The 54-hole Golden State Tour contest, with a field of 80, starts Tuesday and finishes Thursday.
OK, so what do you know about the Mackenzie Q School Prep, an event on the Golden State Tour? Thought so. Which means you know about as much as I do. Or most anyone else, for that matter. But this is all you need to know: It’s something on a mini tour that for whatever reason is still being played out in Arizona. The 54-hole event, which has a field of 80, starts Tuesday morning.
And Parx has posted odds on it. What that means I’m not entirely sure. One of the few people whose name I’d even heard of was (+20000), the 1996 British Open champion, who is 61 years old. But he lives out there. And, like the rest of us, what else would he be doing instead? Anyway, you could always put something real small on him and hope that he makes some kind of history. Because who really knows anything for sure these days?
I realize that in this unique global event we are all living through, there’s not very much to wager on. And some folks need that, like I need a lot of Diet Coke and "Columbo" reruns (I can’t find any "Rockford Files" on anymore. Damn). My advice might be if you’re just looking to maybe have some fun with it, go through and pick out maybe three, four or five guys and put something on them. But take guys at relatively enticing odds, to make it worth your while since you really don’t know much about most of these people.
I did some research, but admittedly there wasn’t much out there to go on. Not surprisingly. Usually I stay away from the chalk as much as possible, but from what I read the two blokes who might be the legitimate favorites are Steven Alker, at 8-1, and Patrick Fishburn, at 9-1. The only other one under 14-1 is Zachary Wright, also at 8-1. How they came up with those numbers I don’t know, but the last time I looked casinos usually know what they’re doing.
This is like a step down in class for Fishburn, if you want to equate that to horse racing. He’s had a fourth recently on the Korn Ferry Tour, which is the triple-A minors for the PGA Tour. Of course he’s also had a 69th place finish and a missed cut. But the competition this week is not nearly as stout. He’s described as a late bloomer who was a good athlete in other sports from Utah. So he doesn’t have too far to go to get there, relatively speaking. He’s been a pro for two years, but had a win in 2019 and a nice amateur win in his home state in ’17. He’s 27, stands 6-4 and supposedly has a power game that should fit well on the Wigwam Gold Course near Phoenix. Which, by the way, I think I played once upon a time. But I digress. Trying to make sense of any of this is pure educated speculation at best.
Then there’s Alker, a New Zealander who also calls Arizona home. He’s almost 50, but he’s had a lot of success during his career in Australia, Canada and the Web.com Tour, which was what Korn Ferry was called before.
Sounds like a plan. But please tread cautiously. Unless of course you’re so jonesing for something to root for. Then by all means go as nuts as you want. But those are the two guys I would back, if I was going to take a dip in the pool.
Just for kicks, I’ll give you five names from the rest of the participants that you could put a couple of bucks on and hope. Like you do in an NCAA or Super Bowl pool. Nothing wrong with that.
Needless to say, I would put at least a buck or two on Lehman. Now here’s the rest of my totally at random six pack (and please don’t ask why): Andrew Funk at 50-1 (because I actually have a Villanova email buddy of the same name. Can’t make that up), Caleb Ramirez also at 50, John Sand at 66, Blake Cannon at 25 and Brady Calkins at 33. Let’s hope I chose wisely.
So have at it, if you must. Who knows? Maybe you’ll cash and you’ll be hooked. At least until the real thing is back. May the force be with you.