Welcome to Playing the Tips!
Each week this will be the one-stop resource to soak in all the picks from our group of fantasy staffers from Rotoworld.com. We’ll have all of our selections from the GolfChannel.com, Yahoo! Fantasy Golf, my weekly selection for One-and-Done players plus DFS love from Josh Culp and European Tour insight from Dave Tindall.
GolfChannel.com Fantasy Golf
115th U.S. Open
2015 Earnings: $14,120,214
2015 Rank: 7,369
My gamble last week paid off by not playing DJ as he WD. Sadly I only gained a few bucks as Horschel couldn't pull off the 180 and win. His T8 with a closing 65 is cool but he was the only action I had. Simpson and Overton went home early and Merrick tumbled down the 'board on Sunday and cashed $20kish. Even when I "win" I lose.
Group 1: Justin Rose
Group 2: Phil Mickelson
Group 3: Francesco Molinari
Group 4: Tony Finau
ANALYSIS: I'm going with "old" this week and throwing in a shit-hot young buck wild card in Group 4. I've listed my reasons for taking Rose in Range Rover and I have no problem zagging away from the McIlroy/Spieth tandem with a player of his ability. If patience, bombs and short game are required, Mickelson will give me two out of three. Molinari has been on fire and will play from the middle of the sprinkler line. I can't remember who Tweeted that guys who fly it 300 this week could separate themselves off the tee. I have a few of those including the Finau experience.
2015 Earnings: $18,644,059
2015 Rank: 302
Group 1: Rory McIlroy
Group 2: Hideki Matsuyama
Group 3: Francesco Molinari
Group 4: Thomas Aiken
ANALYSIS: He's violated the Spieth and DJ rule this week to take McIlroy. You can hardly blame him. I'm high on Matsuyama as well but my role from here on out is trying to catch these knuckleheads. Aiken hasn't been cut since February.
Ryan O’ Sullivan
2015 Earnings: $20,962,531
2015 Rank: 27th
Group 1: Rory McIlroy
Group 2: Rickie Fowler
Group 3: Paul Casey
Group 4: Lucas Glover
ANALYSIS: I'm guessing O wasn't the only one using a mulligan in this game last week but he still resides in the top 30. Rory and Rickie both were off their best last time out but their records in the majors the last 15 months is impossible to argue. Casey and Glover are quintessential ball-strikers who struggle putting.
2015 Earnings: $17,420,456
2015 Rank: 902
Group 1: Rory McIlroy
Group 2: Phil Mickelson
Group 3: Francesco Molinari
Group 4: Tiger Woods
ANALYSIS: We match the middle two groups and that makes three of us with Molinari. Sigh. Ned is the only one brave/smart/dumb/ to roll the dice on Woods this week. This is why we play the game!
Yahoo! Fantasy Golf
Ned Brown is a long-time contributor for Rotoworld Golf. He’s had documented success in Yahoo!’s game for years. Even if you’re confident in your selections for that game, give his insight a read. He’ll lead us off each week in the Yahoo! game.
Points – FESJC: 137
Points – SPRING Segment: 1,666
Rank – SPRING Segment: 3,550
Points – SEASON: 3,770
Rank – SEASON: 859
Rory McIlroy (6): He enters the week off consecutive missed cuts in Europe including his own tournament last time at Royal County Down. His run of five tournaments in a row began Win-T8-Win. After five weeks in a row he was ready for a break so I'm not reading that he's slumping. I tend to think he was overworked and that he is fine to use this week in fantasy.
Henrik Stenson (9): He was playing great golf in the spring but he tailed off after catching some virus that was described as flu-like. He did play in the Nordea Masters and came in 13th place. I'm going to assume that he is better and is good to go this week.
Phil Mickelson (5): Of course, Jordan Spieth is the best player in this group but I have run out of starts with him. Instead, I'm going to use Mickelson on the heels of T2 at the Masters, T4 at the Wells Fargo and T3 last week at the St. Jude.
Justin Rose (6): Rose went a nice run of T2 at the Masters and a championship at the Zurich but then ran into a mini-slump for him until he rebounded last time out with P2 at the Memorial. His history in this event is very good with three top 10s in 9 career starts, including a championship in '13.
Hideki Matsuyama (4): Probably one to the safest choices this week. His play has been very impressive this year with top 25s in nine of his last ten starts and five were top 10s. He has only two starts in the US Open but one of those was a T10 in '13.
Brandt Snedeker (6): This is a very tough pick because there are so many good choices in this spot. Normally I would have Day as an automatic pick with Dustin Johnson as his backup. I'm staying away this week as both players are coming into this week's Open with health issues. Instead, I'm going to swing for the fences with Snedeker. He won earlier in the year at the AT&T Pebble Beach and he has been in good form recently with T2 at Colonial and T6 at the AT&T Byron Nelson.
Francesco Molinari (9): The Italian is playing very well coming into this year's US Open with T2 at the Open de Espana, solo fifth at the BMW PGA and T3 at the Memorial. He has a mixed record in this event so he is all about playing the hot hand.
Charley Hoffman (8): Many people are going to play Reed in this spot but he really hasn't been doing well recently. Plus, I am down to three starts left on him. In his place, I'm going with Hoffman who is the current hot hand with T10 at Colonial and T2 ATTBN. He was very impressive in this year's Masters with T9.
Ryan O’Sullivan (O)
“The Golf Aficionado”
Points – FESJC: 172
Points – SPRING Segment: 1,736
Rank – SPRING Segment: 582
Points – SEASON: 3,929
Rank – SEASON: 27
Rory McIlroy (7)
Sergio Garcia (9)
Dustin Johnson (4)
Phil Mickelson (6)
Jordan Spieth (3)
Rickie Fowler (8)
Ryan Moore (8)
Francesco Molinari (10)
Points – FESJC: 165
Points – SPRING Segment: 1,651
Rank – SPRING Segment: 4,679
Points – SEASON: 3,699
Rank – SEASON: 2,226
Rory McIlroy (5)
Henrik Stenson (8)
Rickie Fowler (9)
Hideki Matsuyama (5)
Phil Mickelson (8)
Jordan Spieth (3)
Francesco Molinari (10)
Ryan Moore (9)
Points – FESJC: 153
Points – SPRING Segment: 1,501
Rank – SPRING Segment: 24,332
Points – SEASON: 3,559
Rank – SEASON: 7,289
With four MCs and a WD I had the team of the week especially considering I didn't have anyone from Group C play the weekend!
God, I suck.
Rory McIlroy (7)
Jim Furyk (6)
McIlroy is the easiest choice of the week as I have plenty of starts and he's really good. Furyk gets the nod as Plan B as he has had no problem playing USGA set ups over the years. His experience, ability to grind and peppering of fairways and greens won't hurt either. Stenson and Garcia wouldn't cause me to miss any sleep either.
Jordan Spieth (2)
Phil Mickelson (7)
Hideki Matsuyama (4)
Justin Rose (7)
Embarrassment of riches as usual in Group B as my second four is DJ, Fowler, Horschel and Snedeker. I only have two DJ starts remaining (PGA, Plainfield) so he sits. Nobody has Rose this week...I like that.
Francesco Molinari (10)
Ryan Moore (10)
We're all Molinari and Moore in Group C so you know what that means! #NoChance
Daily Fantasy Sports [DFS]
Josh has compiled the roster below for this week's $20 Millionaire Maker event on DraftKings. The winner walks away with a cool $1,000,000 added to their bank account. Mix and match the golfers below for your shot at taking home the super-sized check.
Draft your entry now!
Rory McIlroy ($13,000) ... Many will gravitate away from the World No. 1 due to his poor play in Europe recently or the sheer amount of talent available for less salary space. Luckily, he's still in a class of his own and we can grab him as our anchor.
Brandt Snedeker ($8,100) ... These aren't true Poa annua greens but they do have some patches growing in on the fescue-based surfaces. They will be smoother than they look but will still have some bumps like Poa greens are known for. Gamers know how much this Vandy product loves putting on traditional Poa and his form is fantastic, to boot.
Brooks Koepka ($7,800) ... Played the 2010 U.S. Am held at Chambers Bay so he starts with a slight leg up on the field. He's one of the few that know just how tough this course will play once they flip on the "tournament conditions" mode.
Ryan Moore ($7,500) ... The Tacoma native will be a fan favorite this week playing just 15 miles from where he grew up. The four-time PGA TOUR winner is priced too low given his knack to find the winners circle.
Ian Poulter ($7,400) ... He's put on his game face and declared a vow of twitter silence in terms of talking about the course this week. Perhaps he has learned that complaining about conditions won't improve his score in any way. He's collected top 25s in 8-of-12 events this year and should enjoy a good links challenge.
Kevin Chappell ($6,100) ... He went on a dry-spell after becoming a first-time father, but he's regained form of late, rattling off three top 25s in his last four starts. He's never finished worse than T32 in three U.S. Open starts so he's not afraid of a tough track.
Other Picks to Consider
Alternate for McIlroy: Dustin Johnson ($11,300) ... He's a links specialist that had top 10s in half off his 2014-15 starts before last week's WD at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. His ownership will be a bit lower but his upside remains the same. It's about time he adds some major hardware to his trophy case.
Alternate for Snedeker: Keegan Bradley ($7,700) ... He's quietly pieced together top 25s in five of his last six stroke-play events. He arrives ranked 12th tee-to-green, but will need to find his putting stroke in order to fully contend.
Alternate for Poulter: Francesco Molinari ($7,200) ... His wrist injury was overblown as he's returned from the Match Play with top 5s in three of his last four international starts. The Italian is always lurking on links-style courses, proven by his three top 15s in his last six Open Championship starts.
2015 Fantasy Race to Dubai
Dave Tindall is our newest contributor, but he’s been a fixture in Europe. In addition to his weekly previews of European Tour events on Mondays, he’ll share his selections and analysis for the Fantasy Race to Dubai at EuropeanTour.com.
Pick 10 golfers. Players accumulate points based on Race to Dubai (R2D) points earned. Star player’s points are doubled. Unlimited team changes and unlimited star player changes are available each week.
Had a 1-2 in Austria (Wood and Cabrera-Bello) but Bourdy’s capitulation limited the latest modest rise to just 146spots. Majors dwarf events like the Lyoness so now is the time to get it right!
Current position: 4,655
Team Tindall (Team name: YESSIR!)
Star Player: Justin Rose
2013 US Open winner has the necessary patience and skill-sets to grind his way to a big finish at Chambers Bay.
- Rory McIlroy: Not actually convinced he’ll do well but lack of wind helps and can’t be left out.
- Sergio Garcia: Solid U.S. Open record and links prowess suggests this is a good course for him.
- Martin Kaymer: Defending champ will enjoy putting from off the greens again. Strong links player.
- Patrick Reed: Played well in the U.S. Amateur here in 2010 and making positive noises about course.
- Byeong-Hun An: Brilliant winner at Wentworth and a semi-finalist in 2010 U.S. Amateur at this venue.
- Danny Willett: Continues to flourish; 3rd in WGC-Match Play and strong display on links at Irish Open.
- Francesco Molinari: One of Europe’s form horses after T5 at Wentworth and third at Memorial.
- Henrik Stenson: If this plays like an Open Championship track, Stenson’s record on UK links is a big plus.
- Brooks Koepka: Knows the course from 2010 U.S. Amateur and big hitting should help him thrive.
Each week I painfully writhe and wretch trying to figure out the proper strategy to find a player that will hit the top 10. Wins are great but aren’t likely so I’m satisfied with having a CHANCE to hit the big money. Missed cuts are absolutely the death in this game but even the surest of things don’t always happen in the reality world of fantasy golf. Remember, fade or follow, it’s up to you!
Frys.com: Brooks Koepka. Let’s get this started off on the right foot. Koepka, playing without any status last year, led on Sunday by three shots at the turn. He finished T3 and learned a valuable lesson. His recent form has been scintillating as he has four top 15s in his last four worldwide starts, including the PGA at Valhalla (T15). He was T9 last week at the Dunhill.Koepka, T8, did what was expected and racked up a top 10 for $168,000.
Shriners Open: It came down to Moore, Watney and Piercy for the OAD place this week. Laird was also in the conversation but I’m going with the best putter of the group mentioned above and there’s not a place that Moore HAS TO BE USED later. Sure, he beat Gary Woodland in a playoff last year at CIMB but I don’t use defending champions. #WeakSauce. He shares the tournament record has three top 10s in his last four. More Moore please!ANY SINGLE ONE OF THOSE THREE OTHER THAN MOORE would have been just fine. Moore has wiped me twice in eight events. The good news is I don’t even have to CONSIDER his presence again until October of 2015.
McGladrey Classic: This is the CLASSIC HEDGE MOVE for gamers. I’m going with Kuchar above but Simpson down here to cover my ASSet. Look, save Simpson for Greenbrier, Sedgefield or TPC Boston, but I’m going with a guy who is hot NOW and will find someone else later. HOW COULD THIS GO WRONG, RYAN MOORE???Nothing like a T41 to back up a MC; $19,600.
CIMB Classic: I’m loading up on Charl Schwartzel since I can’t play him on the Sunshine TOUR at the Dunhill or Joburg. His course form is overwhelming and in a limited field with limited views of this track, his experience and successes here are huge. He’ll probably WD.He couldn’t catch up after his opening round 74; T19, $94,500.
WGC-HSBC Champions: I’ll go with the guy who holds the course record, the 2011 title plus two other top eight finishes in four starts, Martin Kaymer. Did I mention he made 29 birdies here last year? Ok, good.If I was a casual golf fan and just picked up the newspaper on Monday morning to see that Kaymer finished T6 I would have been thrilled…$216,337
Sanderson Farms: It came down to Tony Finau or Hudson Swafford and I went with the Georgia ‘Dawg. Both are hot so I’ll go with the local-er of the two and the better ball-striker. I should be required to take the “Silly Season” off. BOTH missed the cut. I’m ready for 2015…
OHL Classic: Can I just pass? Since I couldn’t pull the trigger on Jason Bohn in the Golf Channel game, I’ll hedge him here with Stroud and Sabbatini right behind him. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG? I need a vacation. I was gun-shy but the hedge paid off with T7 and $196,275
HTOC: This is a good news/bad news event. The good news is that there are only 34 players and this is a track that requires previous experience. The bad news is if the guy you pick doesn’t finish in the top five it’s a complete waste of time. For the conservative/saver this is THE ONLY WEEK TO PICK Ogilvy since he’s won here twice. For the throw-caution-to-the-wind player, Kuchar, Day or Watson should lead the line. I’ll find myself right in the middle with Chris Kirk. WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG? Kirk needed to tie the course record on Monday to hit six figures. Yeah, that’s all I needed to pocket $110,000, 11 birdies and 62. Day pulled the same trick but he finished T3.
Sony Open: I’m going with the man who has eight top 10s in 13 career starts, Charles Howell III. He’s hit the top five in five of the last six years and I’m not going to find that anywhere else on TOUR. #EasyChoice. Make it top five in five of the last SEVEN years. T26 paid $42,280.
Humana Challenge: Ryan Palmer gets the nod this week as he’s shown form on these tracks and has no problem getting low, yo! He’s a member at Colonial, FYI. The pain. The suffering. The life of a fantasy gamer. If reading from top to bottom it’s easy to see why my pain is prevalent. Shut up. T10 isn’t great but isn’t terrible, $136,000.
WMPO: This week, Hunter Mahan takes the wheel. With his wife due shortly, he knows his time, for the moment, is limited and it’s time to make hay. It doesn’t hurt that his game sets up for most layouts and it doesn’t hurt he won here in 2010 and was T4 last year. I’m not confident pulling the trigger on Watson, Spieth, Fowler or Mickelson just yet. THERE’S NOTHING WORSE than playing defense but these gentlemen are more valuable in majors/WGC than here in the desert. Brendan Steele was the backup plan. Mahan = T30 $36,729 but cashed more $$$ than Phil or Rickie! NOBODY CARES!!!
FIO: I’ve ridden Fowler here the last two years and he responded with T6 and MC so let’s hold off on the ticker tape parade. I’m throwing caution to the wind this week and sending the No. 1 player in the FedExCup to do work. With T2 and WIN in his last two Jimmy Walker is the play this week. I can’t use him next week at Pebble Beach where he is the defending champion (and I had him in OAD!) and his record at Riviera isn’t as strong as it is here. DO WORK, SON!One shot out of the lead entering Sunday resulted in a, for him (and me) a disappointing T7 and $189,787. Yep, that’s how high the bar is now set with him on the California coast.]
Pebble Beach: Day is tempting but if he keeps playing like this he’ll have chances in bigger paydays so he’s out. I’m saving Johnson for his redemption song next week at Riviera so he’s out. Walker was played last week plus he’s the defending champ so that leaves Patrick Reed. Hit it a mile. Find it. Make everything. Win. Kevin Na, Aaron Baddeley or would be a nice fill for a TOAD. Imagine if Reed didn’t close with 67 to finish T29 and pocket $44,200? Wait, it could have been WORSE? Blimey…
NTO: I’m a romantic so Dustin Johnson gets the call this week. His six months on the sideline were spent playing and practicing in his adopted home town and his form at Riviera is better than most.He lost in a playoff to James Hahn. That sums up my career in OAD. P2 $589,600. I liked when he was solo second last year when I had him…#MOARMONEY
Honda: I’m going to keep the big hitter motif going this week as I sent Keegan Bradley to bat. I’m looking to grab a guy who’s hot and has course form and he checks both boxes.Dead-beat MC. Wow. #NaeDollars
WGC-CC:There’s no point for me to start “saving” anybody for anything as this season is slowly slipping away. Plus, this is a WGC and the prize pool is only bigger in a couple events (PLAYERS/Open Championship). Bubba Watson is being sent out to stop the bleeding. Go on son! Bring the General Lee if necessary! HELP ME BUBBA! Other considerations would include Day (any event) or McIlroy (any event) and for TOADYS, I’m not sure how I’d talk anyone out of Jamie Donaldson.Watson finished solo third for $540,000. WHO TOLD HIM ON THE BACK NINE THAT I HAD HIM IN OAD?
PRO: I’ll give Overton a chance to keep up the heat on a track where he’s had success in the recent past. T27; $18,736.
Valspar: Time to strike while the iron is hot with Luke Donald. His four trips around here have been quite tight. He’ll be happy to be inland this week and he’ll also be happy to see a yardage book with familiar marks on it. I’m not sure he has a better course history anywhere else and that’s been his calling card the last two years: course form.Well that streak of course form is over; T53, $13,468.
API: Orlando residents Ian Poulter, Graeme McDowell or Henrik Stenson work this week. Kevin Na is also a tasty angle if he’s still available. Since Match Play is all jacked up different this year, this will be the spot I burn Poults. Hopefully he bought another Ferrari this week and feels he needs to pay for it immediately…Poulter opened with 67 and got worse from there with 70-71-72 to close and watch the field lap him on the weekend. T21 for $59,141. The only way I’ll accept this is Stenson winning when I finally pull the trigger on him.
Valero: Laird gets the call this week as I’ll gladly save the heavy hitters for down the road. The list of winners here is odd so it’s not the week to burn a big name.The winner last week wasn’t odd but he wasn’t available for me anyhow. Laird has finally burned out as his T50 for $14,838 feels just like a MC.
SHO: I’m not one of those weirdos who selects the defending champ once a year so I’m playing J.B. Holmes this week instead of saving him for Quail Hollow. I don’t love that he’s coming off a MC his last time out but his numbers at GCH are very nice. I hope the course is soaking wet and long as it can play.BINGO. BANGO. BONGO. First oversized check of the year!
Masters: Mickelson was a tempting choice this week as was the blazing hot Spieth but I’m going to load up on Jason Day for the second consecutive year. Except this year he’s not hurt. I’ve played Watson, DJ, Walker already on courses where they have excelled in the past and have had decent success. Day fits that bill this week.Please read the first sentence over and over and over and over and over and over again. I’m wondering how I left Rose out! Day opened with 67 and faded away to T28 and $68,000 while the first two names on the team sheet made $880,000 and $1.8 million respectively. All I can do is laugh. Again.
RBC Heritage: Since I can’t see the forest from the trees, Charley Hoffman gets the ball this week. His current form is excellent and he has plenty of scar tissue at this even that can help him down the stretch. If Spieth wins… HEY AT LEAST SPIETH DIDN’T WIN LAST WEEK!!! And neither did Goldilocks; and neither did I. Twhocares and $12,054
Zurich: With six of the last nine at TPC Louisiana going to a first-timer, I’m going with youthful exuberance in Morgan Hoffmann. Other considerations were Berger and Thomas. Hoffmann began the final round T9 and finished T36 for $31,099. If you’re scoring at home, this is the THIRD tournament in a row that my “other” selections have done just a bit better. See above for details as Berger was T6 and Thomas was T12.
WGC-Match Play: Reading this has angered me so I’m sending Paul Casey to the bat this week. I don’t care if it’s a cricket bat. It's a big tournament so it deserves a big player. Stupid food poisoning. Stupid putter. Stupid McIlroy.T5 $285,000.
THE PLAYERS: I’m going with Ponte Vedra’s adopted son, Jim Furyk. His form has been excellent and his course knowledge is second-to-none. Stenson, Garcia and Westwood would be my next three.T56; $22,200. Not worth adding up.
Wells Fargo: If you can’t use defending champions then McIlroy is DONE for The Open, WGC-BI and PGA so please remember that. The safety net of the U.S. Open for Mickelson goes out the window as well as Chambers Bay will be new to everyone besides Greller and Spieth. Stenson was T3 at St. Andrews in 2010 so that’s an option moving forward. I’ll take Mickelson on the track where he’s had his best results without a victory (besides the U.S. Open). Congrats to Rory on his win! Well, I nailed this on both ends so I’m just half-angry. T4, $293,466 so I only left $990k on the table!
Colonial: With two wins in his last four years and six top 10s in the last seven, I’ll trust ZJ to do the business this week. His putter hasn’t been up to the task but his current form suggests his ball-striking is carrying the load. Folks might argue to save him for the JDC but that will take 30 birdies to win and a cold putter won’t help with that. Dufner also got a look but Palmer (already burned) should be your choice if ZJ is not going out. Peterson is the play this week if catching up is the order of the day. Johnson finished T19 for $ 78,780 even though he led the field in GIR and fairways. Please don’t ask about his putting stats. Good luck to all of you who are saving him for JDC where he’ll need 30 birdies to win.
Memorial: With a track that usually favors veteran studs, I’m going with course-horse Matt Kuchar, to hell with his recent form. Haas and Rose were very close second and third choices so I have no problem endorsing them either. T30-something. Who cares. $45,880.
FESJC: I'm throwing Horschel to the wolves this week as my sacrificial lamb. In a field with light options for me and in general, I need to score a big one to start making a difference. I can argue that leaders should use a big name to keep/maintain their lead. I can also argue that in a bizarre field such as this it's time for a "throwaway" pick so that there is lumber in the lineup down the road. Jesus, based on my OAD record, I'm surprised anyone reads what I think on this subject. To both of you taking this in, thank you. It means a lot. No, it does, thank you. T8, $168,000 feels like HEAVEN.
U.S. Open: A very difficult decision this week as a brand-new track offers more questions than answers. As I've argued throughout this week a "new" venue will give the heaviest of hitters the advantage as the playing field is level. Cream rises and all of that. With St. Andrews, WGC-BI, Whistling Straits and the four FEDEX Cup Playoff events left I have a pool of 11 players I have "saved" either by plan or ineptitude. FEC rank in ( )
Rory McIlroy (3)
Jordan Spieth (1)
Justin Rose (11)
Henrik Stenson (40)
Sergio Garcia (32)
Rickie Fowler (19)
Adam Scott (116)
Hideki Matsuyama (9)
Brandt Snedeker (8)
Kevin Na (25)
Bill Haas (20)
I'm sticking with my No. 1 in The Chalk, Justin Rose, as he'll have plenty of power, ball-striking and experience to navigate this track. Obviously I won't talk anyone out of Spieth or McIlroy either this week but I like the Englishman. Forget the King, God save ME!
SEASON TOTAL: $4,088,954; 31 events
Wins: Holmes, SHO
Seconds: Johnson, D., P2, NTO
Thirds: Watson, solo, WGC-CC
Top 10s: 11
Top 25s: 15
T53: 1, Donald on a course where he’s never finished worse than 6th.
MC: 3, Moore (Shriners), Swafford (SFC), Bradley (Honda) & Leishman (ATTBNC)
Thermometer: One in a row is not a streak; still better than none in a row.
And the analysis doesn't end here. Rotoworld's Rob Bolton and I will be co-hosting a live chat Wednesday at 12 ET. We will be breaking down the field at the U.S. Open and answering your questions. Simply return to the golf home page to join in on the chatter.