Kevin Na was not on your Hack’s betting card for the Sony, but should have been. His 1 shot victory last night was impressive. This is the guy who resurrected his career after being named the slowest player on the PGA Tour and is now “famous” for walking in his putts. Congrats Kevin on your 5th PGA Tour victory!
Equally impressive was Chris Kirk who shot four (4) straight 65’s to lose by one. In the process however, he regained his tour status from a major medical exemption after seeking treatment for alcoholism. Last June, Kirk detailed his issues with drinking, his treatment, and his major medical exemption on this No Laying Up podcast – it’s a good listen.
Tournament Match-ups: Your Hack bet 1 unit (a unit is my standard bet – $10, $25, $100 for example) on each match-up and ended up 3.8 units overall after the “vig” from the online Sportsbook. We won 4 of the matchups and pushed “Palmer over Scott” who both tied at -11 for the week.
Palmer over Scott – PUSH
Niemann over Matsuama – WIN
Kisner over Ancer – WIN
Kizzire over Knox – WIN
Si Woo Kim over Bradley – WIN
Your Hack also put a unit early Thursday on a single 3 Ball match – Charlie Hoffman over both Hahn and Every. I liked Charlie in first round (think about his Masters history) and he won returning 1.4 units. My last winner was 1/2 unit on Neimann to Top 5 at +450. My boy finished T2 for the 2nd week in a row and returned 2.25 units. Even with Sergio as a mentor, the boy can golf his ball.
Unfortunately, while I won 7.45 units on these bets, non of my Outright winners came in. The best performers were Webb Simpson at T4 and Patton Kizzire finishing T7. I lost all 4.5 units I has spread out on my 16 outright bets. I also lost 1 unit on my Top 10 bet (Charles Howell III), 1 unit on my other Top 5 bets and 1/2 unit on my Top 20 bet who actually missed the cut – thanks Hoge.
So, to sum it all up? The week was a slight positive as my winners for 7.45 unit were mostly offset by the losers which ate up 7 units. Of course, I’ll take starting the year up 0.45 units. If your Hack had a $1000 betting unit he’d be a little more happy! Remember though – I do this for fun, not to make a living.
On to The American Express this week where Andrew Landry was last year’s winner in the California desert shooting 26 under to beat “Honest” Abe Ancer by 2 shots. The Tournament will be played on the Stadium Course at PGA West, 7,113 yards, par 72 and the Nicklaus Tournament Course at PGA West, 7,152 yards, par 72. For the first time in tournament history, The American Express will be conducted on fewer than three courses. The total purse is $6.7 million.
I’ll be back later in the week with my betting card.
Your Hack hasn’t posted in about a week, but that doesn’t mean he’s not been playing. After our Wolf game back on January 8th – see Wolf Bait post – we had a fun five-some on Sunday. Dewey was back with the group after isolation over the holidays with the “Vid” and played along with the Senator, the Voice, Councilman and myself. The highlight of the day was the Councilman’s play which included an even par back nine for his first sub-80 round in a while. The Voice also posted an even par back nine and is “feeling it” for the upcoming trip to Casa de Campo. The Senator struggled, while I had my seemingly “normal” 78 or 79 with a couple of ugly doubles and three (3) straight bogeys to finish the round.
On Wednesday, we had six (6) players and were scheduled to go off behind some slower groups. Thinking we would have no problem keeping up and with the next tee time over 30 minutes after ours, we played the first nine as a six-some. We evidently thought correctly because we finished the front in a little less than 1 hour and 45 minutes, while waiting on the foursome in front of us for the last couple of holes. Unfortunately, it was not to be as we received a text from the pro on the 10th green that the group behind us had complained and we needed to split up into two threesomes. It turns out to have the served the group behind us right because both our threesomes were now backed up against the fourball in front of us and the “complainers” were forced to wait on every shot on the back nine. Serves them right.
For our Friday game we had eight (8) players matched in two four-balls playing 1 gross/1 net. Your Hack, Doc Martin, the Sheriff, and Ramrod played against Dewey, the Senator, the Councilman, and Boteler. It was our normal game and included skins (gross birdie or better). We blitzed around the course in a little less than 3 1/2 hours and our team blitzed the opponents shooting 7 under to their 1 over. We took all the money and your Hack posted 3 birdies in a row on holes #11 through #13 to take most of the skins. The Sheriff added a nice birdie on #15 which also cleared. The course is short these days – playing off temporary tees on all the par 3’s and the front tees on most of the par 4’s and a temporary green on #14. We played the course as a par 69 yesterday and I was able to come in a 3 over after losing a bad second shot on #14 and making double. The better news – only one (1) 3-putt green.
Most of you know that your Hack likes to gamble on the course, but I also enjoy wagering on professional golf. This week’s Sony Open is the first full field event of 2021 and I thought I’d outline my plays this week. I also play in a One and Done (OAD) season long event and my choice this week was Charles Howell III – Chuckie 3 Sticks. The Sony Open is like a personal ATM for this player and I like his chances for a high finish. In addition to the OAD, I like to bet outright winners and head to head match-ups.
Now, golf is a hard sport to bet so I don’t go overboard – it’s more about the fun than the profit margin when betting golf. Besides, it helps to have a few shekels on the line to help get through bland TV coverage. Although, I have to admit that there’s nothing better than prime time TV golf in Hawaii.
Because the field is relatively weak at the Sony, I’ve put small amounts on a lot of outright winners. I’ve also sprinkled a few Top 5, Top 10, and Top 20 bets. The wagers are smaller on the high odds. For example, $1 at +17500 wins $175. After two (2) rounds, I have some players in really good positions. Luckily only four (4) missed the cut.
Outright to Win
Webb Simpson +1100 (tied 2nd)
Ryan Palmer +3000
Kevin Kisner +3000
Sebastian Munoz +4500
Si Woo Kim +7500
Keegan Bradley +8000 (missed Cut)
Russell Know +9000 (missed Cut)
Patton Kizzire +6000
Talor Gooch +6000 (missed Cut)
Cameron Davis +11000
Tom Hoge +12500 (missed Cut)
Sepp Straka +12500
Stewart Cink +12500
Peter Malnati +17500 (tied 7th)
Wesley Bryan +25000
Tommy Armour +30000
Hoge +400 (Missed Cut)
Tournament head to head matchups are also a staple of my weekly betting card and I’m in good shape this week as Ancer, Knox and Bradley have all missed the cut, giving me at least three (3) winners out of the five (5) matches.
Palmer over Scott
Niemann over Matsuama
Kisner over Ancer
Kizzire over Knox
Si Woo Kim over Bradley
I’ll be back after Sunday nights final round and show you how I did with this week’s card. In the meantime, keep it in the short grass.
Mike “Senator” Cummings has been on a run over the past couple of months. His chipping and putting has gotten sharper and better. And, he is gaining yardage off the tee and hitting fairway after fairway. He’s become a “killer” looking for his next victim. All this, with that perpetual, disarming smile on his face.
It was Sunday, the day after the Holiday Step Away Tournament, and it was time for a money game at the Creek. Your Hack partnered with the Sheriff and took on Hagen and the Senator for, let’s say, somewhat higher than our normal Nassau stakes. It was agreed that the Senator and I would play even up and the Sheriff and Hagen would get 2 strokes a side. Little did I know that I was to become his victim.
The match started in a typical fashion as both the Senator and I had 4-5 footers for par on the 1st. He made and I missed – 1 down. Pars had halved #2 and #3 when the Senator flagged his approach shot to 3 feet on #4 and made birdie – 2 down and even on the press. Hagen made par on #5 to our bogeys and then made bogey, net par on #6 to win that hole as well – 4 down, 2 down, and even. Some would say it was getting ugly with our opponents hamming and egging it to perfection and the Sheriff and I leaving our balls in bad positions and missing putts. “Was getting ugly . . .” is not the right phrase – it was ugly.
All four of us managed pars on #7, but then Mike made par on #8 and Hagen made par on #9 to make the ugly official – 6 down, 4 down, 2 down. We lost the front, 2 presses, were 6 down on the match and 3 up on the Texas press which would be an added bet on the back nine.
The “ugliness” continued on #10 when I left my 40 yard wedge short of the green and couldn’t get up and down. Of course, the Senator made par which put us 1 down on the back and 7 down on the match with only 8 holes to go. We fought back to even on the back when your Hack made a nice downhill putt for birdie on #12 – my first birdie of the day. The Senator struck back with a winning par on #14 and #16 to push us back to 2 down and even on the back – we’d lost the overall match bet by that time as well.
It was at this point when the Sheriff decided to step in and clean up the town. After three (3) solid shots on #17, he drained a 25 foot put for birdie, net eagle to beat the Senator’s birdie – we were now 1 down/1 up on the remaining bets and had won the Texas press. On the final hole, the Sheriff was short left after two (2) shots when he hit a spinning chip that collided with the flagstick and stopped 2 feet from the hole. The conceded par, net birdie clipped the Senator’s par and we’d clawed our was back to take the second nine and the press. All told we only lost 4 ways and it felt like a victory.
The Senator shot a beautiful 73 – 2 over par – against my 80. Hagen and the Sheriff stood at 82 and 81. Of course, all these scores included a bunch of conceded puts – remember it was match play. However, the Senator’s score was real as we were reluctant to give him any putts that day. He made everything he looked at all day long. It was a real pleasure to watch Mike play. But let’s not forget his partner. On the two (2) holes where Mike made a bogey, Hagen came through with a par to win or halve the hole. They play almost perfectly as a team. Well done boys – there will be a re-match in the near future.
The weather looks bad all week so I doubt there will be any golf played until next weekend at the earliest. In the meantime, stay safe and, if you play, keep it in the short grass.
Rain, rain and more rain. We got our Friday game in before it literally dumped rain on the Creek overnight and more rain and wind hit us on Saturday. Of course, the course was closed Saturday after that thrashing and our 3 Man Holiday Step Away Scramble has been postponed until next Saturday.
Your Hack was slightly depressed (thinking about writing up his summary of the Friday match) and then got this email early today from the Creek’s Pro.
Sunday December 6, 2020 The storm that effected our area Friday night into Saturday morning dropped just under 4 inches of rain at the club. There was standing water everywhere throughout the course, and while some of that has receded, we continue to have large areas under water. As you can imagine the ground is totally saturated and needs more time to dry out before allowing any play or practice to resume. Therefore thecourse and practice areas will remain closed ALL DAY today (Sunday).
So great, nothing left to do but collect my thoughts, blog a little, place some bets on the final round of the Mayakoba Golf Classic and take a chance on the Browns at +5. I’ve got tickets on Justin Thomas (+700), and Viktor Hovland (+275) that I bet live this morning before the start of play. Max Homa had a strong day yesterday and was at +50000 to win. Why not take a $5 flyer to win $2,500? I’ll probably find out this evening why not, but I did.
Walking the course this morning from 8am to 9am, I took a few videos of the large amount of water being moved around via the club’s irrigation system. It was pretty impressive. There were also some spots of deep standing water on #4, especially to the left between the approach to the green and the 8th tee. It was a good thing the course was closed.
Prior to the walk, I spotted a little friend crossing the 15th fairway in back of our rental and searching along the natural area for a bite of breakfast. Giving up, he calmly crossed the 16th fairway and onto the vacant lot adjacent to the 16th green. Here’s my little buddy – actually not so little for a fox in this area.
So, I mentioned earlier that I was slightly depressed thinking about writing up my Friday match. I’ve struggled to explain how I could make 3 birdies, be 2 over par for the round on the 14th tee and manage to limp in with an 80, lose the team match, lose a Nassau 1 down to the Senator and lose a back 9 team bet to Hagen & the Senator. Then it hit me – I’m so unbelievably inconsistent that I really am The Golf Hack.
Our Friday game was Bookends. Two (2) or four (4) net on all holes except the bookends – #1, #9, #10, & #18 – where all four (4) balls count. Good game selection by Mr. Robel’ whose text popped into my phone that morning announcing the game format:
11:00 Dewey6-Martin12-Hudson(council)10-Donnelly9 11:10 Robel7-Browne12-Horton11-Boteler9 11:20 Baxter5-Cummings8-Hastings12-Hagen9 Bookends- 2 of 4 on all holes except 1-9-10-18 all 4 on those holes $80 front nine $80 back nine $50 gross skins $30 net skins
Weather was “not bad” for December 4th with temperatures in the mid to high 50’s and 13 mpg winds from the southwest. The weather wasn’t the problem.
We were the last group out and “Senator” Cummings and I decided to add some spice by playing a $20 Nassau with automatic 2-down presses. Hagen was trying to “relax” and “de-stress” by not playing for money so our anticipated Wolf match did not happen. The Senator and I just kind of rolled our eyes and knew this wouldn’t last long.
Your Hack started off with a bad 3-putt on #1, followed by a worse 4-putt on #2 and was two (2) down and even on the first press. No the best start being 3 over after just two (2) holes. I was able to par the next couple and then hit a wedge to 2 feet on #5 to bring the Nassau to even, 2 up and even. After another 3-putt on #8, I was 1 down, 1 up, and 1 down going into #9. Another birdie allowed me to halve the front, win a press, halve the 2nd press and go into the back nine even on the match. I felt like had been through battle and the Senator was playing well.
The team of Dewey, Doc Martin, Councilman, and the Trust Fund blitzed the other two group on the front coming in with a 5-under Bookends score. We and the Mr. Robel’ team were not even close. This would continue on the back as the Dewey team was 4-under and took the back as well.
On the 10th tee, Hagen decided that he was sufficiently relaxed that he proposed a back nine match pairing himself with the Senator and your Hack with Hurricane Hastings. I should have know better than to accept, but I’m not the smartest punter out there.
The Senator continued his solid play making birdie on #11 which I countered on #12 with a birdie of my own. After both making pars on #13 we remained all square on the back and the match. On #14, I had a chance to pull ahead after my second shot ended up pin high in the pine straw on the right and the Senator was lying 3 in the swale to the right of the green. Unfortunately, I made a bad pitch followed by an even worse chip and missed my par putt – another half.
The final meltdown started on #15 with two (2) straight drives OB (the Big Right Miss times two!) 1 down to the Senator and he stroked on the last to holes of the match. I had a chance on both #17 and #18 to get the match back to even and possibly win, but I 3-putted both and lost to the Senator 1 down on the back and match. The final insult was pulling my first putt on #18 so badly that I actually hit the Senator’s golf ball sitting on the fringe. Those two (2) 3 putts also cost Hurricane and I the back nine match versus Hagen and the Senator.
As I stated earlier, Dewey’s team ran away with all the money in the Bookends game. Dewey also won $30 in skins and Doc Martin pocketed another $40. I was lucky enough to have one of my birdies clear for a skin as well. Otherwise, it was a “payout” day for your Hack.
All kidding aside, I’m generally happy with the way I’m hitting the ball and just need to continue to work on my putting and short game. I’m also realizing that I’m not finishing well – throwing too many shots away on the last 3 to 4 holes of each recent round. Focus I would guess is the issue and I’m really looking forward to getting on the course again on Wednesday. That assumes the weather holds!
A final sad note from Cripple Creek. Our dear friend Pat McRae passed away this weekend. I’m deeply saddened by this news as Pat was a tremendous man, a great friend, and an inspiration to all who knew him. My thoughts go out his is wife Patsy and their children and families. Pat – your humor and friendship will be missed by all of us at the Creek.