Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Fantasy Golf: The Barclays Preview

The Barclays is a pain in the ass to handicap because they've been playing it on a rotation of courses since they moved-out of Westchester Country Club in 2008. Since then, it has only been played at this year's site (Liberty National) once and that was way back in 2009 when Heath Slocum won it. The fact that he ended-up with a shot at the FedEx Cup that year spawned a meeting of PGA Tour officials and FedEx executives called the "How Do We Rig This So a Guy Like Heath Slocum Never Wins It" conference.

"Fiat SpA shares are traded
on the Milan stock exchange
you weaselly little creep."
The lack of history at Liberty National makes things tricky because in the dark sordid world of fantasy golf forecasting,* we really only have three tools for predicting winners: (1) how well is a guy playing now, (2) how well has he played the course in the past and (3) how well has he previously played similar courses. I personally add a 4th factor: (4) how painful do I find it to watch a guy play a/k/a the Ryan Moore/Jim Furyk factor but that one is a little less reliable like picking stocks based on the quality of a company's commercials (are Fiat and Dos Equis publicly traded by the way?).

To make factor no. 2 even more irrelevant this week, the course has undergone a major redesign since 2009 when one caddie's review of the original layout was that "they ruined a perfectly good landfill."** On the bright side for Liberty National, Tiger Woods, Ernie Els, Padraig Harrington and Steve Stricker finished in a tie for second in 2009*** and Nick Watney, Webb Simpson and Ian Poulter were in the top ten so at least it appears to be a course that good players play well. So with that theory in mind, let's go with the guy playing better than anyone over the past month.

The Barclays Top Ten
Meet the reason Dustin Johnson will not
be appearing in the rankings anytime in
the near future . . . and her friend.

1. Henrik Stenson
2. Webb Simpson
3. Adam Scott
4. Tiger Woods
5. Brandt Snedeker
6. Jason Day
7. Bill Haas
8. Jim Furyk
9. Rickie Fowler
10. Keegan Bradley

Last Week's Report Card: B

1. Webb Simpson - T11th
2. Bill Haas - T20th
3. Zach Johnson - T5th
4. Brendon de Jonge - T52nd
5. Jimmy Walker - M/C

Pretty decent showing considering Patrick Reed was not on many people's radar (though Jordan Spieth certainly was). The Jimmy Walker pick was one of those wishful thinking deals as in "I have him on my season-long team and maybe if I pick him, he'll pull-out of his recent tailspin" which he obviously didn't. Other players you may want to avoid if you see them on my top ten lists over the coming weeks for the same reason are Chris Kirk and the "dead to me" duo of Bubba Watson and Charl Schwartzel who did for one of my fantasy teams this year what Ryan Braun and Alex Rodrguez are currently doing for the credibility of baseball.****

Reach out and touch the Fantasy Golf Report here.


* Fantasy golf forecasting is a world that exists on a cosmic plane that sits just slightly above Bronycon, "a convention held by and for fans of the cartoon My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. This show, originally aimed at young girls, attracted an unexpected audience of young adults and teenagers, mostly male, who call themselves bronies" (as described by the website of Bronycon 2013 which was recently held in Baltimore right up the street from Where-Did-I-Go-Wrong-as-a-Fathercon). 

** Maybe the worst review of anything since Spinal Tap's album Shark Sandwich received a two word critique which read simply, "Shit Sandwich."
"It's such a fine line between
stupid and uh . . . clever."

*** Slocum dropped a putt that denied us what would have been an all-star playoff and I remember thinking, "they're going to find a way to penalize him a stroke or put him on a boat with Tony, Paulie and Silvio and tell him the winner's check is across the river." 

**** The phrase "credibility of baseball" is as hard to say with a straight face as "the throwing accuracy of Tim Tebow" or "the people skills of Aaron Hernandez." (Eat it Patriot fans). 

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