Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Fantasy Golf: The Waste Management Preview

Let's start this week with a few of points about Tiger's MDF* at the Farmers Insurance Open: (1) I told you not to pick him so if you went against my advice and did it anyway, here's a little something for you . . . hit it Nelson; (2) Tiger hit plenty of bumps like this last year with a first round loss at the Matchplay, a tie for 65th at the Memorial, a tie for 65th at the Deutsche Bank and lousy performances at the U.S. Open and PGA Championship; (3) Tiger won five times in 2013 against top-flight competition; and (4) Tiger has not had a top ten finish in a real tournament since The Barclays in August. What does all of this mean? It means that golf is really f-cking hard that's what it means. I still think Tiger is going to win the Masters and if I ever get around to finishing Part 3 of the Fantasy Golf Report's 2014 Season Preview, I'll prove it to you. Until then, let's look ahead to this week's favorites and picks.  

Uh oh. That doesn't look good.
We're off to the desert for the rollicking good time that is always the Waste Management Phoenix Open.** TPC Scottsdale traditionally favors guys who can bomb the ball and make lots of birdies. (How's that for some good old-fashioned frontier fantasy golf gibberish?) Phil Mickelson has won this thing three times including last year but he's looking a bit like bored and achy Phil right now so let's give him a couple months to regain some interest while we look elsewhere for our 2014 champion.

I'm going with a player out of the Kyle Stanley mode from two years ago - coming in playing well, crushes the ball off the tee and can throw a 62 on the board when he's hot. Billy Horschel gets the slight nod over Graham DeLaet only because the Canadian has not played this course well in the past . . . probably because it's in the middle of a desert and he was born in Saskatchewan and now lives in Boise (which must feel like Cancun to him). Oh yeah, watch-out for Brendan Steele who finished tied for 6th here in 2013 and tied for 5th in 2012. Based on that trend, this year he should finish tied for um . . . give me a second . . . oh screw it. I never was any good at geometry.  

If you don't think I've already started Googling
"Cowgirl on the Beach" for Pebble next week, then I'm
afraid that you just don't know who I am anymore.
The Favorites

1. Phil Mickelson - 12 to 1
2. Webb Simpson - 18-1
3. Keegan Bradley - 25 to 1
4. Ryan Moore - 28 to 1
4. Hunter Mahan - 28 to 1
4. Bubba Watson - 28 to 1
4. Harris English - 28 to 1

FGR One and Done Picks

1. Billy Horschel
2. Graham DeLaet
3. Bubba Watson
4. Charley Hoffman
5. Brendan Steele

At least Bill Haas made the cut on the number last week which is more than I can say for my No. 2 pick Mr. Snedeker who is putting-up early campaign posters for being the bust of 2014. Consider that in the last four years his finishes at Torrey Pines were 2nd, 1st, 9th and 2nd and last week he missed the cut by five shots. I know it's early but every year there are a couple of players who crash-out of the top 20 like Bubba and Rory did in 2013. It certainly doesn't help that Snedeker is more injury prone than Derrick Rose while playing a sport that involves significantly less leaping. Unless of course you're Snedeker who injured his knee when he lost control of a Segway scooter and had to jump-off during a corporate outing in Shanghai back in November. (OK two things: (1) I did not make that up, and (2) I spent an hour trying to come up with a joke that didn't involve a certain stereotype about bad drivers and I couldn't so let's just move on before the FGR gets noticed for all the wrong reasons).

Last Week's FGR Grade: C+
I love what the artist has done
with the use of sepia here.***


1. Bill Haas - T43rd
2. Brandt Snedeker - M/C
3. Graham DeLaet - T2nd
4. Jordan Spieth - T19th
5. Brendon Todd - T37th

The FGR PUD Report

Hyundai: Gary Woodland - $130,000
Sony: Chris Kirk - $604,800
Humana: Charles Howell, III - $12,198

Farmers: Bill Haas - $20,740

Season Total - $767,738

Email the Fantasy Golf Report at fgr@fantasygolfreport.com.

Footnotes

* "MDF" stands for both "Made Cut but Did Not Finish" and, in the case of Tiger who hit six fairways on Saturday, "My Driver is F-cked."   

** Attendance at the 2013 event was 525,821 or roughly the same number of people who attended one of the coolest concerts in the history of music anytime anywhere when Simon & Garfunkel performed in Central Park. If I could go back in time and find my way to a good seat for any show in history, that would certainly be in the top five along with The Last Waltz featuring The Band and numerous others such as Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Eric Clapton and Van Morrison at The Winterland Ballroom in 1976. I would highly recommend spending a little time watching both concerts on Youtube but here are a couple of my personal favorites with The Boxer by Simon and Garfunkel and Van Morrison performing Caravan with The Band (do you get the impression that Van doesn't want to leave the stage? "JUST A ONE MORE TIME . . . . JUST A ONE MORE TIME!!!"). Boy, that footnote escalated quickly.     

*** I have no idea what in the hell I'm talking about.