Deutsche Bank preview: Time for Adam Scott to prove he's a world top five and topple Tiger
Now think Luke Donald, Stuart Appleby, Geoff Ogilvy. What have they got that Scott hasn’t this season? Wins! Appelby and Ogilvy have two, and one of Ogilvy’s is a major! So how come Scott is better than them? He’s been consistently good all season, but what does he have to show for it? Sweet FA. No way should he be higher than those guys (You may infer that I think the official rankings are, well, rank).
So Adam, now’s your chance to put your golf where your ranking is. You love the Deutsche Bank - you won the first one three years ago and came second a year later. If you try really hard, you might even get to go out in a final pairing without Tiger Woods, because he could become a bit tired and emotional come Monday and set you free from his intimidating circus.
I’ll even back you. A price of 10 is a bit skinny given your erratic game, but if you do play to some kind of form it should shorten.
The Deutsche Bank is only in its fourth year, but it already has a history: two years ago Vijay Singh officially wrested the crown of world’s top golfer from Woods by beating him here, although he had been top dog pretty much all season (those crummy rankings again). Things look a whole lot different two years on, with mutterings that Vijay is too old, having problems with his eyesight, or just plain burnt out.
His stats have really started to slide, but they weren’t brilliant back in June when he caught us out by winning the Barclays Classic. He was fourth in the DB in 2003 and beat Scott as well as Woods the next year. There’s not too many in this field he would have difficulty with on a good weekend, so I’m leaving him alone.
I am definitely going to lay Woods though, because I see more arguments than for backing him. Four wins on the trot is a tough enough achievement and he’s been hard at it pretty much non-stop for the last three weeks, winning two tournaments (one tough, one not so tough), then flying to Ireland and back. And is he going to care about beating this motley bunch as much as in the previous four contests? He only does this tournament because he is so heavily tied in through his charity foundation - which will demand some of his attention. Oh, and he hasn’t won here in three starts.
Last year he hit a commanding first round, then disappeared without trace, muttering that he’d had enough of golf for a bit. Anyway, I’ve made enough on Tiger over the last few weeks that going down here won’t hurt much.
It’s difficult to see a clear candidate beyond the big three, but who saw Olin Browne winning last year on a course that was supposed to favour the bombers with its long, wide fairways? So here’s my take on a few others:
Sean O’Hair: his recent form is interesting but he would have to sharpen his putting a lot to get me behind him;
Robert Allenby: it’s long past time for him to bag a result but I’m not holding my breath;
Lucas Glover: fourth last week with four rounds in the 60s makes him worth considering;
Carl Pettersson: maybe now his Ryder Cup dream appears to be over he can relax, win and … still not get dramatically picked at the 13th hour!
Kenny Perry: instead of getting better he’ s got worse. Never mind losing his swing, his putter’s gone missing too. A lay for me.
Daniel Chopra: a good prospect but not really cutting edge yet. Thought he should have put more of a Sunday charge in last week.
Shigeki Maruyama: an underwhelming season, but his stats are on the upturn and if distance really isn’t essential - it wasn’t last year - could spring a surprise;
Kent Jones: I know, Kent who? But in my overall performance table he’s running second only to Tiger. Stats are not the science some would have you believe, but he was 13th at the DB in 2003 and 10th last year and I’m looking for some in-play trading fun.
Jeff Brehaut: T4 here last year, T5 at Reno last week and T6 at the international. Not front-line events, but in the stats I compile he is up there with the best: seventh for GIR, 17th for putting and 25th for driving accuracy, the three qualities that appeared to put Brown in the winners circle last year.
And you know what? Strange but true - his recent stats actually look better than Scott’s. So how come he’s not number five in the world?
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