Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Fantasy Golf: The Wyndham Preview

We need to take a breather after last Sunday and hopefully carve-out a little time to write about something other than straight-up golf forecasts so this week's preview is purely by the numbers. But I would be remiss if I didn't say something about what we were treated to over the last 36 holes at Valhalla which had to rank among the greatest weekends in the history of the game. Last week I wrote that there were four players who could move the needle with a win: Rory McIlroy, Phil Mickelson, Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth so the only way that could have turned out better from my perspective would have been if it had been Spieth in that bizarre foursome playing the 72nd hole instead of Bernd Historicalfootnotesberger. (By the middle of the back nine, that guy looked like he had been conked on the head and woke-up back in time in the middle of a Roman chariot race).

For 63 holes, my prediction looked solid that the field was just too strong to let Rory pull-off the ridiculous three game winning streak of British Open - Bridgestone - PGA. And then Rory hit a 286 yard 3-wood on the tenth hole to about eight feet for eagle that sparked a nearly flawless back nine 32 while everyone he was chasing could do no better than 35. How good was that 32? Mickelson, Fowler and Henrik Stenson could have played best ball and only shot 32 as none of them could convert the kind of clutch putt that Rory made on 10, 13 and 17. THAT putt* is the difference between the guys who collect majors like beer koozies and those who are lucky to get one and maybe two (see Greg Norman, Johnny Miller, Adam Scott, et al).  

So now we move on to the Tour's version of a bye week except for those trying to make the FedEx Cup playoffs and those trying to pick-up some cash and points against a pretty mediocre field. If you want to get creative and pick a guy who is playing for his 2014 season and beyond, here is the link to a list of players sitting on various bubbles. I'm going to stick with the theory that there's a good reason they're on that list to begin with and look elsewhere.

The Wyndham Favorites
No particular theme this week . . .

1. Brandt Snedeker - 12 to 1
2. Webb Simpson - 16 to 1
3. Hideki Matsuyama - 18 to 1
4. Patrick Reed - 22 to 1
5. Bill Haas - 28 to 1

The FGR One and Done Picks

1. Brian Harman
2. Hideki Matsuyama
3. Brandt Snedeker
4. Nick Watney
5. Billy Hurley, III

Last Week's Report Card: A-

1. Rickie Fowler - T3rd
2. Justin Rose - T24th
3. Sergio Garcia - T36th
4. Rory McIlroy - 1st
5. Matt Kuchar - W/D
. . . you know . . .
6. Ryan Moore - T41st
7. Adam Scott - T15th
8. Victor Dubuisson - T7th
9. Jim Furyk - T5th
10. Marc Leishman - T47th

The Salvage Operation 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
Houston Open: Keegan Bradley - $18,374
. . . other than the obvious one.

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
Bridgestone: Tiger Woods - W/D
PGA Championship: Rickie Fowler - $580,000

Season Total: $3,982,694

Email the Fantasy Golf Report at fgr@fantasygolfreport.com

Footnote

* I know Phil made a clutch 30 footer for par but it was the missed putt on 16 that cost him. Great tweet by all-time golf writer Dan Jenkins: "Phil has lost eight majors missing that putt." Maybe not eight, but certainly more than a few.