Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Fantasy Golf: The Travelers Preview

Man it's hard not to like this guy.
A more thorough treatment of the massacre at Merion will be coming later in the week* but, for now, let's take care of a little housekeeping as the Tour moves north to Cromwell, Connecticut sporting a pretty nice chunk of the U.S. Open field including the champ and two others who finished in the top five. We're going to leave Justin Rose on the sideline for this one under the theory that he probably wants to be on a plane as early as Friday afternoon with the trophy he's been carrying around New York City for the past couple of days and who would blame him if he goosed a couple of putts to miss the cut by a stroke?      

Let's go with two guys who tied for 5th last week (Hunter Mahan and Jason Dufner) along with the 2012 U.S. Open champ and a couple others with a decent track record at TPC River Highlands. For those who use these rankings to help pay the rent, (a) God help you and (b) please take note that if there is any reason to even consider Hunter Mahan (the 2007 winner of this tournament), he's probably going right to the top of the list for obvious reasons. The only way he would have been bumped this week is because I was such a big fan of Jason Dufner unleashing three years of repressed emotion by rinsing his wedge in the creek on the 4th hole last Friday.** 
Sometimes righting the ship is as simple
as putting Hunter Mahan at the top and
getting Kandi back into the equation.

The Travelers Top Five

1. Hunter Mahan
2. Jason Dufner
3. Webb Simpson
4. John Rollins
5. Padraig Harrington

Last Week's Report Card: C+

1. Graeme McDowell - M/C
2. Tiger Woods - T32nd
3. Steve Stricker - T8th
4. Brandt Snedeker - T17th
5. Henrik Stenson - T21st
6. Matt Kuchar - T28th
7. Peter Hanson - M/C
8. Phil Mickelson - T2nd
9. Adam Scott - T45th
10. Billy Horschel - T4th

I'm torn on where this grade should be. On the one hand, the guy at the top of my list missed the cut by five strokes which is, um, bad. On the other hand, in last week's U.S. Open Preview, I made a pretty compelling case for why you shouldn't pick Tiger and I was right. I also envisioned Tiger giving a post-round interview in which he would be giving a look that said, ""but mom . . . how was I supposed to know Billy Horschel was going to shoot 64?" and damn if Horschel didn't drop a second round 67 on top of what I'm sure Tiger thought was a very solid 70. One point I should make here is that I probably didn't have Rose in my top ten because I had already used him this year at the Arnold Palmer Invitational so he wasn't really on my radar. What can I say? I f-cked-up and I'm sorry. I'll do better next time.    

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Endnotes

* I've got some kind of timeline/movie themed hybrid working for the U.S. Open recap that is flailing around like an unattended fire hose at this point and it's not being helped by the fact that I spent Sunday watching four guys that I wagered on take turns gagging away the lead. There's a free "FGR" hat for the first person who can guess the movie theme (as soon as I finally get around to making the hats).  

** And if you think Dufner's display of emotion was out of line, go read someone else's website. Seriously go, your preoccupation with decorum is making me uncomfortable.