Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Finding A Desert Rose

With Tiger Woods halfway around the world, picking up a reported $3-million appearance fee while playing a little golf and checking on his first course design in Dubai this week, the PGA Tour has motored its way to Phoenix where it will play the FBR Open between the parties on the edge of the Sonoran desert.

There is no PGA Tour stop quite like Phoenix, where the weekend crowds exceed 100,000 daily (and some of them are there to actually watch golf instead of flirt with each other). It's golf as a party game.

The secret to playing the TPC at Scottsdale -- aside from avoiding the hospitality tents until after your round is over -- is making birdies as fast as they're pouring beers. It's the golf version of the 100-yard (or is it meters) dash -- who can make the most birdies and how fast can they make them.

Starting this week, I'm going to pick (guess is more like it) a winner for each Tour event. It's not so tricky when Tiger's playing but on weeks like this, it's tougher than a 40-yard bunker shot to a tucked pin.

I'm taking Charles Howell III this week. He's more than due to win again and with two top-10s already, he's playing well. Plus, he's leading the FedEx Cup points standings (be still my beating heart).

So make mine a Charlie Triple Sticks this weekend.

If you have a pick, a thought or a question, let me know.