Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Fantasy Golf: The Bridgestone Preview

Yet again I find myself writing under the gun after losing Monday to the hangover from an eight hour road trip that touched down at 2:00 a.m. The mass produced self driving car can't come soon enough for me. I guess I could have split some shifts with the FGW but the risk of seeing a "Welcome to Indiana" sign on the drive from Rhode Island to Maryland was just too great.*

Under normal preview circumstances, this wouldn't matter because we'd just be trotting out the list of favorites, taking a stab at the one in the best form with some success at the course in question and be done with it. But this week we have an elite field playing in a tournament that's been won by a major champion 18 of the last 20 times (I'm reaching back to 1994 which includes five years when it was called the NEC World Series of Golf but it was still basically the same tournament and, more importantly, was played on the same course). You could argue almost without serious opposition that the Bridgestone, over any other event, identifies the best golfer considering Tiger has won it 8 times, Rory is the defending champ and the rest of the winners are a who's who of golf from the past forty years including Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson, Greg Norman, Nick Price and Phil Mickelson.

Me: "Who's that?"
So the logical pick this year is obviously Jordan Spieth who rolls in on a 1st, 1st, T4th run at the majors. Between Augusta, Chambers Bay and St. Andrews, he's proven that he can compete on any type of course under any conditions so the South Course at Firestone Country Club shouldn't be any different right? Well, maybe not. At 7,400 yards, Firestone is a really long par 70 and Spieth gives up 20 yards off the tee to guys like Jason Day, Bubba Watson and Adam Scott (and closer to 30 yards to Dustin Johnson who is dead to me after the British Open). Also, in his only other appearance at this event, Spieth finished 49th. That's all I got but then again, I'm pretty much committed to saving him for the Tour Championship to complete the most epic comeback in one and done fantasy golf history so I needed to make the case for someone else this year.

And that someone else is Adam Scott who won this thing in 2011 and has three other top tens. In addition to his solid track record, he has seriously stepped-up his game since Stevie Williams came back and started channeling his Kiwi greatness through the strap on Scott's golf bag with a T4th at the U.S. Open and a T10th at the British. You can usually count on Scott for one win a year and this could definitely almost probably be the most likely strong chance of that possibly happening. 

If you're not buying what I'm selling on Scott, take a hard look at Rickie Fowler (2nd last week and 2nd at the 2011 Bridgestone), Keegan Bradley (1st, 2nd and T4th here the last three years) or Hideki Matsuyama who has the ideal combo of length and ball striking. I'd steer clear of Bubba Watson despite his length as he's never finished better than 19th and use Jason Day at your own risk because coming off a win and getting ready for a major are classic warning signs for JD pulling a W/D. 

And with that, I'm off later this week to play 72 holes over 48 hours with 7 dudes on a top notch track. The PGA Championshiop Preview is already in jeopardy.      

The Bridgestone Odds
FGW: "That's Gigi Hadid."

1. Jordan Spieth - 11/2
2. Jason Day - 14/1
3. Adam Scott - 14/1
4. Dustin Johnson - 16/1
5. Rickie Fowler - 16/1
6. Justin Rose - 16/1
7. Louis Oostuizen - 22/1
8. Henrik Stenson - 22/1
9. Hideki Matsuyama - 25/1
10. Sergio Garcia - 28/1

The FGR Bridgestone Picks

1. Adam Scott
2. Jordan Spieth
3. Rickie Fowler
4. Hideki Matsuyama
5. Keegan Bradley
6. Paul Casey
7. Marc Leishman
8. Jason Day
Me: "Looks like FGR material."
9. Sergio Garcia
10. Gary Woodland

The FGR One and Done Pick: Adam Scott

The FGR Sleeper Pick: Gary Woodland

Last Week’s Report Card: B+

1. Jimmy Walker - T21st
2. Rickie Fowler - 2nd
3. Justin Rose - T4th
4. Justin Thomas - T4th
5. Will Wilcox - T21st

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
FGW: " . . . . . . (crickets)"
Northern Trust: Jimmy Walker - $24,120
Honda: Keegan Bradley - M/C
WGC-Cadillac: 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
Masters: Rory McIlroy - $480,000
Heritage: Patrick Reed - M/C
Zurich: Rickie Fowler - M/C
Match Play: Graeme McDowell - $49,385
Players: Henrik Stenson - $130,857
Wells Fargo: Webb Simpson - $624,800
Colonial: Zach Johnson - $78,780
Byron Nelson: Gary Woodland - $15,407
Memorial: Justin Rose - $669,600
FedEx St. Jude: Billy Horschel - $168,000
U.S. Open: Phil Mickelson - $23,822
Travelers: Brandt Snedeker - $147,200
Greenbrier: Kevin Kisner - $500,267
John Deere: Robert Streb - $84,600
British Open: Sergio Garcia - $305,878
Canadian Open: Charley Hoffman - $174,725
Quicken Loans: Justin Thomas - $242,875

Season Total: $4,813,859


* The FGW and four other women who, at that point in life, had made it as far as their junior year in college once discovered a route that made the 8 hour drive from Maryland to upstate New York take 24 hours which answers the age old question, "what would happen if you put five psychology majors in a Volkswagen and told them to take turns reading the map?"  

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