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 plus my new expanded feature on my weekly selection for One-and-Done players.
GolfChannel.com Fantasy Golf
Glass ($7,878,539; Rank: 5,258)
Wow, what a dumpster fire last week! Dustin Johnson WDs and both course horses Brian Davis and Stuart Appleby couldn’t find the weekend. Keegan Bradley opened with 66 but went nowhere. Plus, ALL FOUR of us had Bradley. That NEVER works out. I need a thank-you note from the boys this week as I hopped off J.B. Holmes and they all enjoyed his T12. But, I did MOP UP at the Kraft-Nabisco as I had Lexi Thompson (winner, winner) and Stacy Lewis (solo third) to move me up a few spots. #alwayslookonthebrightsideoflife
Group 1: Rory McIlroy
Group 2: Brandt Snedeker
Group 3: Lee Westwood
Group 4: Fred Couples
ANALYSIS: McIlroy has been taught enough lessons around here and I like he’s already won two majors. Snedeker was a tough choice in group two but he’s learned, the hard way, what it takes to succeed around here. I’ve gone with straight course form and experience in the final two groups but I’m relying on Day to do the business this week. Plus, I’ve got catching up to do!
Rob Bolton ($8,533,871; Rank: 3,009)
Group 1: Adam Scott
Group 2: Brandt Snedeker
Group 3: Gary Woodland
Group 4: John Senden
ANALYSIS: Rob is looking for Scott to join a VERY exclusive club and is hoping that Woodland can keep up the Schwartzel-Watson trend of lesser experienced players doing well.
Ryan O’ Sullivan ($8,180,973; Rank: 4,087)
Group 1: Rory McIlroy
Group 2: Bubba Watson
Group 3: Harris English
Group 4: Marc Leishman
ANALYSIS: O is using the “which outsider Aussie is going to win this week” theory on his Group 4 selection. I can’t argue with his top pick and he, like Rob, also went young-inexperienced in Group 3.
Ned Brown ($10,764,800; Rank: 173)
Group 1: Adam Scott
Group 2: Dustin Johnson
Group 3: Lee Westwood
Group 4: Fred Couples
ANALYSIS: Ned keeps rolling along and we're both on the Westwood-Couples exacta this week.
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.
SHO Points: 173
Spring Segment Points: 173
Spring Ranking: 12,664
Season Points: 2,101
Season Ranking: 5,457
Matt Kuchar: He is super-hot right now and led going into the back nine in the last two weeks, but then watched his championship hopes slip away. His recent history at Augusta is very good with a T3 in '12 and a T8 last year.
Adam Scott: Similar to Kuchar, Scott last time out was leading the API, but then had a poor final round of 4-over-par 76 to slip into third place. Still, over all he has played well this year and his recent record at The Masters is outstanding with a T2 in '11, a T8 in '12 and a championship last year.
Rory McIlroy-- McIlroy is rounding into form at the right time with T2 at the Honda and a T7 last week at the SHO. His record at Augusta isn't as strong as I would like, but he has managed top 25 finishes in three of his five career starts here.
Dustin Johnson-- He burnt a lot of fantasy players with his withdrawal from the SHO, but before that he was one of the surest bets in stroke-play events. Like McIlroy, I wish he had a little stronger record at Augusta, but his best career finish here came last year when he tied for 13th place.
Jason Day-- Day has been on the sidelines with a bad thumb since his championship at WGC-Accenture Match Play. He took an injection for it and claims the thumb is not an issue. I'm concerned that he hasn't had enough practice coming into The Masters, but his recent record here of a T2 in '11 and a third place last year has me willing to roll the dice on him.
Jason Dufner-- I think this spot is a real toss-up between Justin Rose and Jason Dufner. Rose seemed to be over his shoulder injury at the Valspar, but then proceeded to miss the cut at the API. I'm going instead with Dufner, like Rose, he earned a major title last year and has played well recently with a T9s at both WGC events and a T14 last time out at the Valspar.
Sergio Garcia: This well could be the year Sergio wins a major. He has played great golf since his win in Thailand with a championship in Qatar and top 10s in three of his four starts on the PGA TOUR. His recent history at Augusta is good with a T12 in '12 and a T8 last year.
Charl Schwartzel: He picked up a pair of championships in the off season and that has carried over to his play in the PGA TOUR with a fifth place at the NTO and a T9 at Doral. He has only one top 10 finish at The Masters, but it was a championship in '11.
Ryan O’Sullivan (O)
“The Golf Aficionado”
SHO Points: 185
Spring Segment Points: 185
Spring Ranking: 5,900
Season Points: 2,219
Season Ranking: 447
SHO Points: 137
Spring Segment Points: 137
Spring Ranking: 41,019
Season Points: 2,142
Season Ranking: 2,761
SHO Points: 136
Spring Segment Points: 136
Spring Ranking: 41,396
Full Season Points: 2,116
Full Season Ranking: 4,308
Well, I started spring with a RESOUNDING thud as I couldn’t time the Kuchar market properly. That’s the story of my Yahoo! life. After DJ and #SpiethBoner exited early I was forced to eat Keegan Bradley’s over-par rounds of nothingness all weekend long. Whatever. Pick better golfers, I get it. I listed Sergio Garcia in this column but ended up going with Charl Schwartzel in a last minute change. HOW DID THAT WORK OUT AGAIN? Not well, my friends.
Adam Scott: Yep, not that tough.
Phil Mickelson: Tough between him and Kuchar but not really. This is what Mickelson programs his life around and without Woods lurking, I’m expecting a huge week. He can see jacket No. 4 on the horizon.
Rory McIlroy: I feel like he can shoot 65 anytime he tees it up here.
Jason Day: With finishes on the podium in his last two completed tournaments here it’s mindless to leave him off in ANY format.
Zach Johnson: Although his record here isn’t great outside of his win, he has the perfect temperament to grind out four rounds.
Jason Dufner: I’m going with the PGA champ in this spot as his ball-striking will be the difference.
Sergio Garcia: He’s in the prime of his career and is peaking at the right time.
Charl Schwartzel: He’s already shown he has chops to handle a back nine Sunday around these parts.
Frys.com: Gary Woodland, MC. Well, at least I don’t have to worry about when I’m using GARY WOODLAND again!
CIMB Classic: Let’s try this again: Hideki Matsuyama. There’s no cut. This pleases me. His T25 after 74 on Sunday does not please me. Oh well. Here’s $53,433 into the piggy bank.
WGC-HSBC: Martin Kaymer. There’s no other place I would consider using him and he’s the defending champ on this track. #hangsonfordearlife. Kaymer’s third round 62 dared me to dream but his T8 and $161,667 is a nice deposit.
The McGladrey Classic: David Toms. He’s finished T3 in 2010 and second last year. His recent form suggests he’s playing well and I don’t see another chance to burn him down the road. It was him or CH III. Well, BOTH of my selections finished T27. I should have listened to O…T27 was good for $39,050.
OHL Mayakoba: Brian Gay. When form meets course history… Well, that was a nice theory but it resulted in T45 and $18,060. I’m glad 2013 is now over.
HTOC: Martin Laird. Since I’m off to a woeful start I see no reason to burn a premium player. Chris Kirk was my second choice but nobody wins in back-to-back starts plus he’s just had another child. Laird is the horse-for-course. The Scot finished T20 in a 30-man field for $87,000.
Sony: Charles Howell III. He plays great in the early part of the season and his record at Waialae has everything BUT a win. If you notice, I saved most of my heavy hitters for the latter part of 2013 last year and that strategy worked out. Hey, a top 10 and $119,000! Feels like a winner!
Humana: Webb Simpson has been on fire to get 2013-14 started and going low has never been a problem. It’s time to start firing at ‘em. Sigh. Another week brings another disappointing selection as I add a whopping $57,000 to my morbid total.
FIO: Same as last year, Rickie Fowler. He’s working with Butch Harmon to get to the next level and he’s played SoCal courses plenty in his young life. He finished up last week at Humana 67-66 and he’s finished T5, T20, T13 and T6 last year in four career starts. I’ll save Woods and Mickelson for down the road for bigger winner’s checks. Snedeker and Walker were also considered and are solid options for this week. Fowler was just as bad as the other four I had listed, save for Woods’ MDF cash. Tough week in OAD for most I’m guessing. MC $0.
WMPO: Ryan Palmer. He’s on fire, can really putt and was fifth here last year. His excellent 64 saw him make the cut but his 70-72 weekend resulted in T48 at $15,772. I finished strong last year because I had a stable full of studs from The Open Championship through the FedExCup Playoffs. I’m not panicking. Yet.
AT&T PEBBLE: Jimmy Walker is the pick this week. He’s a beast on the West Coast and he’s had time to recover from his illness after MC at Torrey Pines. BANG TRISCUITS. Winner, winner, chicken dinner and $1,188,000.
NTO: Dustin Johnson goes to bat this week for Team Glass. His form is excellent and the fact that he’s banged top 10s in half of his trips here doesn’t hurt either. Tacos for everyone! Johnson’s solo second adds $723,600 to the bank! #heatwave
WGC-Match Play: Ian Poulter will be my hedge this week. His recent starts hardly inspire but there’s no doubting his inner fortitude in Match Play. He is the 2010 champ and was fourth last year. I don’t see myself using him anywhere else this season. Hunter Mahan would be choice No. 2 but I don’t like his draw with the sizzling Zach Johnson. Don’t forget Mahan played in the last group in the U.S. Open and The Open in 2013. Ah, Poults…$48,000.
Honda Classic: Graeme McDowell is the choice this week. There has been no rust after his time off this winter and I’m encouraged after his result at Pebble and WGC-Match Play. I’m using Mickelson at Pinehurst so this is an easy play. He was three-under heading into the weekend. He was even when the weekend was over. Add $15,600 to the bank. That couldn’t cover Bolton’s Lear jet for the weekend…
WGC-CC: With a massive prize pool, I have no problem pulling the trigger on, as for reasons mentioned above, on an ultra-premium player. GO MCILROY GO! After making a birdie on No. 1 on Sunday, He was just four back. That was his last birdie of the day, sigh, T25, $76,000.
Valspar: It was down to Furyk or Donald, but Donald had only ONE bad round last week! Go Luke Go! Donald finished T4, good for $235,600. Another cash and another top five works for me.
VTO: It came down to Charley Hoffman and Freddie Jacobson last week and the American with the impeccable track record at Valero won the starting spot. He didn’t disappoint as he ground-out a T11 to rack up $136,400. #verynice
Shell Houston Open: The big Swede I should have went with was Freddie Jacobson but instead it was Henrik Stenson. I have now been severely toasted on two premium players in 2014 as McIlroy (T25, WGC-CC) and Stenson (T54) have given me absolutely nothing. Yes, $14,456 is nothing in this game.
Masters: I’m going right back into the deep end of the pool with Jason Day this week as for reasons stated above and in my preview column. These are weeks for the heavy hitters to stand up and be counted. Others that were in consideration this week were Sergio Garcia, Matt Kuchar, Charl Schwartzel, Brandt Snedeker and Justin Rose. If you’re looking for a cheeky two-and-done, Lee Westwood would be a solid selection based on his track record here. If you’re wondering why Adam Scott is not included, most OAD formats do NOT let you select the defending champion so that’s why.
SEASON TOTAL: $3,190,902; 21 events
Wins: 1; Jimmy Walker (AT&T Pebble)
Seconds: 1; Dustin Johnson (NTO)
Top 5s: 3
Top 10s: 5
Top 25s: 12
Thermometer: #drought looking to breakout this week
And the analysis doesn't end here. Rotoworld's Rob Bolton and I will be co-hosting a one-hour live chat Wednesday at NOON p.m. ET. We will be breaking down the field at the Masters and answering your questions. Simply return to the golf home page to join in on the chatter.