Tuesday, June 7, 2022

Fantasy Golf: The RBC Canadian Open Preview

I want to allow LIV Golf some time to percolate and fully commence its three year implosion sequence before giving it the full treatment but these initial press conferences are just, well, wow. I don't know how else to describe them.  

For those who aren't following this as it develops (and I would kind of count myself in that group), here's the gist. The LIV Golf International Series is a league led by former standout player Greg Norman who has turned out to be an even bigger asshole than we originally thought . . . and that's quite an achievement. Let's just say that Larry Mize did us all a huge favor by pre-eradicating him from any historical Masters conversation. Of course the Shark competed for the green jacket more than just that once and he took care of the rest. 

Who knew Alan Shipnuck could
be the new Richard Engel?
LIV Golf has stoked controversy because the astronomical amount of money it's paying the players is reportedly being funded by Saudi Arabian sources. Many have taken issue with this because the Saudis have (1) a poor record on human rights, discrimination and basic justice (in that they don't really believe in any of that stuff), (2) provided most of the 9/11 terrorists, and (3) recently dismembered an American journalist. This is all fairly common knowledge . . . probably even for most prominent professional golfers who appear to live a hermetically sealed existence when it comes to the news of the day.*
Back to the player press conferences. The headliners like Dustin Johnson, Graeme McDowell and Talor Gooch have predictably been asked if they have any issues getting paid by the bad guys. Here is what we have learned from their answers:
  • They are unequivocally NOT politicians even if they're finally going to get paid like them.
  • The primary reason they decided to join LIV Golf is to "grow the game" out of a deeply held sense of athletic altruism so all of these questions about where the money comes from are kind of irrelevant when you really think about it. Because the money itself is irrelevant. 
  • Some players have stated that they like the shotgun* start format because who doesn't pump their fist and go "YES!" when they show-up for a tournament thinking that they're going to tee off on the first hole, only to discover they'll be starting on the 231 yard par 3 14th?  
Graeme McDowell who might be the most underrated least likable player of his generation went so far as to say (and I am paraphrasing here) . . . "hey if the Saudis want to pay us a fuck ton of money to make them look better, then who are we as game growing non-politicians to pass judgment and turn them down?" He did that within seconds of acknowledging that the murdering and dismembering of a journalist was not cool. At a press conference. Full of journalists. I shit you not. 

Here's a little tip for the LIV dudes from someone with experience in both personal and professional damage control. When everyone already knows that you're doing it for the money, just say "I'm doing it for the money." It's ok. We all do things we're not proud of for the money. Hell, I once tried to get a liquor license in the name of a client's 15 year old son on account of the fact the guy couldn't get one himself due to his convicted felon status. I might've actually pulled it off if the fucking kid hadn't shaved on the day of the hearing. 

It's ok. Really. Just come out and say it. You'll feel much better. And in most cases, it's not as if we will like you any less.  


If you don't think I'm copying the list in this tweet and texting it to my friends while claiming it as my own, then you don't know me. Or maybe you do because I literally have no friends who would understand why this list is funny.


The loyal upstanding members of the PGA Tour will be at St. George's Golf and Country Club this week for the first time since 2010 when Carl Pettersson shot 60-67 on the weekend to beat Dean Wilson by a stroke. Luke Donald must have mistaken it for a major as he shot a final round 66 to backdoor a 3rd place finish. The good news is that I didn't have to prepare a historical performance chart because Donald, Charley Hoffman and John Huston might be the only guys in the field who played in 2010. The bad news is that doesn't leave me much to write about. But that never stopped me before. 

The field this year is solid at the top with the likes of Scottie Scheffler, Justin Thomas and Rory McIlroy. We then get a slight dip down to Shane Lowry, Cameron Smith and Sam Burns before things go south in a hurry and you're happily paying $8,000+ for the likes of Mackenzie Hughes and Brendon Todd. 

You have to like Lowry this week. I mean the course couldn't sound more British and he's been playing great in 2022 with three top fives in his last nine starts. I like Rory for all the same reasons but I already burned him at the Arnold Palmer. I'm also taking Tony Finau over Burns and Smith in the pick I will certainly regret.  

From there your guesses are as good as mine (which haven't been very good lately). I went with a couple Canadians in the aforementioned Hughes along with Nick Taylor. No one could blame you for taking a flyer on Corey Conners or Adam Hadwin being the first Canuck to win this thing since Pat Fletcher in 1954 who I'm pretty sure also played on the wing for the Maple Leafs.  

"Just pick that other
facking bloke instead!"
One and Done Pick: Shane Lowry

Other Guy I'd Pick: Rory McIlroy

Sleeper Pick: Rory Sabbatini

DraftKings Top Ten Values

Rory McIlroy


Shane Lowry


Tony Finau


Mackenzie Hughes


Brendon Todd


Nick Taylor


Matt Wallace


Emiliano Grillo


Rory Sabbatini


Bill Haas



* This is not necessarily meant as a shot. There are times I'd love to seal myself off from the cruel realities of the world but I have a friend who rants several mornings a week via text while watching The Today Show so I would never truly be free. 

** The concept of a "bone saw start" was apparently considered and then rejected. 

Email the Fantasy Golf Report at fgr@fantasygolfreport.com

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