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Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Great Ruthlesski Strikes Again!

Image of fortune tellerAh, you wish the Great Ruthlesski to tell you the future? Step right in; his crystal golf ball is already warmed up and ready, awaiting his next pigeo-- er, client.

Yes, he saw the "Phil and Scotty Show" on Saturday. (I mean, he actually saw it... on the TV, that is. Ricky and Bubba? Who're Ricky and Bubba?) For those of you who didn't know, Phil's bogey-free course-record-tying 63 is his best round in two years, and now he's tied for the lead with Scott Verplank at the Shell Houston Open.

After her Saturday round Stacy Lewis said she could use one of those rounds come Sunday. She started the third round 3 up; now she's 2 back. You'll recall that the Great Ruthlesski said yesterday "I'll be surprised if she doesn't squeeze out at least -11 by the end of the tournament." That's two rounds of 71 for his mathematically-challenged readers out there, and 71 is what she shot Saturday.

Amazing, I know.

I'll point out that he didn't predict whether she would lead after the third round. The Great Ruthlesski is no idiot; when foretelling the future, vagueness is a virtue.

Indeed, the Great Ruthlesski was correct about several things, even though the expected 30mph winds predicted by the weathermen never materialized. The Great Ruthlesski suspects they were the ones who recently "borrowed" his crystal golf ball. (The course did get some 15mph breezes for a while, enough to make the 3rd round play harder than the 2nd. That doesn't usually happen.)

For example, he said "when push comes to shove, I think it will come down to Tseng vs Lewis. Pressel and Yang could figure in there too, but unless Lewis stumbles I think anybody more than 4 back is too far back." He also said "There are several players at -3, but Wie is the only one I think has the firepower to possibly make up the 6-shot deficit between her and Lewis." How did things actually play out?

Yang's stumble was a bit surprising -- she's played well in majors lately -- but what does our leaderboard look like going into the final round?
  1. -12 Yani Tseng
  2. -10 Stacy Lewis
  3. -8 Morgan Pressel
  4. -6 Michelle Wie
The top 3 are separated by 4 shots. Wie is in 4th place but still 6 shots back -- right where she started the day. (He did say "possibly." Remember, it's a virtue.) Only Angela Stanford managed to make a big move through the ranks -- she's in solo 5th at -5 -- but she still lost ground to Tseng.

Hey, don't touch that crystal golf ball with your bare hands! Don't you realize that fingerprints screw up the predictions? You think it's easy to find cosmic Windex®? Don't smudge the Great Ruthlesski's visions!

Alas, the Great Ruthlesski hasn't faired so well picking winners. (Although he did single out Luke Donald for great things in 2011. Even an untouched desk calendar is correct once during the year.) In fact, the Great Ruthlesski has been approached by gamblers wishing him to make predictions purely in hopes of skewing the odds in their favor. He has refused, of course -- they didn't offer him enough money!

Nevertheless, the Great Ruthlesski stands by this prediction: "And between the two of them, I'm going against the odds. I'm picking Stacy Lewis to hang on and make her first win a major. But Tseng won't make it easy for her."

He likes what Lewis said in her interview after the round: That two shots can be made up, and that she's left quite a few shots on the course during the 2nd and 3rd rounds, so she knows she has a low score in her. She also says she figured out why her driver had been giving her fits this week -- she did drive better on the back 9 -- and we all know that she shot a 66 in the 1st round, just as Yani did in the 3rd.

The Great Ruthlesski likes Lewis better when she's chasing.

Photo of donation boxSo there you have it. The Great Ruthlesski has spoken; I hope you're appropriately awed. Don't forget to drop a donation in the box by the door on your way out. Given the Great Ruthlesski's record as of late, he needs it.

Hey, you -- "donation" means you leave money, not take it! Bring that cash back! Thief, THIEF!

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