. Dufner is a great person to have in your pocket later in the year with this contest and I'm going to save him until I need a weekend lock.
So that leaves me with Na. Why would I pick a guy that is o-for-2 in cuts made in 2013? Because first, he hasn't played that bad this year (71-68-69-70-70) and he has done extremely well at TPC Scottsdale over the years.
In his last five starts at this event, Na has three top-5s, including a T-5 a year ago. On top of that, his played heading into the Waste Management hasn't really mattered. A year ago he missed the cut at the Sony and finished T-30 at the Humana before coming here. In '09 he missed the cut at the Humana before finishing third alone here, and in '08 he missed the cut at Torrey Pines before finishing T-4 here.
So maybe it's a long shot, but I'm going with Na this week. Make a ton of birdies, my man, and make me look good.
Wins - 0
Top-10s - 2
Top-20s - 1
Missed Cuts - 1
Current Pool Standing - 11 out of 69 players
Already used - Steve Stricker (2nd at Hyundai), Mark Wilson (MC at Sony), Robert Garrigus (T-16 at Humana), Nick Watney (T-4 at Farmers Insurance)