Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Fantasy Golf: The Honda Classic Preview

The Honda Classic Favorites
I'm pretty sure that is (or at least
was) a Florida Gators shirt.

1. Rory McIlroy - 7/2
2. Dustin Johnson - 16/1
3. Hideki Matsuyama - 22/1
4. Justin Rose - 22/1
5. Sergio Garcia - 25/1
6. Martin Kaymer - 25/1
7. Keegan Bradley - 28/1
8. Rickie Fowler - 28/1
9. Brooks Koepka - 30/1
10. Graeme McDowell - 30/1

The FGR's Honda Classic Top Five

1. Rory McIlroy
2. Keegan Bradley
3. Justin Rose
4. Brooks Koepka
5. Russell Knox

The One and Done Pick: Keegan Bradley

The Sleeper Pick: Will Mackenzie

The PGA Tour's move to the east coast for the start of the Florida swing always reminds me of two things: (1) Larry Miller's brilliant "Five Levels of Drinking" routine when he gets to Level 5 (which would be right about the time when Robert Allenby gets tossed-out of the strip club and into the rising sun) when one of his friends stands-up and screams, "WE'RE DRIVING TO FLORIDA!!! . . . and then passes-out"; and (2) Cliff Clavin's all-consuming obsession with the Sunshine State and his endless supply of Florida related facts to justify it.* 

Cliff had one thing right about Florida, at least as it applies to the tour. It represents a better life due to the instant upgrade to the quality of the fields now that guys like Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose are involved. More importantly, it draws us one week closer to the first big time event of the season (the WGC-Cadillac) and, even more importantly than that, it pulls us to within six weeks of the Masters (cue the angelic ahhhhhhh sound). I'm sure there is some east coast bias in this opinion but what can I say? I am the consummate bitter/salty east coast guy so you get what you get. If you don't like it, then go read someone else's rambling golf tournament previews that almost never actually preview golf tournaments.** 

We will, however, make an exception this week because frankly, this one ain't that hard to figure-out. Rory is playing well and dominates on this course with a T2nd last year and a win in 2013 so he will be in the mix on Sunday and it just comes down to whether you want to burn the best player in the world at a lower tier tournament. If not, there are a slew of other solid players with commendable track records at PGA National including Justin Rose, Lee Westwood and defending champ, Russell Henley. 

I'm going to eschew those options, however, and go with Keegan Bradley who tends to get hot in spurts and is coming off a T4th last week. His last three results at the Honda are T12th, T4th and T12th but more importantly, Keegan has a habit of raising his game every time he starts slipping into the not quite primetime category and that's where he is right now. Do you hear that Keegan? I'm calling you out you big mick. Let's do this.      

Last Week's Report Card: C+
And because we believe in equal time.

1. Bubba Watson - T14th
2. Jimmy Walker - T41
3. Dustin Johnson - T2nd
4. Charl Schwartzel - T41
5. Nick Watney - T22

One and Done Picks to Date

Hyundai: Kevin Streelman - $70,667
Sony: Chris Kirk - $42,280
Humana: Russell Knox - M/C
Phoenix Open: Hunter Mahan - $36,729

Farmers Open: Hideki Matsuyama - M/C
AT&T Pro-Am: Dustin Johnson - $281,067
Northern Trust: Jimmy Walker - $24,120

Season Total: $454,863

Footnote

* Cliff: "I was just about to tell Normie here that Florida is a pollution-free state. You know how they treat solid waste?"

Carla: "You said they treated you quite well." BOOM!!!

** You know I don't really mean that. Don't go. We can make this work. After a couple years the saltiness starts to grow on you and you get used to it (or at least numb to it). Just ask the FGW. She lived it for seven years before signing a long term deal and she's only demanded a trade like three times.  

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