With only this week and five more remaining, strategy is still a strength, not disaster. You wouldn’t know it from my capitulation last week. To add gas to the fire THIS WEEK, I’ve invited Chadders over for a pint to get this thoughts on his curse.
And it’s spectacular.
Gamers are ALWAYS looking for an angle. I’ve joked here before that everyone serves as an example in life, even if it’s a bad example.
This week, I welcome long-time reader and Field Marshal of The Thursday Army (#TTA) Chad Wolfe to offer his thoughts on his recent, ahem, slump. You can watch the blow-by-blow action most weekends on Twitter at @cnwolfe1.
You can find my picks for the week after the “Curse” is explained!
The Curse of Chadders
As told to me by Chadders via email. I’ve edited for clarity/brevity.
Since picking Charley Hoffman to win the Valero Texas Open the #ChaddersOADCurse has come back and is even stronger than last year. Some notable 2016 casualties include:
- Justin Rose, Zurich Classic (MC); defending champion and course horse.
- Kevin Chappell , Well Fargo Championship (44th); in-form and had course form.
- Sergio Garcia, THE PLAYERS (T-54) past champion, P-2 previous year.
- Ryan Palmer, Byron Nelson (MC); local resident, huge course horse.
- Hideki Matsuyama, Memorial (MC); T-7, T-11 and T-7 in last three starts on Tour.
- Gary Woodland. FedEx St. Jude (MC); made six cuts in a row entering the week.
- Brooks Koepka, WGC-BI (WD); lost in a playoff, T-2 and T-13 entering the week.
- Branden Grace, Open Championship (T-72); major form didn’t translate.
- Rory McIlroy, PGA Championship (MC); previous PGA finishes: 17, 1, 8, 1, 64 and 3.
- Bubba Watson, Travelers (T-25); defending champ and THE course horse.
As you can see these include many elite options that were also course horses. Additionally, many of these picks aligned with expert OAD selections, the consensus pick in my OAD league, and/or expert picks to win the tournament. Not only did they not perform well (expectations are for a top 10) but they failed to even make the cut in most cases.
Oh, but it gets BETTER. Check out what’s happened the week AFTER Chadders put his black cat on the golfers above…Hahahahahahaha!
In fact many of these players excelled the very next week after being freed up from the #ChaddersOADCurse.
Justin Rose: lost in a playoff the following week at Zurich.
Kevin Chappell: finished second at THE PLAYERS.
Sergio Garcia: WON his next time out at AT&T Byron Nelson.
Ryan Palmer: Finished T-3 at Colonial (his home course, FYI, Chadders…).
Brooks Koepka: Took a few weeks off to get healthy and finished T-4 at the PGA Championship.
Branden Grace: Finished T-4 at Baltusrol as well.
Is the #ChaddersOADCurse REAL or not? Find out this week!
I’ve been saving Zach Johnson for his “5th major” all year at this week’s John Deere Classic and see no reason to deviate from that plan. As such, I strongly recommend that you fade me. Due to being lightly raced a possible alternative that you would likely have available is Steve Stricker who also happens to be enjoying an excellent run of form and recall that this tournament used to be his personal playground. Good luck to all and remember to FADE Zach Johnson this week.
Some of us blame luck.
Some of us blame ourselves.
The answer is somewhere in the middle and I learned a VALUABLE lesson last week in strategy.
Tough to stomach last week as my final two choices came down to Moore and the winner, Knox. As I vented on Twitter on Sunday, I should have taken KNOX REGARDLESS because Moore was playing THIS WEEK where he has a great course record and NEXT WEEK at Wyndham where he’s won.
That’s just stupid and inexcusable.
Knox wasn’t going to play EITHER of these events regardless of his finish at the Travelers. The thought should have been: Well, which Playoff event are you saving the world’s No. 26 player for with Spieth, Rose, Furyk and Schwartzel still to burn?
I hope you learned the lesson I did.
I won’t have any fear of firing Knox at Bethpage Black as his recent form is deserving of that chance but it will sting unless he comes second or better there.
Sigh. Fantasy golf is hard.
Top Players Remaining:
3.) Jordan Spieth — East Lake, DBC or anywhere
11.) Justin Rose — East Lake, Barclays
20.) Zach Johnson — DING, DING, DING
22.) Jim Furyk — Ultimate utility player who might power into some fields (see Wyndham) that he might not have played regularly.
23.) Charl Schwartzel–Barclays, BMW
25.) Scott Piercy– BMW
26.) Russell Knox — Travelers, Barclays (unedited from last week)
30.) Ben-An– not a member so don’t save him for the Playoffs!
32.) Bill Haas– Wyndham, Barclays
34.) Kevin Na– Another decent sub for most tracks
37.) Emiliano Grillo– Barclays
40.) Justin Thomas– Currently 15th in the FEC standings so I can wait for him to start heating up.
The good news is I have these players remaining.
The bad news is I have these players remaining.
|WGC-HSBC Champions||Adam Scott||T-70||$42,000|
|Sanderson Farms||Patrick Rodgers||T-20||$41,356|
|OHL Mayakoba||Patton Kizzire||T-58||$13,764|
|RSM||Brendon de Jonge||T-33||$27,049|
|CB Challenge||Ryan Palmer||T-17||$75,897|
|Waste Management||Hideki Matsuyama||WIN||$1,170,000|
|AT&T Pebble Beach||Jimmy Walker||T-11||$143,500|
|WGC-Cadillac Champ||Henrik Stenson||T-28||$79,428|
|Arnold Palmer||Scott Brown||T-27||$41,934|
|WGC-Dell Match Play||Rickie Fowler||T-53||$63,000|
|Puerto Rico Open||Graham DeLaet||T-11||$66,000|
|Shell Houston Open||Louis Oosthuizen||MC||$0|
|RBC Heritage||Matt Kuchar||T-9||$147,500|
|Valero Texas Open||Charley Hoffman||WIN||$1,116,000|
|Zurich Classic||Daniel Berger||T-20||$64,909|
|Wells Fargo||J.B. Holmes||T-53||$16,589|
|THE PLAYERS||Rory McIlroy||T-12||212,625|
|AT&T Byron Nelson||Jason Dufner||T-24||54,020|
|U.S. Open||Jason Day||T-8||$247,806|
|Quicken Loans||Patrick Reed||T-39||$28,290|
|The Open||Sergio Garcia||T-5||$310,797|
|RBC Canadian Open||David Hearn||MC||$0|
|PGA Championship||Branden Grace||T-4||$405,000|
Season total: $5,704,848; 40 events
- Wins: 2
- Seconds: 0
- Thirds: 1
- Top 10s: 9
- Top 25s: 17
- MC: 6 (Mickelson, FIO; Oosthuizen, SHO; Chappell, Colonial; Casey, Memorial; Woodland, FESJC; Hearn, RBC Canadian)
Last week: Ryan Moore (T-17); $83,490
Thoughts on TPC Deere Run
If you’re not making birdies, you’re losing ground on the field. If you’re making bogeys, it’s even worse. Recent winners include Steve Stricker, Zach Johnson and Jordan Spieth over the last seven years. Only Brian Harman has cracked the code in that stretch as he won in 2014.
Keys this Week:
- Birdies or better, no exceptions
- Not the week for par makers
- Go low or go home
My Five Finalists:
1.) Zach Johnson
2.) Steve Stricker
3.) Jon Rahm*
4.) Ryan Moore
5.) Daniel Summerhays
My Choice: Zach Johnson
Close Second: Daniel Summerhays
Long Shot Special: Shawn Stefani
Stratagem: Plug and play ZJ and pick up the paper Monday morning (they still have those, right?) and enjoy your top five finish. OAD leaders that have already burned ZJ surely have Stricker or Summerhays left behind so it’s a terrible week, ON PAPER, to try and make up ground. The GOOD news for the peleton is that there are a few decent options to chase with this week.
Jon Rahm: Fearless and a layout like this should have him licking his chops.
Ryan Moore: He’ll play from the middle of the fairway and that’s the first step needed to make a ton of birdies. Just ask Stricker.
Brian Harman: Won’t have any problems making birdies but I’m still fascinated by his top 10 hex. He’s never had multiple top 10’s in any event.
Robert Streb: Another who won’t mind having to make a bushel of birdies and has plenty of power to shorten the course.
QUESTION(S) OF THE WEEK:
- Why wouldn’t you use Zach Johnson this week?
ANSWER(S) OF THE WEEK:
Because you’re trailing. A “push” might not help right now so, like last week, bet against the big favorite. The purse his is pretty soft so it’s not going to kill you to get this wrong.
Oh, and because of the #ChaddersOADCurse.