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 ($20,769,935; Rank: 1,950)
What a dumpster fire I sent out last week! My go-for-broke lineup has left me broke as GolfChannel.com didn’t even count my $161,749 even though it wasn’t my worst score of the session! Insult AND injury! But I digress in thought and in standings…Adam Scott tried but couldn’t hole any putts; Reed shot 82 in the third round after beginning the day just three shots back. Leishman and Van Pelt didn’t help anything either. Sigh.
Group 1: Rory McIlroy
Group 2: Jimmy Walker
Group 3: Bill Haas
Group 4: Kevin Chappell
ANALYSIS: I’m not making the mistake of leaving the hottest player on the planet off my roster again. Lesson learned. Walker just goes about his business and continues to shine and I’ve loaded up with a pair of ball-strikers in Groups 3 and 4 to cement my roster.
Rob Bolton ($19,144,661; Rank: 4,545)
Group 1: Rory McIlroy
Group 2: Jordan Spieth
Group 3: Webb Simpson
Group 4: Charles Howell III
ANALYSIS: Bolton piles right back on Spieth to kick it into gear and supports him with fellow Yanks Simpson and CH III. We’re both on McIlroy but we’ll have three other battles as the Boss is quietly sneaking up on me!
Ryan O’ Sullivan ($20,550,136; Rank: 2,223)
Group 1: Rory McIlroy
Group 2: Rickie Fowler
Group 3: Bill Haas
Group 4: Carl Pettersson
ANALYSIS: O showing off his smarts by joining me on Haas in Group 3 so we’ll battle with Fowler and Pettersson as I try to hold him off as well.
Ned Brown ($23,068,734; Rank: 409)
Group 1: Rory McIlroy
Group 2: Phil Mickelson
Group 3: Bill Haas
Group 4: Geoff Ogilvy
ANALYSIS: Ned maintains his lead as we all failed to ring a loud bell last week. The last time he led with McIlroy and Mickelson they finished 1 and 2 at the PGA. Yikes. He hops on the Haas train and goes with Ogilvy in Group 4 to try and cash on that hot hand. We’re going to have to find a non-Group 1 winner against him to make up the ground with only two events left!
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.
DBC Points: 162
Summer Segment Points: 1,740
Summer Ranking: 9,119
Season Points: 5,435
Season Ranking: 2,709
Adam Scott: I have one start left with Scott, so it's tempting to save him for the TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP, but he has played so well this summer that I'm going to try to leave him in the lineup, but on the bench. I'll use him if it's clear that he will be in contention for the Yahoo! bonus points.
Phil Mickelson: He played well at the WGC-BI and then finished in second place at the PGA Championship, but since then hasn’t done much in the FedEx Cup Playoffs. The reason I am going with him this week is that it is a no-cut event, plus he plays well in Colorado with two The International titles (‘93 and ‘97) and a US Amateur title here at Cherry Hills in ‘90.
Jason Day: This has McIlroy written all over it but I’m out of starts on him. Day gets the call as he was again in the hunt for another title last week, but had to settle for a tie for seventh place after a final round of even-par. Still, it was another very good tournament for Day and I'll try to continue to ride the hot hand.
Justin Rose: The Englishman has played well coming into the PGA Championship yet he finished back in the pack at the PGA and The Barclays. He skipped playing in Boston last week and I'm hoping that the rest returns him to the form that he was showing during most of the summer.
Bill Haas: He has played well in his last three events with a T2 at the Wyndham, a T15 at The Barclays and a T9 last week at the Deutsche Bank. I thought he looked very sharp last week and I'm hoping that carries over into this week.
Ernie Els: Recently Els has alternated between tournaments of finishing back in the pack or having a top ten result. If this pattern holds, then this is the week that would be a top ten finish. Els use to be a regular at The International and he won the event in 2000, so I'm hoping that like Mickelson his former form in Colorado is a positive.
Sergio Garcia: Like Rose, Garcia was playing well going into The PGA, but has had a couple of so-so outings. Also like Rose, Garcia skipped last week's Deutsche Bank and I'm hoping that the break will give a boost to their chances this week.
Jimmy Walker: Overall, Walker has played well recently with a T7 at the PGA and a T9 last week at the DBC. His missed cut at The Barclays is a bit of a concern but we are into the no-cut part of the Playoffs so I don't have to worry about missing out on points on the weekend.
Ryan O’Sullivan (O)
“The Golf Aficionado”
DBC Points: 140
Summer Segment Points: 1,816
Summer Ranking: 1,700
Season Points: 5,650
Season Ranking: 140
DBC Points: 128
Summer Segment Points: 1,790
Summer Ranking: 3,456
Season Points: 5,433
Season Ranking: 2,770
DBC Points: 134
Summer Segment Points: 1,785
Summer Ranking: 3,862
Season Points: 5,496
Season Ranking: 1,422
Adam Scott flew the flag all four rounds in his final start and did what he could but Jason Day and Keegan Bradley not firing on Monday left me in the middle of the pack with those who didn’t have Captain Kirk. You can't spell debacle without DBC!
Rickie Fowler: Since I’ve burned Scott to the ground, Fowler will now lead the line in Group A. His recent run of form is just missing a win. I guess he was waiting for me to line him up!
Henrik Stenson: Ruthless off the tee and from the fairway, the big Swede knows he needs a top finish here for a chance to win ANOTHER $10 million. His closing 65 at DBC last week doesn’t hurt.
Justin Rose: He wanted a week off to get rested. He’ll need a big one as he begins the week at No. 27 in the race to $10 million.
Jason Day: Knock. Knock. Knock. Knock. KICK IT IN, DAWG!
Zach Johnson: I’m stretching here but ZJ tends to turn it up in the Midwest and Denver is close enough. If he’s having a rough one, my other three should cover him up nicely.
Bill Haas: He’s won at an old classic at Riviera and could do so again this week. His form is excellent and all that is missing from his resume is a W.
Sergio Garcia: After his two hiccups at the PGA and Barclays, Garcia, after his weekend in NYC, should be rested and ready to find his usual form before the Ryder commences.
Jimmy Walker: If I played him last week and he hit a top 10 I see no reason to leave him off again this week. Bomb and gouge, son!
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 T15
DBC: Patrick Reed MDF
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.
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. God, that is SO PAINFUL to read. Look, I could care less if I don’t pick the winner but omitting the winner from the final two is brutal. Hass was T15 for $132,000 but that was just over $1.1 million SHORT of what Mahan cashed. I’m going to throw up.
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)
I tried the Haas bounce back theory last week and that failed me so I’m not going to rehash that with Mahan this week. CONGRATULATIONS HUNTER ON BACK-TO-BACK WINS.
DBC: I’ve loaded up on Reed just about everywhere else so I’m going to trot him out to bring home the bacon in the OAD as well. He’s been close; he’s fearless and his final rounds lately have been the proof to see he’s really close to winning again. #fingerscrossed Well, that didn’t work to say the least, MDF and $15,280. Barf.
BMW: Since I have slim pickings left in the top players in the world I’m going with an audible and playing Justin Rose this week. He currently sits No. 27 and will need a solid result to get into The TOUR Championship. That leaves me with Kirk or Mahan for the finally which they are guaranteed to start.
SEASON TOTAL: $6,097,486; 43 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: 23
Thermometer: ICE. FREAKING. COLD
And the analysis doesn't end here. Rotoworld's Rob Bolton and I will be co-hosting a live chat Wednesday at NOON ET. We will be breaking down the field at the BMW Championship and answering your questions. Simply return to the golf home page to join in on the chatter.