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 ($20,567,735; Rank: 1,638)
I was daydreaming on Friday with Laird and Snedeker hovering around the top 10 with Johnson Wagner not far behind. On Sunday, it was T5, T14 and T38. Brooks Koepka’s 66 on Sunday was too little too late. It really doesn’t matter where the players finish if it is not first or second as the “other” money never makes any difference. The only rule is this game is to win or fall farther behind. This is where I’d mention that I got beat in a playoff by Ned last week in the LPGA game but that’s just cruel.
Group 1: Rory McIlroy
Group 2: Bill Haas
Group 3: Nick Watney
Group 4: Geoff Ogilvy
ANALYSIS: I’m not leaving McIlroy out this week although it would hardly surprise me if he didn’t win! I’d hate to miss out on the history if he did win so I’m on board. Haas delivered just what the fantasy doctor needed last week as he missed out on a playoff by one shot. He’d been knocking and now it’s time to kick the door in! Watney has been playing quite solid for multiple weeks now and won this event out of nowhere in 2012. I went “old” guy in Group Four as I’m just looking to make a cut. Ogilvy has tamed Tillinghast once, at Winged Foot, in 2006 at the U.S. Open. Thanks, Phil!!!
Rob Bolton ($18,466,777; Rank: 4,977)
Group 1: Rory McIlroy
Group 2: Rickie Fowler
Group 3: Nick Watney
Group 4: Retief Goosen
ANALYSIS: Nick Watney was sitting pretty for Bolton last week before his double on the final hole but he’s put him right back into the lineup this week. His first two picks match everyone but me and he’s gone “oldie” in Group 4 with the cut making machine that is Goosen.
Ryan O’ Sullivan ($19,906,159; Rank: 2,465)
Group 1: Rory McIlroy
Group 2: Rickie Fowler
Group 3: Paul Casey
Group 4: Robert Streb
ANALYSIS: I’m in big trouble this week if Fowler continues his majestic play and Casey repeats his T7 from 2008 and his T12 from 2010. Robert Streb is the youth movement in Group 4 as we all continue to chase Ned.
Ned Brown ($22,652,997; Rank: 386)
Group 1: Rory McIlroy
Group 2: Rickie Fowler
Group 3: Nick Watney
Group 4: Camilo Villegas
ANALYSIS: The ONLY week Ned did NOT pick Villegas in the GC game and he ends up winning! He got his revenge with Inbee Park at the Wegman’s LPGA as he beat my Group 3 player (!!) in a playoff. This week, we match the odds and are at odds in Group 2 and Group 4. I like that everyone is on Fowler this week! Go Haas go!
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.
Wyndham Points: 186
Summer Segment Points: 1,422
Summer Ranking: 10,876
Season Points: 5,177
Season Ranking: 2,917
Adam Scott: I'm down to only two starts left with Scott, but he has played so well this summer that I'm going to continue to roll with him. He is the defending champ this week, but you can't give it the normal weight this week due to the course change.
Rickie Fowler: He’s been killing it this summer. His results in his last five events are: T2 at the US Open, T8 at the Scottish Open, the British Open a T2, a T8 in the WGC BI and a T3 at the PGA. You can make an argument that he is the hottest player in Group A.
Justin Rose: McIlroy will be an automatic plugin for those that have starts left with him. Unfortunately, I'm out of starts so I'm going to use Justin Rose in this spot. Rose has cooled off a bit since his back-to-back wins at the QLN and the Scottish Open, however he is still playing well coming into this week.
Jason Day: Like McIlroy, I use my last start with Furyk at the PGA Championship, so I'm going to use Jason Day in this spot. He has been plagued with a thumb injury for most of the year, but he looked good last time out at the PGA Championship (T15). It is worth noting that the last time this event was played at Ridgewood CC ('10), Day tied for fifth place.
Kevin Streelman: He has been in a mini-slump since his amazing come from behind win at the Travelers. This week he is returning to a course that he loves. He tied for fourth place here in '08 and improved on that in '10 with a T3, which makes him the best horse for the course play this week.
Bill Haas: It's a real tough call here between Bill Haas and Webb Simpson. Both played well last week at the Wyndham (T2 for Haas, T5 for Simpson), but Simpson has missed the cut recently in the last two majors. So, I'm using Haas because I have a better feeling about him making the cut this week.
Sergio Garcia: His T35 at the PGA Championship was a bit of a disappointment, but he had been red hot coming into the last major with second place finishes in three of his last four tournaments. The only thing that stopped him from his first major and WGC title was an even hotter Rory McIlroy. Garcia did play in the '08 edition at Edgewood and he finished-- you guessed it-- in second place after a playoff with Vijay Singh.
Nick Watney: I'm really tempted to go with a major winner like Charl Schwartzel or Graeme McDowell with this pick, but I settled on Nick Watney. He has been rounding into form with a T12 at the Canadian Open, a T8 at the Barracuda and a T5 at the Wyndham. His recent history is very good in the Barclays, but Watney is really about trying to play the hot hand.
Ryan O’Sullivan (O)
“The Golf Aficionado”
Wyndham Points: 200
Summer Segment Points: 1,512
Summer Ranking: 1,102
Season Points: 5,346
Season Ranking: 86
Wyndham Points: 154
Summer Segment Points: 1,488
Summer Ranking: 2,562
Season Points: 5,131
Season Ranking: 2,542
Wyndham Points: 190
Summer Segment Points: 1,439
Summer Ranking: 8,098
Season Points: 5,150
Season Ranking: 2,093
Henrik Stenson: Long and strong, he showed his muscle last time at Valhalla where he shared the lead on the back nine on Sunday.
Matt Kuchar: The 2010 champ can really work it off the tee and his premium short game makes him a contender each week. Some of you will wonder how I have any starts left on Kuchar. Well, just check my season-long ranking and points for the answer. #mismanaged
The substitute pool in Group A is quite large with Adam Scott and Rickie Fowler leading the way. I have one start left on Scott and that’s going to be the DBC. I haven’t been on the Fowler bandwagon in Yahoo! all year and I’m not joining now. (check my ranking for details if this is a good idea or not)
Justin Rose: I have three starts left and I’ll use them this week and the final two weeks. Knowing my luck he’ll win the DBC the week I don’t use him!
Bill Haas: I really like what he showed last week as he led the field in GIR and SGP. He’s also fighting for a Ryder Cup spot and is looking to build on T2 last week.
Hunter Mahan: He’s giving gamers of all kind of belief as he starts firing down the stretch. It doesn’t hurt that he also holds the low round on this layout of 62.
Keegan Bradley: Shots were fired last week by Snedeker, Simpson and Haas as they were all T5 or better and looking for a captain’s pick. Bradley must respond after a MC at Valhalla. His uneven form scares the hell out of me this week but I feel he’s going to show Tom Watson what he’s made from.
Starts go out the window this time of year but I’m keeping Spieth and Furyk for East Lake as I only have one each left on them. Zach Johnson has been too quiet for my liking; Simpson and Snedeker are doing it with smoke and mirrors and I’m out of starts on McIlroy. I used him in the last three events. He won them all. I can’t lose THAT!
Sergio Garcia: He’s the only automatic on this list this week. He lost in a playoff here the first time they played Ridgewood in 2008.
Nick Watney: I had it down to the two W’s this week but stuck with the hotter hand and the better ball-striker. I can’t believe I just typed that Watney is playing better than Jimmy Walker recently. It’s all relative. Watney has produced three T12 or better results in his last four with his only blemish T33 at the PGA. Watney also sits 94th in the FEC standings and will need another solid week to keep on keepin’ on.
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: The Westwood for a two-and-done was more solid advice than going with (again) injured Jason Day. He rallied nicely for T20 but that’s not what I need in big events. I’ll add $101,600 to the kitty.
Here are my results in the four big payday events:
WGC-Match Play; Ian Poulter: T33
WGC-CC: Rory McIlroy; T25
Masters: Jason Day; T20
THE PLAYERS: Sergio Garcia; Third
U.S. Open: Phil Mickelson T35; reality checked
The Open: Adam Scott; T5
WGC-BI: Keegan Bradley; T4
PGA: Ryan Moore; T41
The Barclays: Bill Haas
RBC Heritage: Donald would obviously be the selection this week but I’ve burned him at Tampa. I’m going with Jim Furyk this week as he returns to a track where he’s had plenty of successes and his game has been in fine form the past month. I also considered Spieth and Kuchar for this spot but after a trying weekend at the Masters, I’ll save them both for down the road. As I mentioned above, I #fantasyfailed in so many ways on Kuchar this week I’ve lost count. Jim Furyk did exactly what gamers would expect, a top 10 (T7) and $187,050.
Zurich Classic: The safe pick this week would be Justin Rose but as I’ve demonstrated above, I DON’T PLAY SAFE. Or smart, sadly, for that matter. Whatever. That was the FIRST SENTENCE I wrote last week. Top 10s are GREAT people! Sadly, T29s are not and that’s what Graham DeLaet racked up for me last week. Sure it’s $44,200 but that’s not what I was looking for from a guy who made only FOUR bogeys on the week!!!
Wells Fargo: Since I’ve burned McIlroy, Furyk, Fowler and Walker, that leaves me Westwood, Moore, Rose and Holmes from my top eight. As I’ve mentioned, I’m leaving Rose for larger fish fryings and I would suggest that Holmes makes a nice choice for TADs this week. That leaves last week’s champion in Malaysia, Lee Westwood and Ryan Moore. Moore’s current form is the biggest concern and that’s the least of my worries with the Englishman. Westwood will fly the flag this week for the S.S. Tirefire. SO CLOSE YET SO FAR as Holmes was the suggestion in the TWO and Done so hopefully Don from the PNW read the column!! As we all know, Westwood MC.
THE PLAYERS: For those of you who didn’t blow Westwood out last week, he’ll make a tasty TAD pick this week to go along with Rory McIlroy, Jim Furyk or Sergio Garcia. Since I’ve burned three of the four mentioned above, I’m going with the Spaniard to claim his second title here. Vamos Sergio! Wow. All FOUR of those picks hit the T6 or better last week! I know what that means this week: carnage. Fine. I’m not scared.
HPBNC: I’m going with #SpiethBoner in his backyard. Keegan Bradley would make a fine selection as well and I should hedge but WHAT FUN WOULD THAT BE? I wouldn’t talk you out of Woodland either as I’m really high on him this week as well but I’ve burned him already. For the TOADs (TwOAndDones) in the crowd, Marc Leishman is the no-brainer here. Add Jordan Spieth to the Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Jason Day pile of premium players that I have burned with awful results. At least my TOAD pick with Leishman was quality. Spieth finished T37 for $30,403.
CPIC: There are two reasons I like Zach Johnson this week. One, I’ve already burned Jim Furyk. Two, the win pool is almost $300k more than the JDC where I will burn Stricker. LET’S GET GREEDY. There are three chalk players this week and I’ve mentioned two of them. Matt Kuchar is the third. Oh, and Paul Casey was mentioned for the TOAD. O-fer EVERYTHING last week. #awesome. Zach Johnson finished 73rd, or third-to-last, for a whopping $12,416.
Memorial: I’m going with Charl Schwartzel here even though only seven of 38 winners over the years are non-American. He’s a steady-eddy and his last three starts here have all improved and have all been inside the top 25. Well, that worked out nicely as the South African finished T8 for $167,400. This is part of the column where I would mention he was T5 beginning Sunday if I was bitter but I’m not.
FESJC: A thin field leaves me with few premium choices as I am burning Mickelson next week at Pinehurst and DJ has already bagged me a solo second at Riviera. John Senden and Paul Casey are the only two in my Call to Order that I have not played this season. I’m going to keep it simple stupid and roll with Aussie who has been firing all season long. Sendo wento homo earlio with MC. Rubbish. The alternate selections of DJ, Westwood and Palmer fell just as flat. Complete throw away week last week.
U.S. Open: I’ve had Phil Mickelson circled for this event for 364 days. Do I wish he was playing better? No. This week is this week. The U.S. Open is the U.S. Open. I’m looking for some #Philanthropy to get back into the top 500 or so in the GC game. Well, Mickelson was, well, Mickelson but sadly not U.S. Open Phil Mickelson. He was 2014 Mickelson. He was T35. $59,588 will have to do.
Travelers: It’s time for #BubbaGolf! Like Mickelson, this play has been planned out for some time so I hope I’m not a day late and a million or so dollars short. #fingerscrossed #BubbaGolf resulted in T31 or worse for the third tournament in a row. #FadeMe
QLN: I’m sending the quiet assassin Brendon Todd to bat this week to shake it up. He’s better than you think and his game is a solid as it gets. It feels so good to be back in the top five again! Almost like a win!! T5, $237,250
Greenbrier: A very difficult decision this week came down to three players: Patrick Reed, Marc Leishman and Ben Martin. Leishman will get the nod because of his form, barely, over Martin and Reed. Brendan Steele should have been in the conversation but I’ll save him for Reno-Tahoe. The ENTIRE LINE-UP WAS AWFUL unless you consider Reed’s T26 a positive result. Leishman ended up MC for $0.
JDC: This week, there are only two choices for OAD, Steve Stricker and Zach Johnson. If you need to be contrarian, this is not the week because of the course history and domination of Stricker and Johnson. If you are new to this format and you’ve already burned these two, take a look at Chris squared, Kirk or Stroud. Stricker, Johnson and Spieth all cashed nice checks but ZJ was the winner on solo second. Stricker’s T11 was good for $112,800 or about $830,000 less than I expected with him in the final group.
The Open: My top two players are available this week and that has been by design. I have put off using Rose and Scott for occasions such as this and now comes the difficult decision of picking the “right” one. There is no wrong answer this week for my money. I’m going with Scott as he is fresh, focused and has been at Hoylake practicing since last Thursday. Rose is the hottest player on the planet but The Open is far and away his weakest major and until last week, links golf hadn’t been very kind to him as a professional. The world’s No. 1 player didn’t win but he cashed another top five for me in a big tournament. Bueno.
RBC Canadian: With Kuchar, Snedeker and Mahan my only choices from the top 10 remaining, I’m going to fire Kuchar. I don’t like defending champions, even though the course is at another site. Mahan hasn’t shown enough form that THIS week will be the week he finally finds the top 10 again. Kuchar didn’t win but he did cash a T5 so no complaints here.
Barracuda Championship: Brendan Steele has finished in the top eight twice in two career starts so he fires this week. I won’t mention that he began Sunday T4 or that he was just one of nine players to have NEGATIVE points in the final round. That would sound greedy. His T25 is what it is and I add $25,200.
WGC-BI: Part of me really wants to pull the trigger on Tiger Woods on course he’s dominated but I could have made the same argument at Torrey. People were shooting 65 on Sunday at Hoylake. He was 10 shots worse. I guess the good news is I will have him for down the road since Keegan Bradley gets the billing this week. BANG! Another top five performance keeps the fire burning as Bradley was T4 and pocketed $308,000.
PGA: With Tiger Woods and Jason Dufner injured, my insurance policies are dwindling with six events remaining. I’m saving Rose for East Lake, that’s a done deal so he’s out. In a major, I need a guy who can hole some putts so I’m putting the WHITE HOT Ryan Moore in the driving seat this week. #CrossesFingers as Brandt Snedeker and Patrick Reed also had my attention. Well, that streak of top-five finishes in the big events ends at three as Moore crashed out on Sunday to finish T41 and pocket $32,000. All my form plays last week, Bradley, Leishman and Moore fizzled on the big stage.
Wyndham: I’m going with Snedeker this week as I feel his putter on these greens will be the difference. Bill Haas had my attention until post time but he just hasn’t flashed signs of picking up a W. Webb Simpson should also be on your short list this week. For those of you scraping, Ernie Els is coming off a great week at Valhalla; Justin Hicks has two podium finishes in his last two starts and Tim Clark has had a very nice summer outside the last two weeks in big-time events. I’d also have no problem burning Matsuyama. Best of luck! Guess I should have stuck with Haas! Oh well, T5 from Snedeker is hardly criminal and I add $193,450 to my total.
Top TOUR Players Left (according to OWGR)
Justin Rose (4)
Matt Kuchar (7)
Tiger Woods (9)
Keegan Bradley (23)
Jason Dufner (25)
Patrick Reed (30)
Brandt Snedeker (35)
Bill Haas (36)
Ryan Moore (39)
Kevin Streelman (40)
Chris Kirk (43)
Hunter Mahan (44)
Jonas Blixt (45)
Harris English (48)
Matt Every (49)
The Barclays: After missing out on Haas last week I’m going to compound my mistake by loading up on him THIS week! Hunter Mahan was the other selection but I prefer the better ball-striker this week overall. Mahan will be in the lineup either next week or at Cherry Hills.
SEASON TOTAL: $5,950,206; 41 events
Wins: 1; Jimmy Walker (AT&T Pebble)
Seconds: 1; Dustin Johnson (NTO)
Thirds: 1; Sergio Garcia (PLAYERS)
Top 5s: 9
Top 10s: 13
Top 25s: 22
Thermometer: Results of T5, MC, T11, T5, T4, T25, T4, T41 and T5 has been very solid but lack of podium finishes isn’t helping the cause.
And the analysis doesn't end here. Rotoworld's Rob Bolton and I will be co-hosting a live chat Wednesday at NOON p.m. ET. We will be breaking down the field at The Barclays and answering your questions. Simply return to the golf home page to join in on the chatter.