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 ($8,563,768; Rank: 5,813)
All that prevented my sweet, sweet victory with Luke Donald was Matt Kuchar holing out for birdie on the final hole! Sigh. Kevin Na crashed and burned with MC; Jerry Kelly had a sweet weekend rally and Hicks was inside the top 40 as well so I’m not terribly upset, minus a few tears.
Group 1: Graham DeLaet
Group 2: Ryan Palmer
Group 3: J.B. Holmes
Group 4: Lucas Glover
ANALYSIS: I’m sticking with the first-timers theme again this year at Zurich as I’m leading the line with Canadian Graham DeLaet. This track should fit his game perfectly from tee to green and as previously results have shown, these greens aren’t tricky by any fashion. Patrick Reed and Justin Rose were also considered for this spot but I’m playing catch-up so I’m taking a different angle. I’m continuing to stick with Ryan Palmer as he’s playing excellent golf and will give J.B. Holmes another run-out this week after his solid showing on Hilton Head (T18). I’ll take a flier on Lucas Glover in Group 4 although Ken Looper interests me as well.
Rob Bolton ($9,023,471; Rank: 4,121)
Group 1: Rickie Fowler
Group 2: Ryan Palmer
Group 3: J.B. Holmes
Group 4: Andrew Loupe
Ryan O’ Sullivan ($10,034,973; Rank: 1,625)
Group 1: Rickie Fowler
Group 2: Kevin Stadler
Group 3: Jonathan Byrd
Group 4: Lucas Glover
ANALYSIS: Back-to-back winners for O as he tries to chase Ned down. Rob and I are having our own battle for The Dunce Cap. O is #BIGCLEMSON and it shows this week. Plenty of orange in that team!
Ned Brown ($11,469,459; Rank: 277)
Group 1: Justin Rose
Group 2: Russell Knox
Group 3: George McNeill
Group 4: Lucas Glover
ANALYSIS: Ned and I got crushed on the Kuchar bunker buster last week as we were both on Donald. This week, we only match Group 4 so IT’S ON!
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: 190
Spring Segment Points: 493
Spring Ranking: 8,404
Season Points: 2,421
Season Ranking: 4,344
Rickie Fowler: It's a real thin Group A this week, so Fowler pops out as a must use this week. He has been working on swing changes and the work has started to pay off with a sixth place at the SHO and a T5 at the Masters. Fowler has made the cut in all three of his starts here with the best result being a T10 in '12.
Kevin Stadler: It's been a breakout year for Stadler with his first PGA Tour championship at the WMPO. Since then he has been finishing in the middle of the pack, with the exception being a T8 at The Masters. His first top 10 at the Zurich Classic came last year when he tied for eighth place.
Justin Rose: He has played somewhat of a light schedule so far this year on the PGA TOUR, but he has started to heat up recently with a T8 at the Valspar and a T14 at The Masters. His recent history here is good with a T10 in ‘12 and T14 last year.
Matt Every: Here’s another player having a breakout season with the highlight being a championship at the API. He did miss the cut at The Masters, but he rebounded last week with a T12 at the RBC Heritage. He has made only one cut here is three starts, so he is all about playing the hot hand.
Graham DeLaet: He started the year off with back-to-back T2 finishes at the FIO and the WMPO. DeLaet cooled down after that, but he started to regain his form with T8 at the Valspar and a T19 at the SHO. He has made the cut in two of his three career starts at the Zurich Classic, with his best finish coming in '12 with a T4.
Freddie Jacobson: It's tempting to take Keegan Bradley here, but has missed the cut here in his last two starts. Instead, I'm going with Freddie Jacobson, who has been a top 20 machine in here with five straight T20s. This is not an event that he normally plays in, so he is another play on the current hot hand.
Ryan Palmer- Group C is absolutely the strongest group this week and at the top of the list in Ryan Palmer. He lost in a playoff at The Honda Classic and then didn't play again till the Texas Swing where he T56 at the VTO and T7 at the SHO, which was his fourth top 10 of the season. His recent history at the Zurich is fair with by far his best showing came in '12 when he tied for fourth place.
George McNeill: Group C is so stocked this week the second pick could be any of a dozen players. I'm using George McNeill, who has been playing real well here with five straight top 20s and two top 10s (T6 at the NTO and a seventh at the Valspar). In seven starts at the Zurich Classic, he has played on the weekend in six of them with the highlight being a T6 in '11.
Ryan O’Sullivan (O)
“The Golf Aficionado”
RBC Points: 218
Spring Segment Points: 571
Spring Ranking: 106
Season Points: 2,605
Season Ranking: 83
RBC Points: 162
Spring Segment Points: 465
Spring Ranking: 18,307
Season Points: 2,470
Season Ranking: 1,974
RBC Points: 196
Spring Segment Points: 468
Spring Ranking: 17,138
Full Season Points: 2,448
Full Season Ranking: 2,912
I decided to drop Matt Kuchar Wednesday night before the RBC. Should I continue to keep typing? The last time I worked my brilliance late on Wednesday night, I dropped Keegan Bradley before he went on to shoot 60 at Byron Nelson. Morale of the story: Don’t use the internet on Wednesday nights.
Patrick Reed: He has no problem going low and has plenty of ties to Louisiana. It’s about time he gets back on track.
Rickie Fowler: His last two starts have resulted in top fives so it’s obvious that the Butch Harmon effect is coming together nicely. I have a feeling this will be about 90% of Group A plays this week and gamers know what that means! #dumpsterfire
Graham DeLaet: He learned a lesson here in 2012 when he was 15-under after three rounds and couldn’t keep up with Els and Dufner on Sunday. He won’t let that chance pass him by again.
Justin Rose: Anytime he’s healthy and in the field, he’s in my lineup. #strikerofballs
Matt Every: His excellent 2013 continues and his T12 last week with all four rounds of par or better isn’t going to scare me off!
Billy Horschel: The part of Yahoo! Group B that I enjoy is that only two of the four players are available daily. Horschel, the defending champ, is wearing out the clubfaces of his irons and woods and sadly, his putter. If he makes anything his week, he’ll contend.
Ryan Palmer: He keeps racking up high finishes, and like Horschel, owns a piece of the course record here (64). With P2 and T7 in two of his last three finishes, it’s all systems go for the Texan.
J.B. Holmes: This spot will be up-for-grabs until after the chat on Wednesday because there are literally a dozen guys who could occupy this spot. As for now, I’ll stick with the guy who has finished T10, T12 and T18 in three of his last four on TOUR. #form
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.
If I won every week, it would be BORING.
The smart pick this week would be Patrick Reed because everyone will continue to point out how he played high school golf in the area. Dawg, it was HIGH SCHOOL golf. Anyhow, I’m going with the TPC Louisiana trend and going with a first-timer-winner-to-be this week in Canadian Graham DeLaet. I’ve already burned Rickie Fowler and Ryan Palmer and I’ll hang on to Rose and Reed for down the road. I just hope GDL isn’t too distracted by the NHL playoffs. They last until the 4th of July so he has plenty of time to catch up…
SEASON TOTAL: $3,479,552; 23 events
Wins: 1; Jimmy Walker (AT&T Pebble)
Seconds: 1; Dustin Johnson (NTO)
Top 5s: 3
Top 10s: 6
Top 25s: 14
Thermometer: A return to the top 10 (T7) last week has me full of confidence. Or maybe that is just the pizza I ate for lunch.
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 Zurich Classic and answering your questions. Simply return to the golf home page to join in on the chatter.