On Tap this Week: 1/17/13

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy

Tiger and Rory love tea.

This week you get two big tournaments. The PGA Tour will be in California, while the Euro Tour will head to Abu Dhabi with Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy in tow. Let’s take a look at this week’s action.

Tournament: Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship
Location: Abu Dhabi Golf Club, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Dates: 1/17/13 – 1/20/13

Yes, I know, this is America and we tend to care about ‘Merican things, but this is the marquee tournament of the week. This also marks the first time we will get to see Rory rocking the Swoosh. Will the equipment change affect his play? Probably not. The guy is the best player in the world for a reason. Randomly (not randomly) paired with Rors will be….Tiger Woods! The two BFFs will hit the course at 7:40 am local time, which means 10:40pm here on the East Coast. That’s right folks, late Wednesday night golf! Feel the excitement.

The main storyline for this tournament is obviously these guys. They are both making their 2013 debut and by all accounts, they are both looking in midseason form on the range. But as they will both tell you, no one can win a tournament on the range. My story to watch here is Tiger. Do you think Eldrick really likes the fact that Nike appears to be replacing him as the face of golf? If I know Tiger like I think I do (note: I don’t), the answer to that question would be, HELL NO! Tiger is a head case, but we do know that he doesn’t like when people doubt him. Ask Stephen Ames how that worked out. Could this motivation be what Tiger needs to get in the winner circle? Or will we see the Tiger that struggled against Robert Rock last year? My guess is Tiger won’t win and it’s because he’s not into this tournament. The fact is, he got PAID just to show up. Tiger has one tournament on his mind, and it is played in Augusta, Georgia. I think Rory wins running away this week to start what will be an epic season for the 23 year old.

On Tap Recommendation: They don’t drink in Abu Dhabi, do they? I’m too lazy to look that up, but I am going to believe that until someone proves me wrong. You’ll probably be asleep when this tournament is on anyway. Unless you’re a degenerate drinker (note: there is nothing wrong with that), you probably won’t be having a cocktail during this tournament. But if you must, do something classy to fit in with all the rich oil barons that are in attendance in Abu Dhabi. Johnnie Walker or better.

Tournament: Humana Challenge
Location: PGA West and La Quinta CC, La Quinta, California
Dates: 1/17/13 – 1/20/13

Back here in the US of A, there is a PGA tournament going on. And while this one may not have the luster of its Middle Eastern counterpart, this one at least takes place at a reasonable hour. Tap In Golf needs its beauty sleep. This tournament will have Phil Mickelson and some of the other top pros on the PGA Tour. Last year, the world’s least interesting man, Mark Wilson took home the hardware. Will he make it back to back? Did he get bacon AND sausage at the breakfast buffet? Does he have a pulse? These are questions that keep me up at night.

Last week, Russell Henley won in Hawaii with a ridiculous 24-under par performance. We should see plenty of birdies this week as well. Who will have the most? I have no idea. Truth is, these early tournaments are such a crap shoot. I’ll go with last year’s FedEx Cup champ, Brandt Snedeker. Why? Uh, I don’t know. He’s good at golf and stuff.

On Tap Recommendation: La Quinta sounds like it has a little Latin American flair, so I’ll go with a margarita here. I won’t tell anyone if you skip the mix all together and just slug shots of tequila and pass out under the table.