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.

Footnotes

* 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."