Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Fantasy Golf: The WGC-Cadillac Preview

Since the WGC - Cadillac moved to Doral in 2007, it's been won by six different players who were all in the game's top tier at the time (Tiger Woods in 2007 and 2013, Justin Rose in 2012, Nick Watney in 2011, Ernie Els in 2010, Phil Mickelson in 2009 and Geoff Ogivly in 2008). And if that doesn't convince you that the leaderboard is going to be stacked on Sunday, check-out this list of players who have finished in the top five since 2007, and how many times they've done it: Woods (3), Mickelson (2), Sergio Garcia (2), Watney (2), Charl Schwartzel (2), Matt Kuchar (2), Jim Furyk (2), Rose, Els, Steve Stricker, Adam Scott, Bubba Watson, Rory McIlroy, Graeme McDowell, Dustin Johnson and Martin Kaymer. (Note: I only referenced the players that you should consider picking this year so, for example, no Vijay Singh or Brett Wetterich).*

If you're scoring at home (or even if you're alone . . . BOOM), that's 26 out of the last 40 major winners. So who do you pick this year? Tiger would be the obvious choice unless you've seen him play lately plus the fact that he appears to have your uncle Lou's back issues.** Graeme McDowell has a nice track record at Doral but I'm off G-Mac (see below). Justin Rose isn't healthy, Mickelson's game is all over the place and Keegan Bradley seems to be having trouble breathing out of one of his eyelids.

The history of this event tells us that if you're going to go with the chalk pick, this is the place to do it. Rory McIlroy finished tied for 8th at Doral last year, 3rd the year before and he was awesome through 60 holes last week. (We'll just conveniently ignore the fact that he appeared to play the last twelve holes with his early 2013 golf swing). Adam Scott is always a solid option but he's achieved "majors only" status. Truth be told (and that's what we strive for here at the FGR), I'd start Dustin Johnson if I hadn't used him at the Northern Trust. D.J.'s in one of those grooves that makes you wonder "why isn't he the best player in the world again?" until he inevitably does something to remind you why he isn't the best player in the world.

Multiple aspects of Trump's course design were
reportedly inspired by Ivanka's "course design."
The Favorites

1. Rory McIlroy - 15 to 2
2. Adam Scott - 12 to 1
3. Tiger Woods - 14 to 1
4. Dustin Johnson - 16 to 1
5. Jason Day - 18 to 1
6. Sergio Garcia - 20 to 1
7. Jordan Spieth - 25 to 1
8. Bubba Watson - 25 to 1
9. Matt Kuchar - 28 to 1
10. Phil Mickelson - 28 to 1

The FGR One and Done Picks***

1. Rory McIlroy
2. Dustin Johnson
3. Matt Kuchar
4. Jordan Spieth
5. Jason Day

I may be out of the G-Mac picking business for good. First, he barely even shows-up for the U.S. Open at Merion last year, missing the cut by a mile on a course that appeared to be tailored to his supposedly gritty game. Then he pulls a win over my Match Play pick, Hunter Mahan, completely out of his dumpy Irish ass convincing me that he's on a roll (the tie for 7th at Pebble Beach didn't hurt) only to follow-up those performances with a sleepwalking tie for 46th last weekend. That one sent me sliding further down the standings of what I would consider my "A" one and done league. In my "B" league, I went big with Rory McIlroy**** and it should have paid a correspondingly big dividend but, if there is one absolute truth we have learned from Alec Baldwin over the years (that doesn't have anything to do with recorded cell phone calls or airline technology policy), it's that coffee's for guys who don't try to hit 180+ yard shots out of fairway bunkers over water when clinging to a one shot lead.

Last Week's FGR Report Card: C-

"You wanna see
second prize Rory?"
1. Graeme McDowell - T46th
2. Sergio Garcia - T8th
3. Rory McIlroy - T2nd
4. Henrik Stenson - M/C
5. Hideki Matsuyama - W/D

The FGR PUD Report

Hyundai: Gary Woodland - $130,000
Sony: Chris Kirk - $604,800
Humana: Charles Howell, III - $12,198
Farmers: Bill Haas - $20,740
WM Phoenix: Billy Horschel - M/C
Pebble Beach: Russell Knox - $46,860
Northern Trust: Dustin Johnson - $723,600
Match Play: Hunter Mahan - $148,000
Honda Classic: Graeme McDowell - $15,600

Season Total: $1,701,798

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


* Fantasy golf historians may remember that Brett Wetterich was actually on the 2006 Ryder Cup team. If I told you that the other members of that U.S. team included J.J. Henry, Vaughn Taylor and Scott Verplank, would you be surprised to learn that Europe won the Cup by the blowout score of 18.5 to 9.5? That one was over before our team got off the bus. They should have named Bill Murray captain and had everyone simultaneously yank down the pants of his European opponent during the singles matches on Sunday and then haul-ass for the private jet (and not tell Tiger about the plan).    

** Oh just humor me and pretend you have an uncle Lou with back issues for Chrissake.

*** My Puerto Rico Open picks are (in some order) Chris Stroud and Brian Stuard. Sorry, but I'm walking pretty much lockstep with PGATour.com's Rob Bolton on everything this week.

"I'm really starting to like Jason Day's chances
at the Masters. By the way, you may want
to get a little more fiber in your diet."
**** Just so you know I have some skin in the game, my two personal picks for the week will always be on my top five one and done list. It's up to you to figure-out which ones they are so you can follow my lead or avoid them like the plague depending on how you feel about me as an expert in the field of golf prognosticology. (Suffice it to say that I'll be at Staples tomorrow buying "Golf Prognosticologist" business cards).     

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