Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Fantasy Golf: The Bridgestone Preview

Let me start by laying-out my approach for this week so you can make an educated decision as to whether you want to follow my advice: (1) my 2014 fantasy golf season has pretty much gone the way of Val Kilmer's career after Heat, (2) I have nothing left to lose, and (3) I haven't used Tiger yet. It's basically the equivalent of Taylor Kitsch and his new Japanese friend dragging the U.S.S. Missouri out of retirement to save the world in Battleship (and we thought Peter Berg had maxed-out his unreality scale by having smoking hot Connie Britton play the wife of an itinerant high school football coach).

The one thing we know about Firestone CC where the Bridgstone is played every year is that certain guys play it really well on a regular basis and one of the things we know about golf is that, when your game is looking a little ragged, sometimes the best medicine is to return to a course where you feel all warm and fuzzy. (This is where I subtly note that I had five birdies at Kinloch Golf Club* in Richmond, Virginia last week and was -3 walking off the 15th green before finishing . . . but I digress). Tiger has played this tournament fourteen times on this course. He has won EIGHT of them (including last year), finished second once and fourth twice.  That means his winning percentage is .571 and his top five percentage is .786. I'll take those odds (said the dead man walking).

If you're not on board with my Tiger pick and/or you're not as desperate as I am, there are plenty of other players with great track records at Firestone including Keegan Bradley (won in 2012, T2nd in 2013), Jim Furyk (nine top 10's in fourteen starts), Jason Dufner (7th in 2012 and T4th in 2013) or you could just go with the best golfer in the world right now (no, not Adam Scott . . . get those ridiculous World Golf Rankings out of here). I could easily see Rory McIlroy tear-off three wins from now through the Tour Championship, he's got three top 10's in five starts at the Bridgestone and I already wasted him at Doral. Sounds like a winning formula to me.  

The Bridgestone Favorites
Mid-major college coach's wife at worst.
Texas high school football . . . no way.

1. Rory McIlroy - 13 to 2
2. Adam Scott - 11 to 1
3. Tiger Woods - 12 to 1
4. Justin Rose - 18 to 1
5. Jim Furyk - 20 to 1
6. Keegan Bradley - 22 to 1
7. Rickie Fowler - 22 to 1
8. Henrik Stenson - 22 to 1
9. Sergio Garcia - 25 to 1
10. Matt Kuchar - 28 to 1

The FGR's One and Done Picks

1. Tiger Woods
2. Rory McIlroy
3. Adam Scott
4. Rickie Fowler
5. Steve Stricker
6. Jim Furyk
7. Jordan Spieth
8. Jason Dufner
9. Justin Rose
10. Henrik Stenson

Another week, another calamitous first round pick as the Golden Mullet (why didn't someone tell me he cut his air?) whiffed on the cut by a stroke . . . only his second missed cut of the year I might add. At least if you read between the lines in last week's preview, you would have known that I only went with Hoffman over Furyk because I had to. The bottom line, however is that Hoffman was my sixth missed cut this year. You almost have to be trying to accomplish the level of futility. Almost.  

Last Week's Report Card: C-
Nice try but that picture is not helping my mood . . .

1. Charley Hoffman - M/C
2. Jim Furyk - 2nd
3. Charl Schwartzel - T43rd
4. Hunter Mahan - M/C
5. Russell Knox - T29th

The Damage 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
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
. . . but that one is.**

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
Travelers: Bubba Watson - $32,296
Quicken Loans: Brendon Todd - $237,250
Greenbrier: Jimmy Walker - M/C
John Deere: Steve Stricker - $112,800
British Open: Henrik Stenson - $36,253
Canadian Open: Charley Hoffman - M/C

Season Total: $3,402,694

Footnotes

* Going to Kinloch is what I will from now on call a "JSY" experience as in, if someone asks you to play there, just say yes and then figure-out the rest later. At this point, there is a long list of family functions I would blow-off just to drive down for the steak sandwich.    

** I received a specific request for Lucy Pinder this weekend. As always, send your requests along with your comments, questions and recipes to the Fantasy Golf Report at fgr@fantasygolfreport.com.