Heavy rains—an oddity for the normally dry and sunny Palm Springs area—caused Thursday’s second round of the Bob Hope Classic to be cancelled. On Wednesday, Shane Bertsch shot a 10-under par 62 at the Nicklaus Private course at PGA WEST. He will tee it up next on the Palmer Private course at PGA WEST, hopefully on Friday morning. Close behind Bertsch are Alex Prugh and Jeff Quinney, who both shot 8-under par 64s, also at the Nicklaus course.
With a 72-hole cut and each player competing alongside three amateurs for the first four rounds, it seems quite likely that a winner will not be decided in the event until Monday. Such a scenario will turn the Hope into even more of a marathon than it usually is. Trudging across soggy golf courses takes a toll on the legs, especially for five competitive rounds. Look for young, fit players to thrive over the next few days as long as they can focus on making birdies as well as small-talk with their amateur partners. If the eventual winner is from the older set, expect him to be someone who tends to play a lot of events each year. Other than Bertsch, Prugh, and Quinney, I would look for players like Bubba Watson, George McNeill, and Mike Weir to do well as the tournament wears on.
I am playing fantasy golf for the first time this year, and I’ll share my team’s progress in case some readers are also fantasy players. On Yahoo! my team is the Gavrich Golf Goons, so look out for us! This week my team is as follows:
A-list: Ryan Moore, Martin Laird—Moore turned in a decent 3-under par round of 69 at La Quinta Country Club on Wednesday and even though Laird did not have a good first round, I’ve put Moore on my bench because he will be playing the difficult SilverRock Resort course for round 2 while Laird will be at the easier Palmer Private course.
B-list: Kevin Sutherland, David Toms, Kevin Streelman, Chad Campbell—Luckily I had Campbell on my bench for his dismal opening round 79 at SilverRock while Sutherland and Toms shot 69 and 70, respectively. Toms, however, will be playing SilverRock in round 2, and Campbell will be at La Quinta. Campbell has the potential to go super-low at any time, so I’m taking a flyer on him for round 2. We’ll see if it pays off.
C-list: Boo Weekley, Rickie Fowler—I felt that Fowler would bounce back from his dismal performance at Waialae last week with some low rounds this week. Weekley is making his first start of the year. Boo turned an acceptable first round, but if Fowler returns to the form of this fall, I might make the switch for round 3 or 4.
Cheers for now.