Showdown, Week 9: Graeme McDowell vs. Brian Gay

So in an attempt to inject a bit more life and interest into these early season tournaments, and because we're both inveterate gamblers who are one bad card from being out on the streets, Jay Busbee and I are playing a golf version of a football suicide pool: We each pick one golfer per tournament and see how they do against each other, straight up. Victory over the other guy gets one point, victory in the tournament gets three points. And when we burn a golfer, he's done for the year. This week: the Bear Trap!

Busbee: I'm going Gay. Brian Gay, that is. He's quietly putting together a fine season, with two top 5s and four top 20s in just five events. He ranks first on Tour in both driving accuracy and sand save percentage, meaning he keeps the ball in play and can recover nicely when he doesn't. So, yeah, I'll take him...and hope he forgives me for that cheap pun on his name.

Bacon: Call it a hunch. Call it a ride on the European dominance wave. Call it whatever you want, but I love one of the best players in the world to play one of the toughest finishes on tour. Graeme McDowell played fine at the Accenture Match Play, but this is a course he likes, and I think he has a good shot at winning to kickstart his season.

Last week: Busbee's pick of McDowell didn't quite make it super far, but it was far enough to beat out defending champion Ian Poulter, who dropped in the first round of match play to Y.E. Yang (actually, both our picks lost to Yang ... maybe we should have picked him?).

Overall record: Busbee 6, Bacon 2

Already used: Busbee: Ernie Els, Steve Stricker, Chad Campbell, Bill Haas, Nick Watney, Tim Clark, Hunter Mahan and McDowell. Bacon: Bubba Watson, Jim Furyk, Steve Marino, Ben Crane, Jhonattan Vegas, Dustin Johnson, Matt Kuchar and Poulter.

And your Honda Classic pick is ???