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Sunday, June 6, 2010

The New Cat on the Block?

Tiger posted his second 3-under 69 day in a row. (And I shall refrain from possible jokes about the number 69.) We can relax, people; he's apparently on his way back.

But that Puma kid... what's his name?... oh yeah, Rickie Fowler also posted a 3-under today. Granted, that's a step down after his blistering pace the first two days, but it was enough to retain his 3-stroke lead going into Sunday. It really should have been better; he left a lot of putts on the lip Saturday, but I don't see where he made any bad mistakes. Some days they just don't fall. His game looked really solid to me.

The best round of the day came from Ricky Barnes. (Are you noticing a trend here? Perhaps Tiger should change his name to Ricky or Rickie Woods. Oh yeah, he should get one of those railroad caps too; both Rickies are sporting them.) Barnes posted a 10-under 62, one off the course record. Wow! He's now 3 back of Fowler. I think they should pair them up Sunday and call them the "Tricky Rickies." CBS and TGC would have a field day with that.

The other two low rounds of the day were 7-under from Brendon de Jonge (he's 5 strokes back) and 6-under from -- surprise! -- Vijay Singh. At 9 back I think he's too far behind to make a difference, but it's good to see him play well again. Maybe the injuries are finally healed.

Last weekend I wondered if we would have to start talking about Ben Crane as a favorite now. (He wasn't in the field this week.) There are a few "new" players I think we may have to start watching over the next few weeks as the Opens draw near. Here is my list; I'm curious about what you guys think.
  • Ben Crane: Already discussed.
  • Ricky Fowler: Fowler's already stuck with that "best next young player" label, but I'm pretty impressed with him. It's easy to forget he hasn't even been a pro for a year yet, and he's already had a couple of chances to win. I'm picking him this week, simply because I think he's been learning from those losses.
  • Ricky Barnes: Barnes started an upswing in his career last year at the US Open, and his name has been showing up more frequently on the leaderboard. He's made 12 of 15 cuts this year, with 6 Top 25s and 4 Top 10s. Not bad.
  • Jeff Overton: A little less consistent, but 3 Top 10s on 9 cuts made. He's getting better, but I'm not ready to say he's there yet. Still, I think he bears watching.
As I said, I'm picking Rickie Fowler to win this week. However, I think we've got to get him a good nickname. That prominent Puma logo on his hat has been on my mind (obviously), but his penchant for bright colors could be worked in as well. How about "Rainbow Rickie"?


  1. Definitely not "Rainbow" Rickie. Too many unfortunate overtones and ties to Jesse Jackson, the Rainbow Coalition, and the "rainbow" decals you see around town.

    I'm thinking "Kid Skittles" as soon as the Skittles people wake up and sign this neon billboard.

  2. I must admit that, since writing this, I've been leaning toward "The Cat in the Hat." A bit Seussian, perhaps, but I like kid's books. ;-)

  3. lol - that's pretty good, too. Not sure he'd go for the top hat look, though.

    I'm waiting on some gang to step up and offer a sponsorship on that hat since that's where the style came from.