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 ($17,401,248; Rank: 1,287)
After killing it without the winner at The Open, I gave it ALL back last week at the RBC. I went for the kill with Dustin Johnson when the proper play was just riding Jim Furyk. DJ, as we know, MC and WD for this week at WGC-BI so I’m glad I knocked him out for a week! Charley Hoffman and Chad Campbell also MC so the $.89 that Patrick Rodgers claimed stuck me with a mulligan. I guess averaging it out of two weeks isn’t bad but whatever. The other bad news was all the other guys had Furyk last week so it was like I didn’t even play.
Group 1: Adam Scott
Group 2: Keegan Bradley
Group 3: Ryan Moore
Group 4: Tim Clark
ANALYSIS: I’ve gone the “Jim Furyk” route this week with the steadiest player on TOUR as I’m completely shell shocked from last week. Keegan Bradley should be a no-brainer in Group 2 given his track record here over the last three years. It came down to Moore or Haas for me in Group 3 so I went with the better putter who’s coming off T5, T7 and T12 in his last three. After his closing 30 coming home last Sunday, I’ll gladly run Clark out there in a skinny Group 4. It’s too bad Woods doesn’t have ANY form entering this tournament or he would be the simple choice in Group 1.
Rob Bolton ($15,641,953; Rank: 4,093)
Group 1: Adam Scott
Group 2: Jim Furyk
Group 3: Ryan Moore
Group 4: Angel Cabrera
ANALYSIS: Nothing like sitting on 18 tee on Sunday knowing that no matter what happens that you have guaranteed first and second place. Rob had Clark and Furyk last week and his over $1.7 million gave him a much-needed bump up the standings. This week, we share picks Nos. 1 and 3 and EVERYONE LOVES FURYK. I gave him his props earlier in this column, enough is enough.
Ryan O’ Sullivan ($17,074,680; Rank: 1,628)
Group 1: Adam Scott
Group 2: Jim Furyk
Group 3: Webb Simpson
Group 4: Angel Cabrera
ANALYSIS: Yep, having Furyk last week pushes him right up my backside and he’s trotting him out there again this week. We both have Scott in Group 1 but he’s pulling out Simpson in Group 3. That’s interesting because Simpson has struggled just about everywhere this spring and summer. Another tour of duty for old man Cabrera in Group 4 makes for just one match between us!
Ned Brown ($18,465,037; Rank: 544)
Group 1: Adam Scott
Group 2: Jim Furyk
Group 3: Ryan Moore
Group 4: Angel Cabrera
ANALYSIS: Ned and I match pick Nos. 1 and 3 and he matches Ryan on 1, 2 and 4. Lots of love again for Furyk this week but I’m hoping for a Keegan victory to get back in front.
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.
RBC Points: 142
Summer Segment Points: 826
Summer Ranking: 15,393
Season Points: 4,521
Season Ranking: 3,465
Adam Scott: He has been very hot with top 10s in his last four events and I thought he actually played a bit better then Rory McIlroy, who won the British Open. His recent record at Firestone is solid with a T9 in '10, a championship in '11 and a T14 last year.
Rickie Fowler: One of the big questions this week is: what do you go with Tiger Woods or anyone else? Firestone is one of the courses that Woods dominates at, but he really hasn't looked that good since his return from back surgery. Instead, I'm using Rickie Fowler, who has been on fire with a T2 at the US Open, a T8 at the Scottish Open and a T2 at the British Open.
Rory McIlroy: I faded McIlroy at the British Open because of his record at the event and paid a big price in all of the games because of it. His record at Firestone is a lot stronger then the British Open with a T9 in '10, a T6 in '11 and a T5 in '12.
Jim Furyk: He is playing great right now, but I'm down to one start left with him. His recent record at Firestone is pretty good with a T6 in '10 a T2 in '12 and a T9 last year. I'm going to try and hide him on the bench, but he is playing so well right now that I expect to burn my last start of him.
Justin Rose: He is another player that has been red hot this summer with back-to-back championships at the QLN and the Scottish Open. He has three top 10s in nine career starts at Firestone with the most recent being a T5 in '12.
Keegan Bradley: A true horse for the course with championship in '12 and a T2 last year. His recent play on the TOUR has been a bit up and down, but he should do well this week.
Sergio Garcia: I've used Garcia quite a bit this year because he is playing well. His recent record is very good with a T2 at the Travelers, a T12 at the BMWIO and a T2 at the British Open. His record at Firestone is somewhat lackluster, so he all about playing the hot hand.
Graeme McDowell: He has been playing some great golf recently with a T8 at the Irish Open, a championship at the French Open, a T9 at the British Open and a T9 at the Canadian Open. Like Garcia his recent record at Firestone is nothing exciting and normally I might use a player that isn't as hot, but has a better course record. However, this is a no-cut event, so I'm not taking that much risk going with two players with so-so course history.
Ryan O’Sullivan (O)
“The Golf Aficionado”
RBC Points: 204
Summer Segment Points: 913
Summer Ranking: 867
Season Points: 4,747
Season Ranking: 97
RBC Points: 142
Summer Segment Points: 914
Summer Ranking: 802
Season Points: 4,557
Season Ranking: 2,351
RBC Points: 164
Summer Segment Points: 825
Summer Ranking: 15,581
Full Season Points: 4,536
Full Season Ranking: 2,980
No Clark last week and taking Hearn of DeLaet didn’t help Group B where Dustin Johnson blew it up. Winds both foul and fair all swarm so I’ll take the good with the bad.
Anyhow, I’ve learned if you don’t have the winner each week, you don’t have a chance. Unless Chez Reavie or somebody WAY off the radar steals one. I’ll keep plugging away and try and make up ground but the writing is on the wall: Year two of Yahoo! Fantasy Golf and I still suck at timing the market.
This will be the first of two weeks with a monster field to pick from and I’m excited for the challenge. Next week will take us to a course that only a handful of guys have played so that will be more of a crap shoot. Sadly, Tiger Woods is just crap lately but let’s see if he makes the final squad.
Adam Scott: He’s won here, his caddy has won here a lot and he arguably played the best golf at Hoylake but was on the wrong side of the draw. Even on a bad week he’s good but that has hardly been the case this summer as he has been tearing it up.
Henrik Stenson: I’ll take my chances on a guy who just chops wood. His T30-whatever at Hoylake was disappointing but it was the exception, not the rule. It was his first finish outside the top five worldwide in four events. He gets back on track this week.
Part of me thought about sneaking Woods in the back door due to his tremendous record on this track but when he’s not playing well, he’s just not playing well. Worst case scenario he finds some form this week then I can load up on him next week at Valhalla. Rickie Fowler, Luke Donald and Matt Kuchar would make excellent compliments to Scott as well.
Rory McIlroy: With just two starts left, I have no problem ghosting him if necessary this week.
Justin Rose: Ok, so now he’s won only two of his last three attempts worldwide after T23 at Hoylake. I have five starts left on him as well. This pleases me.
Keegan Bradley: The ultimate course horse for Firestone under the age of 30, Bradley has the power, precision and putting to handle 7,400 yards and slick greens. It’s hardly a surprise that most of his successes have been on long, par-70 tracks.
Jim Furyk: He’s the perfect tortoise to the three hares listed above. Steady and doing everything but putting his name on the trophy. Quite a nice insurance policy this week.
Arguments could also be made for Zach Johnson and Jordan Spieth with Martin Kaymer and Jason Dufner as well. Group B is quite loaded when Webb Simpson, Bill Haas, Steve Stricker and Jason Day barely get a mention.
Sergio Garcia: It seems you can always tell how well his personal life is by his results on the course. I’m playing the current form here over the course form as Garcia has had an excellent summer.
Graeme McDowell: Another without the course form at Akron but with win, T9 and T9 worldwide I can’t see why I would abandon ship.
Brendon Todd and Jimmy Walker should get a look-see if you need to make up ground as they are both lights-out putters as well. Victor Dubuisson would be an interesting pairing with either of the two above.
Frys.com: Gary Woodland, MC. Well, at least I don’t have to worry about when I’m using GARY WOODLAND again! Gamers will note that he’s made SIXTEEN CUTS IN A ROW since this debacle. Any ONE of those events would have given me more $$$ than this outing.
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:
Ian Poulter: WGC-Match Play: T33
Rory McIlroy: WGC-CC: T25
Jason Day: Masters: T20
Sergio Garcia: THE PLAYERS: Third
Phil Mickelson: U.S. Open T35; reality checked
The Open: Adam Scott; T5
WGC-BI: Keegan Bradley
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. Bang Biscuit, T4. No complaints here.
Barracuda: I'm going with Brendan Steele as he's hit the top eight twice in two starts including fourth last year.
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.
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)
SEASON TOTAL: $5,391,556; 37 events
Wins: 1; Jimmy Walker (AT&T Pebble)
Seconds: 1; Dustin Johnson (NTO)
Thirds: 1; Sergio Garcia (PLAYERS)
Top 5s: 7
Top 10s: 11
Top 25s: 19
Thermometer: T5, MC, T11, T5 and T4 is a pretty tidy last five.
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 RBC Canadian Open and answering your questions. Simply return to the golf home page to join in on the chatter.