Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Fantasy Golf: The Honda Classic Preview

We're kicking-off the Florida swing in style with a field that features seven of the top ten players in the world along with Graeme McDowell, Charl Schwartzel and Keegan Bradley. It's the PGA Tour's best field of the year . . . IT'S THE BEST FIELD IN FABER HISTORY!!! (forgive me but there are going to be a few random Harold Ramis* related outbursts). With that being the case, we can only hope that we get a final leaderboard that looks a little less like 2013 (Michael Thompson - 1st and Geoff Ogilvy - 2nd) and a little more like 2012 (Rory McIlroy - 1st and Tiger Woods - 2nd). I saw enough good shots out of the likes of McIlroy, McDowell, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia and Charl Schwartzel at the Match Play to make me think at least a few of those guys will be in the mix this week. (Who knows what to expect from Tiger, Phil and Adam Scott as Tiger has only posted a tie for 80th, Phil has been mediocre at best and, for all we know, Scott may still be in Hawaii creating a new master race of Hawaiian Adam Scotts).

Another indicator that we could be headed for a highbrow weekend is that the last three winners are all in the top 25 meaning that Tim Finchem finally got the elite players in a room and impressed upon them that "this parity situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part" and Dustin Johnson responded that "we're just the guys to do it" which inspired Jason Day and Sergio Garcia to stand-up and say "let's do it" to which Tiger replied, "shut-up and sit down Sergio" as Phil Mickelson and a half in the bag Lee Westwood giggled in the corner.

But seriously, sports only thrive** when their stars are in the mix when it matters and we just had a weekend where we came precariously close to a George Coetzee-Victor Dubuisson final at the Match Play (though anyone who watched would have to admit that Victor Dubuisson is the most compelling French golfer since Jean van de Velde for the opposite reasons and is the Americans' newest Ryder Cup nightmare). We need three or four of the names below on the Honda Classic Sunday leaderboard throwing some haymakers at each other and I think that will happen with the guy standing at the end being the one who can handle the wind (it's going to be windy right? I mean, I was told there would be wind).

The Favorites
"And we invented democracy, existentialism,
mayonnaise and the Menage a Trois."

1. Tiger Woods - 9 to 1
2. Rory McIlroy - 9 to 1
3. Adam Scott - 18 to 1
4. Graeme McDowell - 20 to 1
5. Charl Schwartzel - 22 to 1
5. Phil Mickelson - 22 to 1
5. Sergio Garcia - 22 to 1

The FGR One and Done Picks

1. Graeme McDowell
2. Sergio Garcia
3. Rory McIlroy
4. Henrik Stenson
5. Hideki Matsuyama

I'm still a little bitter about Hunter Mahan's semi-gag against Graeme McDowell when he blew a two up lead with two to play and lost on the 21st hole. I honestly believe that if Mahan holds-on to win that match, he advances to at least the final against Jason Day. Then again, that belief and fifty cents will get me one really awful cup of coffee.*** Speaking of which, Jason Day was my third choice which put him just far enough down the list for me not to use him in either of my own leagues but apparently he was just high enough for about twenty other guys to go with him. And yes, I smugly assume that everyone who plays fantasy golf reads the Fantasy Golf Report. It's a limited topic with an equally limited audience. We're talking about what, a few dozen Wall Street guys and a couple hundred slugs living in their parents' basements which makes the FGR the ideal spot to advertise both Audis and medical marijuana.

So clearly I'm just good enough at these picks to screw myself. The good news is that I have nowhere to go but up. "Who could improve more than me? Talk about massive potential for growth . . . I am the little acorn that becomes the oak." And on that note, let's wrap it up with one of my favorite exchanges from the Harold Ramis**** catalog which seems appropriate at this stage of the season:

Sgt. Hulka: "Soldier, I've noticed that you're always last."

John Winger: "I'm pacing myself Sergeant."
I don't think Ramis gets enough
credit for the casting of Bedazzled.

Last Week's FGR Report Card: B

1. Hunter Mahan - T9th
2. Ian Poulter - T33rd
3. Jason Day - 1st
4. Ryan Moore - T17th
5. Rory McIlroy - T17th

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
WM Phoenix: Billy Horschel - M/C
Pebble Beach: Russell Knox - $46,860
Northern Trust: Dustin Johnson - $723,600
Match Play: Hunter Mahan - $148,000

Season Total: $1,686,198

Email the Fantasy Golf Report at fgr@fantasygolfreport.com and follow us on Twitter here.


* My feelings on the passing of Harold Ramis can be summed-up in the words of one of the greatest characters he ever created: "I think it sucks." - John Winger, Stripes. Is there a writer/actor combination that even approaches the accomplishments of Ramis and Bill Murray in Caddyshack, Stripes, Meatballs, Ghostbusters and Groundhog Day. If Ramis could have just avoided writing sequels, he would have had an almost perfect resume. To honor him, can we all just agree that Caddyshack II never happened? 

** The NFL is of course excluded from this requirement as it could literally run 24 hours of punters playing Pictionary and get higher ratings than the NHL playoffs. The sad part is that I would watch Punters Playing Pictionary, especially if it was hosted by Ray Lewis, Key and Peele.

Safe travels Russell Ziskey, you were one
of the all-time greats. Oh yeah, and one
more thing,  . . . son of beetch . . . shit.
*** "That and fifty cents will get you a cup of coffee" used to be an expression before Starbucks realized that people will buy more coffee if you just make it really expensive and throw a lot of Italian words around where you sell it so no one really knows what in the hell they're buying anyway.

**** One last piece of advice, "never hit anyone in anger . . . unless you're absolutely sure you can get away with it."

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Fantasy Golf: Match Play Update - Day 3

Thank you for trying sexy
cowgirl but I'm afraid that
I am beyond consoling.
Well if we stick to The Perfect Storm theme, the ship just went down with Hunter Mahan's overtime loss to Graeme McDowell after Mahan hit what would have been the winning eight foot putt on the 17th hole like he was afraid he was going to shatter the ball. This may just be a matter of my perception combined with greens that our obviously difficult to read, but man I've seen a lot of all or nothing putts that either lipped-out or broke away from the hole in the last few inches because they weren't hit firmly enough. With Mahan out and Matt Kuchar going down to Jordan Spieth, I no longer have a financial stake in this event so I hope you've enjoyed these updates while they lasted. It's now seventeen hours later and I can barely even muster the enthusiasm to search for some decor for this post but I'm going to do it anyway because, to paraphrase Judge Smails, I feel like I owwwwe it to you.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Fantasy Golf: Match Play Update - Day 2

The seas got a bit angrier for the FGR picks on Day 2 as only six of our picks made it to the sweet sixteen. If this were The Perfect Storm, we would have just lost our antennae and made a really bad decision about where to go look for more fish. However, we are not yet doomed as our winning pick, Hunter Mahan, earned a Friday tee time along with our projected winner of the Bobby Jones Bracket, Jason Day. So we still have a shot and, more importantly, Jason Dufner advanced as well meaning that the "Golf Gods Favor Players with Hot Wives" theory has yet to be disproved. I am treating this as a complete validation of the Fantasy Golf Report's mission (whatever that may beyond not making money for the writer).

Thanks to maybe the luckiest shot Ernie Els has ever hit in his life,* all of the #1 seeds are gone and CBS is now faced with a potential doomsday final four of George Coetzee, Jim Furyk, Jason Dufner and Victor Dubuisson.** If we get a Coetzee-Dubuisson final, we may be seeing the end of this tournament getting network coverage on the weekend. Unfortunately for CBS, Cinderella teams only work for March Madness and Victor Dubuisson ain't Florida Gulf Coast.***


Bring it home Kandi!!! The
integrity of the FGR's moral
compass is counting on you.
* If you didn't see it, imagine a skulled pitch shot by a 25 handicap that hits a mound to slow it down just enough to rip your heart out.

** Furyk is still a solid player but I firmly believe he was the inspiration for the DVR button that allows you to jump ahead 30 seconds. Through two rounds, he leads the field in opponents muttering "come on" under their breath.

*** And it's probably too late to re-target the advertising campaign for the middle aged French guy demographic. Not that you could even find enough American companies that make turtlenecks and cheese to fill all of the commercial spots.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Fantasy Golf: Match Play Update - Day 1

It was a bumpy first round for the Fantasy Golf Report but, despite only advancing 19 of 32 players to Day 2, we somehow managed to keep our final eight almost intact with Ian Poulter being the only casualty (and a major casualty he was for me personally - certainly did not see Ricky Fowler coming). If you were watching late in the day on Wednesday, then you know that this bracket could look a lot different if it weren't for some major hiccuping on the part of guys like Gary Woodland who was 3 up with 3 to play and lost to Graeme McDowell, Stephen Gallacher who barely got his 8 footer for the win on 18 to the hole and lost to Ernie Els with a sloppy bogey on the 19th and Kiradech Aphibarnrat who absolutely gave away his match against Henrik Stenson down the stretch when he putted like he was trying to do it while spelling his name backwards at a drunk driving checkpoint.*

Draw your own conclusions.
Now we move on to Day 2 where the star power has definitely been diminished by the untimely demise of guys like Poulter, Zach Johnson, Dustin Johnson and Keegan Bradley (along with Tiger, Phil and Adam Scott who watched ZJ get blitzed by Richard Sterne and felt a little better about their decisions not to attend). We still have some strong match-ups like Harris English v. Rory McIlroy, Sergio Garcia v. Bill Haas and my favorite, Billy Horschel v. Jason Day. With Day advancing along with Hunter Mahan and Jason Dufner, you'd almost think that the golf Gods were favoring certain players who have something in common.  


* Honorable mention in the season of giving department goes to Marc Leishman, Scott Stallings and David Lynn who all played their final holes like they'd just gotten messages from the clubhouse that said, "your wife has called three times and she sounds pissed."         

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Fantasy Golf: The Match Play Preview

When you look at the results of the Accenture Match Play Championship since it moved to its current home at the Golf Club at Dove Mountain, there are certain names that keep surfacing in the final four. Some, like Paul Casey and Geoff Ogilvy, you'd never consider picking this year (primarily because they didn't qualify for the field of 64). Others, like Luke Donald and Martin Kaymer, make you say "huh, maybe?" And then you have the firm of Poulter, Kuchar and Mahan who have owned this event over the last four years winning one each and combining for a total of seven top five finishes since 2010.

We've been a bit remiss with our
Olympic coverage so let's start
with a look at ice hockey.
Hunter Mahan and Matt Kuchar are always there because they have the kind of consistent games where they're not going to give away a match and their opponents are aware of that. If you've played match play, you know that it's very demoralizing to face a guy who simply refuses to give you a few holes. And if Mahan and Kuchar are players you don't want to see on your side of the bracket, then Ian Poulter is the player you have nightmares about seeing on your side of the bracket. Unlike the other two, Poulter will throw a few sloppy bogeys your way but, just when you think you have him on the ropes, he'll rip your heart out with five consecutive birdies.* And he'll do it with a prickly arrogance that will make you want to bury a sand wedge in his forehead.

So Mahan and Poulter are the plays this week because Kuch seems to be in a bit of a slump and I'm going to hang onto him for bigger things down the road. (Scroll down for the full FGR bracket . . . if you enlarge it, you might actually be able to read it). In light of the unpredictable nature of this event, I would be very reluctant to use Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson or another big gun but if you want to go heavy on the favorites, I ran another bracket for the Golf Channel game and you can see how that final four came out over in the right hand margin. My theory is this. If you use a guy like Poulter or Ryan Moore and he plays well . . . great. On the other hand, if he bombs-out in the first or second round, you're not going to cry over wasting either one of those guys (unless you're the kind of person who cries over such things in which case I might be the last person from whom you should be seeking advice . . . about anything).

Now let's swing over to Adler Arena
for an update on speed skating.
The Match Play Favorites

1. Rory McIlroy - 12 to 1
2. Dustin Johnson - 18 to 1
3. Henrik Stenson - 20 to 1
4. Jason Day - 20 to 1
5. Sergio Garcia - 22 to 1
6. Hunter Mahan - 25 to 1
7. Webb Simpson - 25 to 1
8. Bubba Watson - 25 to 1
9. Jordan Spieth - 25 to 1
10. Matt Kuchar - 25 to 1

The One and Done Picks

1. Hunter Mahan
2. Ian Poulter
3. Jason Day
4. Ryan Moore
5. Rory McIlroy

Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good and that was the case last week when the Dustin Johnson pick was a product of having already used Bill Haas. The result was a little credibility for the FGR predictions but, more importantly, it raised my total in the Golf Channel's fantasy game to $5,133,359 which is $14,959 more than Rex Hoggard who currently tops the "Expert" Leaderboard. I got your "expert" right here Golf Channel.

And finally, we take you out to Rosa Khutor 
Extreme Park for some freestyle skiing.**
Last Week's FGR Report Card: A-

1. Dustin Johnson - 2nd
2. Bill Haas - T23rd
3. Keegan Bradley - T20th
4. Graham DeLaet - T70th
5. Hunter Mahan - T52nd

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
WM Phoenix: Billy Horschel - M/C
Pebble Beach: Russell Knox - $46,860
Northern Trust: Dustin Johnson - $723,600

Season Total: $1,538,198

Email the Fantasy Golf Report at fgr@fantasygolfreport.com (I promise it will not subject you to any promotional emails because I don't have any real sponsors).


* This is not a case of Fantasy Golf Report hyperbole as in 2012, Poulter birdied the last five holes to win a Ryder Cup fourball match with Rory McIlroy against Jason Dufner and Zach Johnson. He went on to win all four matches he played as the Euros took the Cup by a point. (For the FGR's contemporaneous thoughts on that debacle, check-out The Ryder Cup Post Mortem). So for the record, you never get involved in a land war in Asia, you never play cards against a guy who has the same first name as a city and you never bet against Ian Poulter in match play.

** I want to point-out that these are actual photos of Russian Olympic athletes so you don't think I'm using random images for the sole purpose of driving traffic to my website. I take your opinion of me very seriously.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Fantasy Golf: The FGR Match Play Bracket

A more complete analysis of the Accenture Match Play Championship will follow tomorrow but let's kick-off one of the most entertaining weeks of the season with a little bracketology. Here's how we see it playing-out (my apologies for the rudimentary presentation . . . technology, like small talk, is not one of the FGR's strong suits):

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Fantasy Golf: The Northern Trust Preview

Time to head down the coast to Southern California where we get an all-star field playing on a major caliber course for the Northern Trust Open. But before we get to this week's picks, let's hand-out a few awards for the intentionally unintentional comedic* showcase that is the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am. We'll call these the Gansies in honor of the late Vegas comedian, Danny Gans, who embodied the never-ending schtick that is this event:

Most Annoyingly Overused Visual
"Would it be too much to ask for
you to at least take a shower first?"

We get it CBS. Pebble Beach is located on the ocean and it is breathtakingly beautiful . . . until you show-us the overhead shot of the 7th green 347 times in four days. For one half hour stretch on Sunday they were literally showing about one golf shot every two minutes between scenic images of the coastline and Jim Nantz shilling for the Monday primetime line-up. I swear if Phil Mickelson hadn't been in the vicinity of the leaderboard the whole broadcast would have devolved into a documentary on the mating patterns of Sea Lions (holy mackerel odor, pass the AXE body spray).

Most Stupid Question Asked of a Celebrity

From what I watched on Thursday and Friday, this could go to just about any question asked by the Golf Channel's Matt Gogel who is generally a solid on course commentator just about every other week. However, I don't think a network has handed a microphone to someone less qualified to interview celebrities since a soon to be fired television executive uttered the words, "hey, you know who would make a great talk show host . . . Magic Johnson!" 

Lack of experience is probably to blame for all of the long pauses between the moments when Gogel would finish not really asking a question and when the interviewees realized he was waiting for them to speak so instead let's focus on a couple of questions he asked CNBC's Joe Kernen and Fox News anchor Bret Baier. I'm paraphrasing here but during two one minute interviews when Kernen and Baier were between golf shots, Gogel asked Kernen "what's going on with the stock market?" and he asked Baier "what's happening in Washington?" Both looked at him like "really . . . how in the hell am I supposed to answer that in the next 20 seconds?" I'm glad Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson wasn't playing or Gogel would have hit him with "so tell me Neil, what's happening in space?"** 

Most Awkward Moment
"You talk kinda strange." 

This video of David Feherty interviewing Kid Rock (who just "found the bar") coming out of a rain delay kind of speaks for itself but if you don't feel like watching it, I can summarize it for you by saying that at about the 35 second mark, Rock pushes the microphone away from under his nose and says, "easy Larry King." Apparently he didn't get the memo that everyone is supposed to go along with Feherty's schtick. 

Most Awkward Moment II

I fast forwarded through most of Clint Eastwood's visits to the booth but the remote must have slipped out of my hand for the part where Jim Nantz asked him to tell the story of how he saved a guy from choking earlier in the week. Eastwood said that he initially thought the person was joking but then he detected "that look of panic in his eyes." At that point, the Earl of Overstatement, Sir Nick Faldo, jumped in and said, "I bet you know that look of panic from all those times you pointed a .44 Magnum at someone." The ensuing look in Eastwood's eyes said "don't ever interrupt me again Queen Elizabeth."  

Most Blatant Example of Ass Kissing

This one is almost impossible to judge because with all of the corporate royalty playing in the tournament, it was like a four day version of Danny Noonan trying to land the caddie scholarship from Judge Smails. (And when did we start getting more CEO's on TV for this thing than actors and country singers?) This award could just go to Ian Baker-Finch's tournament long love affair with the entire field of amateurs and his endless recitations of all the country clubs to which they belong (stay classy CBS).

But for this one I have to go back to Feherty who commented how impressed Dustin Johnson and Wayne Gretzky were with Kid Rock's golf game. This came 30 seconds after Rock topped a fairway wood and, oh by the way, Rock and his partner John Daly finished second to last with a score of +8 which means they were 34 shots behind the leaders after the third round cut. You don't have to keep trying so hard David. It's not that Kid Rock doesn't like you. It's just that he doesn't know who you are.

Parting Cheap Shot***  

I could go on but I shouldn't complain because at least we got to see a tournament played on one of the greatest courses in the world come down to the 72nd hole . . . oh wait, no we didn't because somehow CBS misjudged the finish line by about 90 minutes and switched coverage to the Golf Channel so anyone who DVR'd it saw 60 Minutes instead. Well at least they got to watch some quality interviews. I hear they had Wolfgang Puck on and Steve Kroft opened the interview with, "so Wolfgang, what's going on with food?"

Anyway, on to the Northern Trust Open. After last week's debacle, I'm bringing-out the big guns at Riviera CC to get this thing back on track. The field is loaded and I'd feel good about taking any of the favorites listed below but over the last three years, Bill Haas has finished 1st, 3rd and 12th and every year I regret not picking him. On the other hand, Dustin Johnson is playing well and finished 4th in this event in 2012 and 3rd in 2010. Then you have Jimmy Walker, Jordan Spieth, Hunter Mahan and Graham DeLaet who are all ripping-off high finishes every week. Screw-it. I'm going with DJ coming-off his 66 at Pebble on Sunday (because I already used Haas at the Farmers).
I had all of these great cowgirl on the beach shots cued-
up for Pebble and I forgot to use them so here you go.
The Northern Trust Favorites

1. Dustin Johnson - 14 to 1
2. Webb Simpson - 16 to 1
3. Jimmy Walker - 18 to 1
4. Jordan Spieth - 20 to 1
5. Graham DeLaet - 22 to 1
5. Matt Kuchar - 22 to 1
5. Hunter Mahan - 22 to 1

FGR One and Done Picks

1. Dustin Johnson
2. Bill Haas
3. Keegan Bradley
4. Graham DeLaet
5. Hunter Mahan

Well I was loud wrong last week when I said that we'd see a surprise winner and, in the words of the late great, Dr. Jake Houseman, "when I'm wrong, I say I'm wrong."**** Red hot Jimmy Walker held on for first with guys like Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Hunter Mahan and Graeme McDowell also finishing in the top ten. I think the lesson we learned is that, when you can almost smell the bourbon on the logic I use to back-up my picks, you may want to take a look at the choices I make for the PGA Tour and Golf Channel games because those are generally processed Monday morning before the clarity begins to wane.

Last Week's FGR Grade: D
. . . and because it's "two for Tuesday."

1. Russell Knox - T27th
2. Brendon Todd - T45th

3. Jason Kokrak - T19th
4. Matt Jones - T45th
5. Spencer Levin - M/C

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
WM Phoenix: Billy Horschel - M/C
Pebble Beach: Russell Knox - $46,860

Season Total: $814,598

Email the Fantasy Golf Report 
at fgr@fantasygolfreport.com 
and tweet to @fantasygolfrep.


* Unintentional comedy occurs when comedy arises from a situation that was not intended by the participants to be comical. This would include every attempted high five between a golfer and his caddie, every sideline shot of Jim Harbaugh and every Keanu Reeves performance since The Matrix (and many before that). For more on unintentional comedy, check-out this somewhat dated Bill Simmons piece. Intentional unintentional comedy occurs when comedy arises from a situation that was intended to be comical and succeeds but for reasons having more to do with unintentional comedy than the comedy that was actually intended. This would include every interview at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am, Rick Reilly's British Open reports and the Situation at the Donald Trump Roast.  

** I admit that I was doing a lot of dozing while watching so it may not have been Gogel who did those interviews and if that's the case, I apologize. I am, however, correct about Gogel's awkward interviewing style which made the Chris Farley Show look like Frost/Nixon.

Wait, I don't remember any
surfing scenes in G.I. Jane.
*** It should be noted that I love watching the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am and I recognize that the former pros carrying the microphones are probably under strict orders to fawn all over the bigwigs even when they want to shred their golf games and call some of them D-Bags. It's just that I am under strict orders to make fun of the way they do it. Everyone has a job to do. It's just business.

**** One day I will get around to compiling the full list of movies that are prerequisite viewing to fully appreciate the Fantasy Golf Report but it goes without saying that Dirty Dancing will be in the top 20 along with Wall Street, Good Will HuntingTop Gun, The Godfather and G.I. Jane.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Fantasy Golf: The Pebble Beach Preview

Here are three things I can guarantee about the 2014 AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am: (1) you will see Chris O'Donnell and wonder whatever happened to his movie career (see below),* (2) you will be introduced to a country singer who you have never heard of but the announcers will talk about him like he's Waylon F-ckin' Jennings, and (3) Peter Kostis and Bill Belichik will attempt light banter which will have the rhythm and flow of two blind porcupines screwing in the middle of an earthquake (I'd actually like to see that in slow motion on the Konica Minolta BizHub Swing Vision).

If history is any guide for the actual tournament, then there is a strong chance that it will be won by a top player who has won it before in the spirit of Mark O'Meara (5), Phil Mickelson (4), Sam Snead (4), Johnny Miller (3) and Jack Nicklaus (3). If you think it's going to play-out that way this year, then you need to take a hard look at Mickelson, Dustin Johnson (2) and last year's winner, Brandt Snedeker. The other possibility based on historical precedent is that it will be won by some random schlub** like D.A. Points (2011), Steve Lowery (2008), Aaron Oberholser (2006) or Matt Gogel (2002). Considering our last two winners were Snedeker and Mickelson, I'm going all-in on the theory that we're due for a first-timer this year which will open-up all kinds of air-time for celebrity shenanigans from the likes of Chris Berman and Ray Romano. (Apparently George Lopez's schtick finally made so many members of the CBS production crew wince that they decided not to invite him back. Gracias a Dios!)

Before you scoff at the picks below, note that Russel Knox, Brendon Todd and Jason Kokrak are all ranked in the top 20 in scoring this year while Matt Jones and Spencer Levin have been playing solid golf and both of them have have at least one previous top ten at Pebble (Levin has two). If you're not saving any of the favorites for later, I'd go with Hunter Mahan followed by Dustin Johnson and then Jason Day. Keep in mind that D.J. plays with his future father in-law and last year that yielded a missed cut which I'm sure did not sit well with the Great One. They're back for more this year so your decision on D.J. needs to be based on whether you think he's going to rise to the occasion or pull a Gaylord Focker. Good luck with that one because I have no idea.

If your season needs a pick me up and
you want to go with Paulina Gretzky's
fiancee, beware of the Great One factor.
The Pebble Beach Favorites

1. Jason Day - 11 to 1
2. Dustin Johnson - 12 to 1
3. Phil Mickelson - 14 to 1
4. Hunter Mahan - 16 to 1
5. Jordan Spieth - 18 to 1

The FGR One and Done Picks

1. Russell Knox
2. Brendon Todd
3. Jason Kokrak
4. Matt Jones
5. Spencer Levin

Last weekend pretty much summed-up my fantasy golf season to date. I was clearly on the right track at the Waste Management Phoenix Open with Bubba Watson and Graham DeLaet but I had somehow gotten it into my head that Billy Horschel was going to be the man so he ended-up on the top of my list.*** Then he doubled the 18th hole on Friday to miss the cut by two shots. So good for you if you look to the Fantasy Golf Report for guidance each week but also recognize that I'm in a rut that has my number two and three picks outperforming my number one guy. If you've been playing my picks that way, you're welcome. If not, I'm sorry.

Meanwhile, half way around the world in Southwest Asia, I was nailing my somewhat meaningless Golf Channel picks for the Omega Dubai Desert Classic thanks to Stephen Gallacher (1st), Robert Rock (T5th), Rory McIlroy (T9th) and Hennie Otto (T37th). That combination made me 19th out of 28,136 for the tournament and bumped my season total to $2,846,313 which would put me in 4th place on the Golf Channel's Expert Leaderboard (if they actually let me play) behind only Holly Sonders, Whit Watson and Ryan Lavner. So one of my goals this week is to get past Watson and Lavner so that I'm only staring-up at Sonders.****

Last Week's FGR Grade: B+
Pictures of Watson and Lavner
were mysteriously unavailable.

1. Billy Horschel - M/C
2. Graham DeLaet - T2nd
3. Bubba Watson - T2nd
4. Charley Hoffman - T61st
5. Brendan Steele - T6th

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
WM Phoenix: Billy Horschel - M/C

Season Total: $767,738

Email the Fantasy Golf Report - fgr@fantasygolfreport.com


* The answer is The Bachelor which received a smooth 9% on Rotten Tomatoes with my favorite one sentence review coming from Filmcritic.com's Bradley Null: "You deserve better than this."

** No offense but Lowery and Gogel used to look like a couple of guys you might see playing the local par 3 course in full-length socks and Hawaiian shirts. (Can you preface a follow-up insult with "no offense"?) 

*** I in fact know exactly how I got that idea in my head. I was watching the third round of the Farmers Insurance Open the week before and I saw Horschel stick a wedge on 18 and make birdie and then on Sunday it was noted by one of the announcers that he had made eagle on the same hole. Forget the fact that he finished tied for 23rd. The image of that one shot on Saturday combined with just hearing about his eagle on Sunday convinced me that he was going to at least finish top three the following week. You'll be relieved to know that I don't plan to use the "One Highlight from Saturday" system any more this year.

**** Nothing like writing the District Attorney's opening statement for your own stalking trial.