May
23
2009
HP Byron Nelson Classic: The Weekend Watch
By Stephanie Wei under General

To kick-off the official arrival of summer, I thought I’d get a little crazy and focus on the guys who are gunning for their first win on the PGA Tour. So, while I’m sipping on Rose all day, here are the guys I’ll be cheering for:

John Mallinger: He was my dark horse pick for The Players, and he sure didn’t disappoint! In fact, he finished T-3! Mally has put himself in contention several times this year, quietly creeping up the leaderboard. After 36 holes, he’s at the very top of the leaderboard (along with Rory Sabbatini). He’s ready to breakout for his first win on Tour – I’m just going to throw it out there and say, it’s going to be this week.

James Nitties: Until this week, he may have been best-known for appearing on the “Big Break” TV Show. And in the media guide, he lists “clubbing, girls, movies” as his special interests.  So, you might have expected him to be distracted by the fine sights in Dallas. But, look my friends, he’s a professional who is showing that he knows how to balance his hobbies and his career. He finished second at Q-school last year. No easy feat. Nitties also has finished twice in the top-10 and four times in the top-25. One last thought – I love his honesty – Raise your hand if you think there should be more fun personalities like him on Tour. «Both hands raised»

Charley Hoffman: Hoff, Hoff, Hoff!!! He’s another guy I’ve been watching and cheering for, ya know brah? He’s on a streak and it’s a good one – he’s made 11 cuts in 11 appearances this season! You may say the guy needs to find a comb or get a haircut, but I like his style. Without a doubt, he’s a chill dude – which usually translates well on the golf course. At the FBR Open, the Tour’s other party stop, he finished second. Don’t you think it’d only be fitting if he won this week? I do.

Danny Lee: I’m surprised that there’s been very little media coverage on the teen phenom this week. Sometimes it’s good to fly under the radar. He’s currently T-16 going into the final two rounds. I’m not saying he’s going to win, but at least he made the cut. He’s still young and inexperienced though – Can he hold it together?

Let’s see if any of these guys capture their first win. Can Mally maintain his lead throughout the weekend? I sure hope he crushes Rory “Easter Egg” Sabbatini. As always, I’m also rooting for Fred Couples and Mike Weir. I’d like to see Freddie win again on the PGA before he moves on to the Champions.

And Weirsy has been struggling lately, but apparently a recent whitewater rafting trip helped him chill out. I can see the headlines already: Weir chokes yet another weekend because every time he heard the word “stroke” mentioned he flashed back to being in a raft with an oar in his hands rather than a putter. Just a bad gut feeling.

So, what are your thoughts? Drop them below.