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Sunday, August 25, 2013

La Kucharacha

According to Wikipedia,
"Cockroaches are insects of the order Blattaria or Blattodea, of which about 30 species out of 4,500 total are associated with human habitats. About four species are well known as pests."
Periplaneta americana, the American cockroachI suspect many of the pros on the PGA Tour consider Matt Kuchar a grade-A pest, perhaps even his friend Gary Woodland. Let's look at the evidence:
  • Woodland is outdriving Kuch by 26 yards this week.
  • Woodland is hitting more fairways than Kuch.
  • Woodland is hitting more greens than Kuch.
  • Woodland is putting better than Kuch.
Nevertheless, Kuch is tied with him for the lead going into the final round. The word "pest" immediately comes to mind.

It's not a foregone conclusion that Kuchar will win the Barclays. (It IS a foregone conclusion that my pick, Dustin Johnson, will not. Please don't remind me again.) Woodland and Kuchar will be in the final pairing, and Woodland is certainly playing well enough to win.

However, the pest shows no sign of backing off.

Tiger and Kevin Chappell will be in the penultimate group. That's an interesting pairing.

Chappell is coming off a course record. That certainly doesn't mean he can't post a good score and win it, but he's been less consistent than either Woodland or Kuch. And I have to wonder if he might not play a bit safe today since he's currently projected to move up from 58 to 9 in the rankings. That could almost be a lock into the Tour Championship -- no small accomplishment.

Tiger's back problem is also a bit of a wild card. (You'll recall that Ben Crane had to withdraw earlier in the week with a back problem, effectively ending his run at the Cup.) Tiger managed to hold things together well enough that there are only 3 players ahead of him... and since he'll go out so late, this will be his first normal day this week. He could get enough rest and treatment to let him play relatively pain-free today. And if he does... well, you never know.

And since we know there are a number of low scores out there since the redesign of Liberty National -- my gosh, just this week the course record has been set (Stadler), tied three times, then broken and set again (Bradley), then broken and set yet again (Chappell) -- there's no reason to believe that someone might not come out of the pack and blow past all the leaders today for the win.

But then again, the pest is tied for the lead.

Some people believe that cockroaches will someday inherit the earth. I don't know about that but, unless some PGA Tour pros are very careful, La Kucharacha may inherit the FedExCup... and start by inheriting the Barclays trophy today.

The photo came from that same cockroach page at Wikipedia.

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