Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Fantasy Golf: The Masters Preview - Part 2

The Masters Favorites

Rory McIlroy - 5/1
We kind of got away from our
roots in Part 1 so let's re-center
and work the green jacket theme.
Jordan Spieth - 10/1
Bubba Watson - 10/1
Jason Day - 12/1
Dustin Johnson - 16/1
Adam Scott - 18/1
Henrik Stenson - 22/1
Phil Mickelson - 22/1
Jimmy Walker - 25/1
Rickie Fowler - 30/1

The FGR Masters Picks

1. Rory McIlroy
2. Jordan Spieth
3. Bubba Watson
4. Jason Day
5. Jimmy Walker
6. Victor Dubuisson
7. Brandt Snedeker
8. Phil Mickelson
9. Matt Kuchar
10. Dustin Johnson

The One and Done Pick: Rory McIlroy

The Sleeper Pick: Russell Henley

I have been accused on more than one occasion of over-thinking things so let's try not to fall into that trap on this, the most important day on the Fantasy Golf Report calendar. I'm picking Rory McIlroy this week and here's why:

1. He's the best player in the world and it's not even close. I have no idea how they compute the World Golf Rankings but if you compare the numbers they use, Rory has 11.07 and the next three guys have 7.66, 7.45 and 7.32. Between no other players do you find a disparity of more than 1.0 much less the 3.41 that currently separates McIlroy from Henrik Stenson, Bubba Watson and Jordan Spieth;

2. He won the last two majors of 2014;

3. He played two tournaments before coming to the U.S. this season and he finished first and second beating fields that included the likes of Henrik Stenson, Martin Kaymer and Sergio Garcia;

4. He was 12 under through three rounds of the 2011 Masters. Sure he had an epic meltdown with an 80 on Sunday but let's cut him some slack considering he was only 21 and it was the first time he had contended at Augusta. Last year he shot -3 with a 77 on Friday and lost by five so he's basically been one decent round from winning twice in four years;

5. This year he's coming in as no bigger than the third or fourth biggest story behind (1) Tiger's return, (2) Bubba's repeat and possibly (3) Spieth trying to win his first major. Rory's a pretty laid back dude but he's also a competitive SOB so I bet he grits his teeth on a few backswings and hisses "I won the last two majors mutherf-ckers" and then uncorks 350 yard drives around the corners on holes like 9 and 13.   

Keep in mind that I already picked Bubba this year so he was not available but I wouldn't have gone with him anyway because I don't see him going back to back (we covered this in Part 1 yesterday). The other players I was most tempted by were Jordan Spieth for obvious reasons, Jason Day because, next to Rory, he's probably the player most due to win a green jacket and Phil Mickelson because if he actually pulled it off, how great would it be for an egotistical prick like me to be able to say, "I had that"? . . . (pretty great). I also like Victor Dubuisson because well, I like Victor Dubuisson. He has that Seve like ability to will the ball into the hole and that quality is going to win him at least one major. Just not this one.   

I've had Rory pegged for this Masters since he shot 71-69 on the weekend last year. It felt like he exercised some demons in those two rounds and he appeared to enjoy playing the course for the first time since it ate him alive in 2011. The fact that he'll be paired with Phil and Ryan Moore the first two days means that he'll get to play in a relaxed group even if they have to stop between holes and put a mirror under Moore's nose to make sure he's still alive. So many times this year the correct pick has stared me right in the face but I've decided to hide behind the chain saws instead of jumping into the running car. Not this week.  
Last Week's Report Card: B+

1. Jordan Spieth - T2nd
Come on Rory. It's ass kicking time.
2. Matt Kuchar - 70th
3. Louis Oosthuizen - M/C
4. J.B. Holmes - 1st
5. Sergio Garcia - T37th

One and Done Picks to Date

Hyundai: Kevin Streelman - $70,667
Sony: Chris Kirk - $42,280
Humana: Russell Knox - M/C
Phoenix: Hunter Mahan - $36,729

Farmers: Hideki Matsuyama - M/C
AT&T: Dustin Johnson - $281,067
Northern: Jimmy Walker - $24,120
Honda: Keegan Bradley - M/C
WGC: Bubba Watson - $540,000
Valspar: Jim Furyk - $23,600
Palmer: Brooks Koepka – W/D
Texas Open: Matt Kuchar - $99,200
Houston Open: Louis Oosthuizen - M/C

Season Total - $1,117,663

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