Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Fantasy Golf: The Honda Classic Preview

If you were monitoring the day to day activity of the Fantasy Golf Report last week, you probably noticed that we made a rare last minute pick switch from Bill Haas to Sergio Garcia (information for life). Of course, we could have just as well switched the pick to Sergio Valente and it wouldn't have mattered because both Sergio and Haas whiffed on the cut. Yet despite the fact that my last minute swap didn't mean squat, I was more annoyed than usual by my least favorite player on tour getting the win and I couldn't figure-out why until I went back and read this line from last week's preview, "option (d) is the way to go because I'm foolish to save Bubba for later." Son of a bitch!

It was right there in my own words surrounded by a whole bunch of other words suggesting I should also consider Sergio, Haas and Charl Schwartzel (who pulled his typical PGA Tour act of backing-up 68-68 with 73-73 and falling into a tie for 45th). This was probably karmic payback for some of things I've said about Sergio in the past like "and then there is Sergio Garcia, the guy we all dislike but now can barely remember why," and "I've always contended that Sergio is going to reach a point where we grow tired of disliking him," or "we all agreed that he was no longer detestable and, for Sergio, 'no longer detestable' means he's come a long way," or "no one is suited to win something called 'the 5th major' more than Luke Donald . . . except for maybe Sergio," or . . . you get the point. Asking Sergio to step-up for us under the circumstances would be like Donald Trump asking Jeb Bush if he can crash on his couch during the Florida primary. 

Moving on to the task at hand, one of these days I'm going to learn that the "save him for later" strategy is the fantasy golf equivalent of punting on second down. But that day isn't today. Rory is the obvious pick but not saving him for a major seems almost sacrilegious. (I say "almost" because when people are calling the Pope "the anti-Christ," you've really to raise your game to get credit for committing a sacrilege). Instead, we're going to hope the run of prickly characters continues in the form of Patrick Reed. He thrives in the windy Florida conditions, he's due for a win and he and Bubba could be the inspiration for a self-improvement book called The Elusive Art of Social Skills.

If you want to look elsewhere, give the Brits and Micks a close look. Rory and Padraig Harrington won in 2012 and 2015 while Russell Knox and Rory were runner-ups in 2014. Last year, Knox, Paul Casey and Ian Poulter finished tied for 3rd, Jamie Donaldson was 6th and Luke Donald finished T7th. That could mean a good week for guys like Shane Lowry, Matthew Fitzpatrick and Andy Sullivan. In fact, now I'm sure one of those guys will finish no worse than top three. But which one dammit? WHICH ONE?!?!              

We do love ourselves a
British invasion theme.
The Honda Classic Odds

1. Rory McIlroy - 11/2
2. Rickie Fowler - 12/1
3. Adam Scott - 18/1
4. Hideki Matsuyama - 18/1
5. Patrick Reed - 22/1
6. Phil Mickelson - 22/1
7. Brooks Koepka - 28/1
8. Branden Grace - 30/1
9. Paul Casey - 33/1
10. Kevin Kisner - 35/1

Ten Guys We Like

Rory McIlroy - 11/2
Patrick Reed - 22/1
Paul Casey - 33/1
Sergio Garcia - 40/1
Russell Knox - 40/1
Shane Lowry - 50/1
God save the queen!
Ryan Palmer - 60/1
Andy Sullivan - 80/1
Gary Woodland - 90/1
Ernie Els - 100/1

One and Done Pick: Patrick Reed

Sleeper Pick: Andy Sullivan


Picks to Date


Hyundai: Dustin Johnson  $148,000
Sony: Matt Kuchar  $77,604
CareerBuilder: Ryan Palmer  $75,897
Farmers Brandt Snedeker $1,170,000
Phoenix Hideki Matsuyama $1,170,000
Pebble Beach: Jimmy Walker $143,500
Northern Trust: Sergio Garcia $0

                            Total:                     $2,785,001

Email the FGR at fgr@fantasygolfreport.com