Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Fantasy Golf: The Arnold Palmer Invitational Preview

We got just what we expected from Ryan Moore last weekend. A top five finish that should've been a win if half of his final round birdie putts had made it to the hole. I'll tell you that you haven't lived until you've spent a rainy Sunday afternoon on the couch futilely rooting for Ryan Moore to make a move that you know will never come. (My poor wife. If she only knew the petty things that affect my moods). Then again, Charl Schwartzel and Bill Haas weren't even on our radar so we'll take the third place money and run with it. If you' ve hung with the FGR since the Hyundai and you were smart enough to interpret the real meaning of our Cadillac Championship analysis and go with Adam Scott or Bubba Watson, then you should be winning something. We'll take that start.

Wait, did someone say "Rosie Jones?"
No? OK never mind. Please continue.
Now, however, it gets a bit dicey for a few weeks. Your back to back winner of the Arnold Palmer Invitational is Matt Freakin' Every (and I'll give you one hint who we're not picking this week). Then you have the crapshoot that is the Match Play followed by the Houston Open which has arguably the most random track record of winners on tour over the past ten years (what do Matt Jones, D.A. Points, Anthony Kim and Johnson Wagner have in common?). Spin me around and point me at the donkey.  

As for this week, Scott is the obvious pick but is he really going to win three in a row? Then again, we didn't pick him at Doral because we didn't think he could win two in a row so continue reading with caution, especially considering he finished third here last year after opening with a 62. Rory McIlroy is getting warmer after his T3 at the Cadillac and Justin Rose comes in playing well and sports a solid history at Bay Hill including a runner-up in 2013.

They are all fine choices which is why we're going with Henrik Stenson. If nothing else, we are suckers for trends and here are his last four finishes at the Arnold Palmer* - T15, T8, T5 and 2nd. Boom. All he has to do is putt a little bit which we know is asking a lot from the big Swede who has the touch of a drunken lumberjack but his otherworldly 3-wood and iron game have carried him to enough wins in the past that we think he's up to it this week. Cue up the ABBA and pass the Svedka. I feel another win coming on. 

The Arnold Palmer Odds

1. Rory McIlroy - 5/1
In light of this week's Stenson pick,
we're featuring Lindsey Kevitch who
might be Swedish but probably isn't.
2. Adam Scott - 7/1
3. Henrik Stenson - 11/1
4. Jason Day - 14/1
5. Justin Rose - 14/1
6. Hideki Matsuyama - 25/1
7. Kevin Na - 30/1
8. Ryan Moore - 33/1
9. Matt Kuchar - 35/1
10. Paul Casey - 35/1

Ten Guys We Like

Henrik Stenson - 11/1
Justin Rose - 14/1
Ryan Moore - 33/1
Kevin Kisner - 40/1
Jason Kokrak - 60/1
William McGirt - 70/1
Billy Horschel - 70/1
Keegan Bradley - 80/1
Matt Every - 80/1
David Lingmerth - 100/1

One and Done Pick: Henrik Stenson

Sleeper Pick: David Lingmerth  

One and Done Picks to Date

Dustin Johnson
Matt Kuchar
Ryan Palmer
Brandt Snedeker
Hideki Matsuyama
Pebble Beach:
Jimmy Walker
Northern Trust:
Sergio Garcia
Patrick Reed
Rickie Fowler
Ryan Moore


* You know you've achieved icon status when a "the" is regularly placed in front of your name for positive reasons. "The Arnold Palmer" could be a drink or a prominent golf tournament. Speaking of which, we need to starting calling vodka and Gatorade a "FGR." What's right is right.

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