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 ($10,803,278; Rank: 1,602)
J.B. Holmes was my biggest earner for the second week in a row and thankfully this week it was a victory! I moved up almost 3,000 places in the game and made over $1.5 million for the week and that was with only three players as Westwood crapped out. McIlroy was T8 and Jon Byrd was T14 on top of Holmes’ victory. Too bad O had the exact same lineup! No ground was made up! We’ll try again this week to crack the code!
Group 1: Rory McIlroy
Group 2: Jim Furyk
Group 3: Ryan Palmer
Group 4: Erik Compton
ANALYSIS: This is the toughest week to pick because of the loaded field but I’m hooking my wagon up to McIlroy again as he keeps bombing fairways and hitting plenty of GIR. If his putter shows up for NINE HOLES this week he could win by a handful. Jim Furyk is as hot as anyone on TOUR not named Matt Kuchar and the Ponte Vedra Beach resident has plenty of experience here. Ryan Palmer hits it a mile and is top 10 GIR so that works for me and Erik Compton loves golf in Florida and is in the middle of a career year. After last week’s monster, I’m expecting a massive, massive dumpster fire this week. Be afraid!
Rob Bolton ($9,583,478; Rank: 4,539)
Group 1: Matt Kuchar
Group 2: Luke Donald
Group 3: J.B. Holmes
Group 4: Erik Compton
ANALYSIS: The only one of the four amigos not to have J.B. Holmes in the lineup last week, he’ll pop him in this week. Rob and Ned match the first three picks so we’ll see what karma they have! Rob and I match Compton in group four.
Ryan O’Sullivan ($12,700,652; Rank: 209)
Group 1: Adam Scott
Group 2: Zach Johnson
Group 3: J.B. Holmes
Group 4: Ben Crane
ANALYSIS: Make it three winners in four from O as our matched sides cashed for over $1.5 million this week. He’s throwing Holmes right back into the fire and going with course horse Ben Crane to go along with Scott and Johnson. He’s on #mayjahfiyah in every game we play. BravO!
Ned Brown ($13,582,969; Rank: 64)
Group 1: Matt Kuchar
Group 2: Luke Donald
Group 3: J.B. Holmes
Group 4: Martin Flores
ANALYSIS: I suggested last week since O, Ned and I all matched four players that we would be absolutely awful or absolutely fantastic. We’ve all taken a deep breath and enjoyed our bounty. This week only Ned and O match one pick as I’m out in left field, picking daisies again.
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.
WFC Points: 112
Spring Segment Points: 665
Spring Ranking: 14,406
Season Points: 2,593
Season Ranking: 6,012
Matt Kuchar: He has led on the final nine holes of his last four events on the TOUR and he finally notched the win last time out at the Heritage with a hole-out from the greenside bunker on the final hole. Kuchar won this event in '12 and, even though I only have three starts left with him, the combination of current form and past champion makes him a must-use player this week.
Luke Donald: He was showing signs of regaining his form before the Masters, but an opening round of 79 sunk his chances of playing on the weekend. I was impressed the next week when he rebounded with a second place at the Heritage. His recent form at THE PLAYERS has been good with a T4 in '11, a sixth place in '12 and a T19 last year.
Rory McIlroy: He has been playing some very good golf in here with top 8s in four of his last five starts on The TOUR. It used to be that McIlroy had a bugaboo about making the cut here, but last year he broke out of that rut with a tie for eighth place.
Jim Furyk: He has been playing well in here with top 20's in his last five starts, but I was very impressed with his final round of 7-under-par 65 which moved him up to sole second place last week. His recent success at TPC Sawgrass has been limited, so he is mostly about playing his current hot hand.
Jordan Spieth: Normally, I wouldn't use a first-timer at TPC Sawgrass, but Spieth almost became the youngest player to win the Masters a couple of weeks ago. He finished in second place here in the Junior Players Championship in '10, so he does have some positive course background to build from.
Zach Johnson: I'm running short on starts with Johnson, but he it looks like he is starting to regain the form that he had earlier in the season. His recent course history here is solid, with a T12 in '11, a T2 in '12 and a T19 last year.
Sergio Garcia: He is another one of the players that were hot going into the Masters, but then missed the cut. Still, he has racked up four top nine finishes in his last six worldwide starts, including a championship at the Qatar Masters. He is somewhat of a horse for a course here with four top 10s in 14 career starts including a championship in '08.
J.B. Holmes: I feel good enough about Garcia to reach further down the Group C list to go with J.B. Holmes. His recent form of three consecutive top 19 finishes set him up for last week when he won the Wells Fargo Championship. His history at TPC Sawgrass is good, with a T10 in '08 and a T6 in '11.
Ryan O’Sullivan (O)
“The Golf Aficionado”
WFC Points: 178
Spring Segment Points: 827
Spring Ranking: 13
Season Points: 2,861
Season Ranking: 19
WFC Points: 122
Spring Segment Points: 637
Spring Ranking: 22,801
Season Points: 2,642
Season Ranking: 2,642
WFC Points: 156
Spring Segment Points: 704
Spring Ranking: 5,625
Full Season Points: 2,684
Full Season Ranking: 1,636
I’m the worst guesser ever in this game but I have been putting together some very solid rosters. As I moan on Twitter, I just can’t figure out what day each guy should play and this week as no different as I left 69, 68, 68, 67 and 65 on the bench again this week. That’s unbelievably unlucky but since I do it every week, maybe I am an idiot! DON’T ANSWER THIS QUESTION, PLEASE. My problem was sticking with Westwood and Walker Thursday and Friday. I’m going to get more liberal on my subs as it’s killing my point total. The great news from last week was having Holmes in group C when that category was as deep as it gets. Furyk was a straight no-brainer!
Adam Scott: I have six starts left on the Aussie ball-striker extraordinaire and I’m burning one this week.
Matt Kuchar: If I’m using current form as a measuring stick for ANYTHING this week, Kuchar has to be included as he’s the hottest player on the planet. Oh, and he won here in 2012.
Rory McIlroy: This will leave me with just four starts remaining on him but I have to ride the form of the youngster who just turned 25. His last four starts for me will come from me at the U.S. Open, PGA, DBC and TOUR Championship.
Jim Furyk: The PVB resident has been on fire this spring so he goes right back into the lineup this week as well.
Justin Rose: Rounding beautifully into shape as he ramps up towards his defense of his U.S. Open next month, Rose’s history here is trumped by his current form.
Zach Johnson: Gulp, just four starts left on him after this week as well! Maybe I can hide him on the bench this week with the three studs in front of him. Strategy was a strength; not disaster.
Sergio Garcia: With four top 10s in his career plus a number of chances to win, this is the spot for the Spaniard this week. I LOVED the fact last year that he went for the kill shot against Woods. Sure, he hit two in the water but he wasn’t playing for second place. With no Woods this year, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him take home another title.
Ryan Palmer: I don’t think Garcia will need much help this week but I’m going to go with a player who might not jump off the page this week in Palmer. His GIR number is top 10 and he hits it a mile. It doesn’t hurt that he broke a seven year MC streak with T5 last year either!
I only have five starts on Jimmy Walker and Harris English remaining so that’s why they are not included this week. I wouldn’t talk you out of either one of these players or J.B. Holmes for that matter. Chris Stroud just missed out for me as he has the best career stroke average at the Stadium Course.
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 three big payday events:
Poulter WGC-Match Play T33
McIlroy WGC-CC T25
Jason Day Masters T20
HEY HO! TRENDING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION BABY!
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!
SEASON TOTAL: $3,523,752; 25 events
Wins: 1; Jimmy Walker (AT&T Pebble)
Seconds: 1; Dustin Johnson (NTO)
Top 5s: 3
Top 10s: 6
Top 25s: 14
Thermometer: Holmes made the final cut but wasn’t the final decision. Time to whip out another big boy to start a late spring rally.
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 Wells Fargo Championship and answering your questions. Simply return to the golf home page to join in on the chatter.