Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Fantasy Golf: The WGC-Cadillac Championship Preview

You only need to look at the top of last year's leaderboard to discern the one element that every successful player will have to have in his game this week. Length. And what would you expect from a Donald Trump golf course? The course is gonna be huge. The crowd is gonna be huge. The tournament is gonna be huge. And you better be huge if you want to win it. 

This is about making golf great again and that means huge drives from huge stars. When it was pointed out that Brandt Snedeker's caddie sent the following tweet after last year's tournament, "Goodbye Dump International . . . what a terrible golf course!! #Bombersdelight," Trump responded, "the course just got 18 yards longer."* If you want chipping and putting, go watch the Marco Rubio Invitational. Oh right. He barely owns his own house much less his own golf tournament. And he is decidedly not huge.  

So now that we know what the players are up against, let's do a little analysis of guys who (a) did well at Doral in 2015, (b) are playing well now and (c) hit huge drives. Last year's top four were: (1) Dustin Johnson, (2) J.B. Holmes, (3) Bubba Watson and (4) Adam Scott. Every one of them has won or contended for a win over the last two weeks except Holmes but his last four finishes were T11, T11, T6, T6. Not too shabby. Most importantly, all four are currently ranked in the top ten in driving distance. So there is your list of obvious favorites.

And we're going to add one more. Rickie Fowler has finished top six in three of his four PGA Tour events this year and he won the HSBC Championship in Abu Dhabi back in January over the likes of Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Henrik Stenson. If he could have figured-out how to play #15 at Scottsdale, he'd have two quality wins in a little over a month. He's currently 30th in driving distance (good enough) and he finished T12 at Doral last year. Maybe more importantly, he's not an obvious play at any other significant events unless you like him at the Players where he won last year but that's such a crapshoot on a course that Brandt Snedeker's caddie might like even less than Doral. 

So after spending a paragraph making a case for the four guys you should absolutely choose from this week, we added a paragraph manufacturing a bunch of sketchy excuses for why we're picking someone else. And we wonder why we're in a slump. 

The WGC-Cadillac Favorites
Googling "Rickie Fowler's
girlfriend " is always fun.

1. Rory McIlroy - 8/1
2. Jordan Spieth - 11/1
3. Bubba Watson - 11/1
4. Dustin Johnson - 11/1
5. Adam Scott - 12/1
6. Jason Day - 12/1
7. Rickie Fowler - 14/1
8. Justin Rose - 22/1
9. Henrik Stenson - 22/1
10. Sergio Garcia  - 28/1

Ten Guys We Like

Bubba Watson - 11/1
Dustin Johnson - 11/1
Adam Scott - 12/1
Rickie Fowler - 14/1
Patrick Reed - 30/1
J.B. Holmes - 30/1
Bill Haas - 66/1
Even when it turns-up people
Rickie's probably never met.
Graeme McDowell - 66/1
Jamie Donaldson - 125/1
Robert Streb - 150/1

One and Done Pick: Rickie Fowler

Sleeper Pick: Jamie Donaldson

Footnote

* The interaction is fictional but the tweet and the fact that the course was lengthened by 18 yards are real. Trump later added that the cost to lengthen the course would come out of Snedeker's prize money. 

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