Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Fantasy Golf: The Memorial Preview

Before I get to the mea culpa for last week's picks, allow me to first apologize for the tardiness of today's post. You see as a card carrying country club douche-bag, I am required to play multiple elitist sports and my former lacrosse career only serves as a prerequisite (albeit a strong one). The real go-getters will ride horses and/or sail boats but I hate farms and I grew-up in a dysfunctional sailing family so that sport is dead to me. (Pro Tip: If you have a family on the verge of total combustion, put everyone on a boat together for a week . . . it's quite the healing environment). 

You should not need a second
guess as to my favorite player.
That pretty much leaves tennis or squash and, because I prefer sports where I can run full speed without the risk of slamming into a wall, I play tennis and the matches where I get to play for some meager sense of pride against douche-bags from other country clubs are on Tuesday nights. Unfortunately, Tuesday nights are generally when I put in long hours at the office pretending to work while scratching-out this crap. That means I now have to either scratch-out this crap on Monday or post it late on Wednesday and, since I spent Monday disassembling a moldy trampoline (not as fun as it sounds), here we are. I'll try to get my shit together next week. On to the preview. 

At this point regular readers of the Fantasy Golf Report should have learned to recognize when the picks are about to go from "merely inadequate" to "holy shit has this guy even watched a golf tournament since Ben Wright got fired?" Buzz words like "thin" and "wounds" combined with telling phrases like "reconstruct my body" and "spare parts from a junkyard" should inspire you to look elsewhere for guidance or, better yet, take my advice and then do the exact opposite. You know, like the salmon. 

Let's face it. The writing was pretty much on the wall for my one and done picks this season when Hideki Matsuyama withdrew in Phoenix and then Dustin Johnson barely made the cut at Riviera before scratching-out a paltry hundred grand. Those were supposed to be lay-ups. The only consolation about my sixth missed cut with Jason Dufner last week was that none of my other prospects did much better and I resisted the urge to waste Jordan Spieth which means I now have the opportunity to waste him later. 

This week we move to the Memorial presented by Nationwide which is a much classier name than the Jack Nicklaus Invitational (not really). "Presented by Nationwide"? When did this tournament turn into a 1950's radio show? I love Jack Nicklaus because, as a golf fan, I have to but good lord that guy loves to sell shit that literally and figuratively has his name on it. I guarantee you that he will be shilling for Jack Nicklaus Ice Cream at some point during this weekend's broadcast. I know there is a charitable component but don't tell me Jack ain't getting a big old scoop of cash from every pint of chocolate chip cookie dough (see what I did there?). 

"The "Poa Annua Ripple" is made
with real blades of Poa Annua."
I will give Jack one thing. He created a pretty damn good golf tournament that's worthy of his name. The caliber of champions has tailed-off a bit over the past few years but there was a time where you could make the case that THIS should be the fifth major. From 1977-2012, twenty-five of the winners were past or future major champions and five of those wins were by Tiger Woods. By my quick count, we've got fifteen major champions playing this week so hopefully we're due for a return to that kind of high falutin leaderboard.

Justin Rose is the obvious pick. He's playing great and, with the exception of Tiger, he probably has the best record of any active player at Muirfield. What the chart below does not show is that he won in 2010 and was runner-up in 2008. Next best record would go to Matt Kuchar who looks like a steal at $8,500. Especially since he just missed his first cut in forever so he should be fired-up to start a new streak. With that being said, I'm rolling the dice on Justin Thomas. He's been mediocre by his standards lately with no top tens since the Match Play so he's due. Also, don't underestimate how much guys like Thomas, Spieth and Rickie want to win Jack's tournament. That sticky ice cream handshake on Sunday is one of the crowning moments in any young player's career. 

The FGR is admittedly having a hard time
transitioning away from Cowgirl Week.
One and Done Pick: Justin Thomas

Other Guy I'd Pick: Justin Rose

Sleeper Pick: Keith Mitchell

DraftKings Top Ten Values

Justin Rose
$10,800
Justin Thomas
$10,300
Marc Leishman
$9,000
Matt Kuchar
$8,500
Emiliano Grillo
$8,400
Tony Finau
$8,100
Kevin Kisner
$7,500
Patrick Cantlay
$7,400
Keith Mitchell
$7,200
Kevin Streelman
$7,000

A couple things worth noting on the historical performance chart. First, Jason Day hasn't done squat which is surprising considering the course would seem to suit his game. You could make the case that he's due but that record would indicate a disconnect between golfer and layout. Second, over the last three years, Marc Leishman, Kevin Streelman and David Lingmerth have combined for eight top 20's and a win proving that the key is to keep it in play for four days and just hang around (see also: Matt Kuchar, Kevin Kisner and Bill Haas).

                                        THE MEMORIAL BUT NOT QUITE DEAD YET 
                                             HISTORICAL PERFORMANCE CHART 


DK Price
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
Dustin Johnson
$11,300
MC
3rd
T13
T46
MC
Jason Day
$11,100
T15
T27
MC
T37
T41
Justin Rose
$10,800
DNP
DNP
2nd
MC
T8
Rory McIlroy
$10,800
DNP
T4
DNP
T15
T57
Justin Thomas
$10,300
T4
MC
MC
T37
DNP
Jordan Spieth
$9,800
T13
T57
T3
T19
T63
Rickie Fowler
$9,500
T2
MC
MC
MC
T37
Tiger Woods
$9,400
DNP
DNP
71st
DNP
T65
Henrik Stenson
$9,200
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
T41
Hideki Matsuyama
$9,100
T45
MC
T5
1st
DNP
Marc Leishman
$9,000
T15
T11
T5
T37
T41
Patrick Reed
$8,900
T57
T8
T26
DNP
DNP
Bubba Watson
$8,700
T6
T65
DNP
3rd
T29
Adam Scott
$8,600
T31
DNP
DNP
DNP
T13
Matt Kuchar
$8,500
T4
T4
T26
T15
1st
Emiliano Grillo
$8,400
T40
T11
DNP
DNP
DNP
Phil Mickelson
$8,300
T22
T20
T65
T49
DNP
Charl Schwartzel
$8,200
T35
T11
MC
T8
T8
Tony Finau
$8,100
T40
T11
T8
DNP
DNP
Jason Dufner
$8,000
1st
T33
T24
T19
DNP
Andrew Wise
$7,800
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
Byeon Hun An
$7,800
T25
T11
DNP
DNP
DNP
B. DeChambeau
$7,700
DNP
T38
DNP
DNP
DNP
Billy Horschel
$7,600
MC
DNP
T11
T15
T41
Kevin Na
$7,600
DNP
T74
T13
2nd
DNP
Kyle Stanley
$7,600
T6
DNP
DNP
74
3rd
Kevin Kisner
$7,500
T6
MC
T8
T46
DNP
Luke List
$7,400
MC
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
Patrick Cantlay
$7,400
T35
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
Kevin Chappell
$7,300
T52
T48
T49
MC
2nd
Keegan Bradley
$7,200
MC
T8
T8
T37
T50
Keith Mitchell
$7,200
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
Peter Uihlein
$7,200
T25
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
Anirban Lahiri
$7,100
T2
T61
DNP
DNP
DNP
Bill Haas
$7,100
T25
MC
T18
T8
T4
William McGirt
$7,100
T67
1st
T40
MC
T37
Kevin Streelman
$7,000
T13
T8
T18
MC
MC
Kevin Tway
$7,000
MC
DNP
DNP
DNP
DNP
Gary Woodland
$6,900
T49
T4
MC
T57
T16
David Lingmerth
$6,800
T15
T27
1st
T49
T57

Email the FGR at fgr@fantasygolfreport.com
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