Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Fantasy Golf: AT&T The Byron Nelson Preview

Regular readers of the FGR (all nine of you . . . ok five) know that I waste an inordinate amount of time studying the recent track records of players on the courses where upcoming events will be played in an often hopeless attempt to gain some insight into who will play well that week. If you weigh the time it takes against the results it produces, it is bar far the least productive thing I do in a given week . . . next to maybe trying to help my high school son with his homework which is basically the equivalent of a donkey trying to teach a blind goat how to fly a helicopter. (At some point I'm just going to have to come clean and admit that I didn't do homework in high school so it's time to go ask mom). 

"Can I please take this off now?!?"
It is, however, cathartic in its mindlessness and one day it's going to pay-off with a dividend big enough for me to go out and buy a cool Nike blade collar golf sh . . . nope, couldn't even write it with a straight face. (Seriously Nike, please stop making the world's best golfers look like low-rent 70's James Bond villain henchmen. Even the models on the Nike website express an emotion that falls somewhere between embarrassed and forlorn). But this week my "research" was just an exercise in futility because no one told me they were playing a new course. My first clue should've been when guys who normally play the Byron Nelson like Dustin Johnson, Charley Hoffman and Jason Dufner decided to skip it. Of course I just assumed that a week of playing TPC Sawgrass made them hate golf so much that they needed some time-off.*  

So what's the deal with this new course (and airline food)? Apparently it's very linksy so the consensus is that players who fair well at the British Open will succeed here. Also, because we're in Texas this week, defending British Open champ Jordan Spieth is on the top of everyone's list. However, he's really expensive in DraftKings ($11,900) so I haven't included him in my top ten value picks but, if you you're feeling him, go for it. Just know that quality is really thin in the bargain aisle as evidenced by the fact that J.J. Henry and Matt Every are going for $7,400 which is Silicon Valley real estate territory. 


I've been all over the road on the one and done pick. First I was thinking Branden Grace because of the whole British Open thing and the fact that, if he bombs, no big loss. Then I was thinking Matt Kuchar because of the whole British Open thing and the fact that I desperately need a top five this week. I even considered Peter Uihlein because he spent so much time playing in Europe that he's basically one of them right down to his German/Swedish/Dutch/Irish last name. If I hadn't used him already, I would definitely go with Marc Leishman because, you know, the whole British Open thing again along with the fact that he digs playing in Texas. As of this writing, I'm sticking with Kuch because rooting for Kuch makes me happy and the weather in the Mid-Atlantic is so brutally depressing right now that I feel like a serial killer.   


The One and Done Pick: Matt Kuchar
At least it's sexy cowgirl week
so we've got that going for us.


The Other Guy I'd Pick: Marc Leishman


The Sleeper Pick: Stephan Jaeger


The DraftKings Top Ten Values


Matt Kuchar
$10,700
Branden Grace
$9,400
Marc Leishman
$9,100
Beau Hossler
$9,000
Peter Uihlein
$8,500
Keith Mitchell
$7,800
Seamus Power
$7,300
Stephan Jaeger
$7,300
Ernie Els
$7,100
Andrew Putnam
$6,900

Footnote


* Serious question/request. Can anyone provide me with an example of someone other than Dan Hicks or another NBC shill applying the words "genius" or "masterpiece" to TPC Sawgrass? It doesn't even make Golf Digest's top 50 (it's 51st) and in its review they note that Pete Dye "set out to test the world's best golfers by mixing demands of precision with target golf." When your intended goal in golf course architecture is "target golf", you're not designing a masterpiece, you're designing a 7,000+ yard putt-putt course that costs $500 to play. If you would like to read more snarky comments from a douchy guy who played it once, click here

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