Thursday, August 30, 2012

The FedEx Cup Preview

It wouldn't be a true FGR preview edition unless I went all 10th grade book report and turned it in a week late. I was pretty confident that I would at least have it out by the middle of the Barclays but my first fantasy football draft of the season kind of got away from me last Thursday night and then I spent all weekend in the middle of the Pennsylvania mountains coaching soccer.* I can assure you that if Leo Tolstoy wrote War and Peace while coaching his daughter Sophia's little league luge team, it would have been 200 pages tops. To maintain some integrity, I'm going to stick with my original picks as evidenced by the fact that I have Andres Romero going to the Tour Championship (his season ended when he missed the cut last Friday so I'm off to a fast start).

I just went back and looked at the preview I did for the FedEx Cup playoffs last year.** It was a three part series and I hope you enjoyed and appreciated the in-depth nature of the reporting because I must have been hopped-up on Alex P. Keaton happy pills when I wrote it. This year's preview is going to be more of a stream of consciousness and will be based on a few more hunches (kind of like that 10th grade book report - "and then all of the kids in Lord of the Flies were rescued and everyone lived happily ever after").  Let's start cranking-out some verbiage*** and see where this leads us.

The Preview

"There's obviously something
wrong with him. He's taken off
his shoes and one of his socks."
History tells us that about six players who start the playoffs in the top 30 won't make it to the Tour Championship. A few guys from just outside will creep in with solid play and then you'll have your Chez Reavie/Heath Slocum party crasher who comes out of nowhere with a win or a second place finish and scores a golden ticket to East Lake. Let's take a look at the current top 30 and see who's most likely not to have a shot at the $10,000,000 payday. The top 7-8 guys are pretty safe unless they have a complete Richie Tenenbaum meltdown (and the way Hunter Mahan has been playing lately, I'm not ruling that out). I see these six guys taking a slide.

Six Out:

30. Mark Wilson - He's been struggling since his 3rd place finish at the Match Play with six missed cuts and only one finish higher than 45th. Not to mention, he's on the fantasy roster of the team I'm trying to catch so I need him gone.

29. Ben Curtis - His tie for 11th at the PGA followed three missed cuts, a tie for 34th and a tie for 56th. He'll hang around before slipping back to somewhere between 31-40 and then disappear for another three years.

22. Kyle Stanley - Remember back when Stanley blew the Farmers and then came back to win in Phoenix and we all had him figured for greatness (at least I did)? Well that was in February and since then he's missed eight cuts. I guess hitting a 7-iron 220 yards ain't all it's cracked-up to be.****

"Yeah I got room for two more."
20. Johnson Wagner - Another early bloomer who hasn't made any noise since a tie for 4th at the Arnold Palmer in March. Unless you count the noise coming from the new power boat he bought with his winnings called Moustache Rides.

15. Scott Piercy - Here's a guy who's actually been playing great but someone has to go and it might as well be the guy that I had the foresight to draft in two leagues and then prematurely drop (I'm not bitter).

14. Phil Mickelson - Not winning the Masters really took the wind out of Phil's sails as he still thinks he was wronged by that grandstand that deflected his ball the wrong way. Since withdrawing from the Memorial in early June, he's gone T65, cut, cut, T43 and T36. At least he's trending-up but this doesn't feel like his year. I just hope he finds his mojo before the Ryder Cup or he's going to ruin the mornings of a couple alternate shot partners.

. . . . and here are the six that will take their spots:

32. Adam Scott - The choke at the Open clouds the fact that he's had a solid year including top 15 finishes at all of the majors. Not to mention, if he doesn't get his act together and start pulling down some fat checks, Stevie Williams is going to can him.

33. Sergio Garcia - He's coming off a win at the Wyndham and is usually solid in the playoffs. I've almost come full circle on Sergio and reached a point where I think he's tortured himself enough so that I'm starting to like him. I hope he rectifies that by making the Ryder Cup team and annoying the crap out of me for 72 straight hours.

"Hey . . . I'm 12 and
three quarters."
35. Bud Cauley - We'll ignore the missed cut at the PGA and focus on the 4th, T4th and 3rd he posted in his other three most recent tournaments and the fact that it would be cool seeing a 12 year old in the Tour Championship.

51. Lee Westwood - He's been struggling since his tie for 10th at the U.S. Open but he's still one of the ten best players in the world. I'm going to treat his lost ball in the tree as a sign that the game owes him one.

54. Tim Clark - He's healthy and trending-up coming of a T15th, T11th and a 2nd at the Wyndham and beware the roaming gnome when he's healthy because he will mess you up with his wedge game.

93. Andres Romero - I have to take a longshot and Romero has the game to pull-off the top 3 finish in one of the tournaments that it will take to make the 60+ spot leap. (The operative word there was "tournaments" (plural) which did not happen because he missed the cut last week).

And here is how I see it all shaking-out when the last putt drops in Atlanta.

The Final 30

1. Bubba Watson
2. Dustin Johnson
According to her website, Blair O'Neal
is a golfer and a model. We'll take
her word on the golfer part.
3. Jason Duffner
4. Rory McIlroy
5. Sergio Garcia
6. Luke Donald
7. Zach Johnson
8. Lee Westwood
9. Matt Kuchar
10. Adam Scott
11. Steve Stricker
12. Tim Clark
13. Webb Simpson
14. Tiger Woods
15. Bo Van Pelt
16. Carl Pettersson
17. Keegan Bradley
18. Brandt Snedeker
19. Justin Rose
20. Ernie Els
21. Bill Haas
22. Graeme McDowell
23. Jim Furyk
24. Marc Leishman
25. Bud Cauley
26. Rickie Fowler
27. Andres Romero
28. John Huh
29. Hunter Mahan
30. Robert Garrigus

So that's it. No big wrap-up paragraph this week. We hit all of the major FGR talking points - bold predictions, moustache rides and hot chicks. Have a great holiday weekend and look for the 2012 Fantasy Football Preview sometime late next week.

Endnotes

* And by "coaching soccer" I mean yelling at 8 year old kids to "STOP KICKING IT IN FRONT OF OUR GOAL!" and "STOP STEALING THE BALL FROM YOUR TEAMMATE!"

** Here is the link to Part I - The Playoff Preview: Part I. You can find the rest from there.

*** I'm not sure what the real definition of "verbiage" is but I like to think of it as a fancy word that people use to describe fancy words as in, "here's my draft of the letter . . . please add some verbiage to make it sound more official."

**** Yes, I'm just jealous.