CHARLOTTE — Look, we love Ian Baker-Finch. He's lively, cheery and bright in a world full of pessimistic commentators. That said, the 1991 Open champ caught us off guard this week when dropping this knowledge: All of 2017's major winners -- Sergio Garcia, Jordan Spieth, Brooks Koepka -- have six letters in both their first and last name.
That's why they pay him the big bucks, my friends.
Now, some of you nerds will mention driving accuracy or strokes gained is a better harbinger of success, but greater cosmic forces are clearly in play. Assuming this trend continues at Quail Hollow on Sunday, here are the candidates that fit this bill:
Sure, he's nine shots back. But did you know both "Brooks" and "Koepka" have six letters? Well, I hope so, given we mentioned him above.
Like Koepka, likely too far back, six shots behind Kevin Kisner starting his final round at the PGA Championship. But you know who also surmounted an epic comeback? The Boston Red Sox, a team -- when separating city from nickname -- that also falls in the six-letter style. Coincidence? Yeah, probably.
The Canadian stormed into contention with a six-under run in four holes Saturday, which included back-to-back near aces. DeLaet's never finished better than 15th in a major, or even boast a PGA Tour win for that matter, but if he does capture the Wanamaker Trophy, it will also be his sixth top 10 of the year. And yes, we are definitely stretching to find "six" parallels.
The math checks out: Three wins on the season, T-4 this week in strokes gained, playing in the penultimate group and looking to avenge his disastrous Sunday showing at Erin Hills.
Best of all for Thomas? The players in front of him -- Kisner, Chris Stourd, Hideki Matsuyama -- don't have six letters in both their names. A lock of the century if there ever was one.