Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Fantasy Golf: The U.S. Open Wrap-Up

The U.S. Open wrap-up is going to be a bit brief because, between you and me, I didn't watch the final round past the 9th hole. What can I say? It was a beautiful day, I was hanging with my kids and it was pretty obvious how the back nine was going to play-out. I did record it with the intention of speed watching it later but by 8:30 the basketball game was on so I asked my son to check my phone and tell me whether anyone finished within three strokes of Martin Kaymer. I figured three strokes would at least make it worth a cursory look at halftime but he took a glance at the leaderboard and said "nope . . . he won by eight" and that was that.

Poor golf just can't get out of its own way these days. Pinehurst No. 2 looked spectacular on TV and was ready for survival of the fittest on Sunday but someone dropped a pirahna into the exotic fish tank. Take a look at the list of players who would have finished within three shots of the lead if that sandbagging son of bitch Kaymer hadn't shown-up: Rickie Fowler and Erik Compton at -1 . . . Keegan Bradley, Jason Day, Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson and Henrik Stenson at +1 . . . Adam Scott, Jimmy Walker and Brandt Snedeker at +2. Considering that those are all "A" list players other than Compton who has had not one but two heart transplants and Koepka who would have played Cinderella, and that would have made for the kind of epic Sunday that golf so desperately needs in the wake of Tiger's absence and Phil's swoon. But just like the Spieth/Watson duel we were supposed to get at Augusta, it was not meant to be.

And before we move on, a few words to the golf purists who are bitching all over talk radio and the internet about how we wouldn't have called that tournament boring if it had been Tiger Woods giving the field an eight shot wedgie. You're right and shut up. Tiger is arguably the most iconic and dominant athlete of all-time. If he's not, then he's certainly in the top five with Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky and whomever you want to put in the other two spots (because we're not having that discussion today).* So yeah, we do stop and take notice when he's at the top of his game because his best is the best there ever was. Martin Kaymer played phenomenally well at Pinehurst and he is showing signs that he could win two or three more majors which would make him a historically significant player like Ernie Els and Raymond Floyd but today he's just a guy with one less major than Padraig Harrington so spare me the outrage.

While the tour was pulling-down TV ratings that would have made the WNBA cringe,** the FGR was actually having a pretty good week. Maybe we're the Rickie Fowler of fantasy golf websites in that we only play well on tough courses and we're charming. Our top pick, Jason Day, was solid throughout and wound-up tied for 4th thanks to a final round 68. We also had Kaymer ranked 6th and went so far as to say "[t]hen you have guys like Martin Kaymer and Graham DeLaet who currently rank 4th and 5th in total driving (I like them both this week . . .). Of course DeLaet missed the cut but what do you want from me? Blood? The way my season's going, I'm surprised I didn't have ball swapping Hunter Mahan and Jamie Donaldson in my top ten. (That sounds a bit suggestive so allow me to clarify that they hit each other's balls on Friday . . . I mean they got their balls mixed-up . . . you know what I mean).

This week's Fantasy Golf Report 2014 summer
movie preview features Deliver Us From Evil
starring FGR favorite Olivia Munn and . . . 
Last Week's FGR Report Card: B+

1. Jason Day - T4th
2. Matt Kuchar - T12th
3. Jim Furyk - T12th
4. Sergio Garcia - T35th
5. Rory McIlroy - T23rd
6. Martin Kaymer - 1st
7. Adam Scott - T9th
8. Graham DeLaet - M/C
9. Bubba Watson - M/C
10. Victor Dubuisson - T28th

The Second Half Momentum 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
. . . um, Olivia Munn.
Northern Trust: Dustin Johnson - $723,600
Match Play: Hunter Mahan - $148,000
Honda Classic: Graeme McDowell - $15,600
WGC-Cadillac: Rory McIlroy - $76,000
Valspar: Harris English - $23,940
Palmer: Justin Rose - M/C
Texas Open: Kevin Chappell - M/C
Houston Open: Keegan Bradley - $18,374
Masters: Matt Kuchar - $342,000
Heritage: Jim Furyk - $187,050
Zurich: Graham DeLaet - $44,200
Wells Fargo: Webb Simpson - $28,980
The Players: Adam Scott - $38,000
Byron Nelson: Jason Dufner - $17,327
Colonial: Zach Johnson - $12,416
Memorial: Charl Schwartzel - $167,400
FedEx St. Jude: Lee Westwood - M/C
U.S. Open: Jason Day - $326,310

Season Total: $2,983,795

Footnote

* Everyone has a different formula for the greatest athlete of all-time but mine is a combination of individual greatness, titles, breathtaking athleticism and someone who would impress your kids if you told them that you got to see him/her play live. Unfortunately, Bo Jackson never won anything as a pro and his career was cut short by injury because, from a breathtaking athleticism standpoint, he would be a runaway number one. The rest of my top five would include PelĂ© and either Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal. Sorry but boxers, baseball players and swimmers just don't do it for me from a "breathtaking athleticism" standpoint but, like I said, we're not having this discussion today. 

** The overnight rating for the final round was a 3.3 - down 46 percent from Justin Rose's win last year. That's not much better than the 2.8 for the final round of the WGC-Cadillac Championship where Tiger finished tied for 25th (the last time he played four rounds). It goes back to one of my favorite polls ever in which it was revealed that the majority of viewers would prefer coverage of Tiger leaning on his putter over that of any other playing actually hitting a shot. Sad? Yes. But also true.  

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