The fifth major?
Eh, not for me but for gamers it definitely is because of the bookoo bucks offered to the winner and the field.
With a massive prize pool, including almost $1.9 million to the winner, gamers in both salary cap games, weekly drafts and DFS will need to keep their wits about them when putting lineups together.
Let’s see what’s cooking at TPC Sawgrass but first, some history.
2015-16 Winners (at time of victory)
In 2014-15 there were 14 players in their 20s who won tournaments. They accounted for a whopping 24 victories in 47 events.
Under 30 Winners (9 different for 10 events)
- Emiliano Grillo, 23; Frys.com
- Smylie Kaufman, 23; Shriners
- Justin Thomas, 22; CIMB
- Peter Malnati, 28; SFC
- Jordan Spieth, 22; HTOC
- Hideki Matsuyama, 23; WMPO
- Jason Day, 28; API & WGC-Dell Match Play
- Danny Willett, 28; Masters
- Branden Grace, 27; RBC Heritage
The guys between 30-39 years of age produced 16 multiple champions in 17 events last season.
Winners 30-39 (14 players in 15 events)
- Russell Knox, 30; HSBC Champions
- Graeme McDowell, 36; OHL Mayakoba
- Kevin Kisner, 31; RSM Classic
- Fabian Gomez, 37; Sony Open
- Jason Dufner, 38; CB Challenge
- Brandt Snedeker, 35; Farmers Insurance Open
- Vaughn Taylor, 39; AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
- Bubba Watson, 37; Northern Trust Open
- Adam Scott, 35; Honda Classic, WGC-Cadillac Championship
- Charl Schwartzel, 31; Valspar
- Jim Herman, 38; Shell Houston Open
- Charley Hoffman, 39; Valero Texas Open
- Brian Stuard, 33; Zurich Classic
- James Hahn, 34; Wells Fargo Championship
There were only four winners last season from 47 events (Furyk, Cejka, Love III and Harrington). Sentimentality has no place in fantasy golf, folks.
- none, yet. Phil Mickelson gave flashes of hope with 66 on Sunday to finish T-4; Retief Goosen was T-14. They ain’t young.
Last year the only rookie to pick up a first-place check was Canadian Nick Taylor. This season it took ONE EVENT to match that total.
- Emiliano Grillo; Frys.com
- Smylie Kaufman; Shriners
Rookies, journeyman, up-and-comers, I’ll keep track of them all. It’s a life-changer.
Three out of the last four winners on Tour have come from this column.
First-Time Winners on Tour
- 2013: 12
- 2014: 10
- 2015: 11
- 2016: (11 and counting)
- Emiliano Grillo (Frys.com)
- Smylie Kaufman (Shriners)
- Justin Thomas (CIMB)
- Peter Malnati (SFC)
- Russell Knox (WGC-HSBC Champions)
- Kevin Kisner (RSM)
- Tony Finau (PRO)
- Jim Herman (SHO)
- Danny Willett (Masters)
- Branden Grace (RBC Heritage)
- Brian Stuard (Zurich Classic)
Last Week’s Recap Column can be accessed by clicking HERE.
As always, thanks for reading. For those of you who take the time, this is like the Director’s Cut edition. Everything and anything goes and sometimes I throw my loyalists, you, an extra bone or two for taking the time.
First a few “whys?” before we get started.
Why no Roberto Castro? Because it’s a tough turnaround against a monster field. Rookie gamers will be swayed by him shooting 63 here in 2013 and connect those dots. Rookie gamers will also just assume he’s in the field. He’s currently not.
Why no Rafael Cabrera-Bello? Because it’s his first time but I have no problem of firing him in weekly games as so long as you don’t overpay. I can’t throw a virgin to the Pete Dye Gods and HOPE he figures it out on the first try. There are PLENTY of studs who have played here MULTIPLE times that haven’t figured Sawgrass out so proceed with caution.
Steve Wheatcroft is a JAX resident who could satisfy a long-shot threat this week. He’s a first-timer but has played seven weekends in a row on Tour.
HERE WE GO