Happy New Year!
Yahoo! Fantasy Golf
No secrets this week as you’ll need par five maestros, par breaker makers and stud horses as we open 2017 at Kapalua.
Starts remaining in parentheses
Patrick Reed (10) — First, second and 43-under in consecutive years. Super short game and plenty of length to take advantage.
Dustin Johnson (10) — Anytime he’s in the field, he’s on this list. Too bad with only 10 starts I’ll have to be judicious with them, just like YOU will. He’s a top 10 machine in FULL field events so he’s an easy choice this week.
Jason Day: Usually would get a look but there has to be a bit of rust, right? I’ll burn all 10 of his starts easy down the road anyhow.
Vaughn Taylor: He’s started twice and both have gone for top 10’s but they were over a decade ago.
Branden Grace: First-timers here don’t always flourish but he’s classy enough to overlook that issue.
Jordan Spieth (10) — If a limited field where he’s 48-under the last two year and that he’s the defending champion doesn’t sway you, I won’t!
Hideki Matsuyama (10) — Winner of four of his last five and co-led here after 54 holes in his maiden voyage before finishing T-3.
Brandt Snedeker (10) — Big greens and big fairways should give him plenty of chances to swing that super putter for birdies. He’s finished third or T-3 in two of the last three years.
Bubba Watson (10) — I’ll take a chance Mr. New Ballz this week. He plays Augusta well and he’s worth the risk-reward as I don’t even have to play him with the firepower above.
Justin Thomas: Took plenty to leave him out but I’m rarely right on him anyhow. Congrats on your win, JT!
Ryan Moore: If you need a safe pick there’s nothing safer in my opinion.
Jimmy Walker: He loves Hawaii golf and was nipped by Reed in 2015. He’ll lead my line next week at Waialae!
Jason Dufner (10) — He has the experience and the ball-striking that should see him contend this week. He’ll need his putter to get hot to bother the leaders.
Daniel Berger (10) — New clubs? No sweat. No experience? That’s what Dufner is for! He has plenty of class and that’s enough for me.
Si Woo Kim: Not much has bothered him yet and he’ll make plenty of birdies.
Pat Perez: Won his last time out and hit the top 10 in his only start here in 2010.
Ned Brown returns to drop his knowledge in Yahoo! as he did here last year. Ned is a legend in the gaming world and has cleaned up in Yahoo while most of you were in diapers! He’ll share his thoughts and picks here when he wants!
“Lets’ knock the rust off and see if we can remember how to do this.” –Ned
Patrick Reed (10) — He loves to travel and play different Tours in the off-season and he had little run of a T-6 at the WSG-HSBC and 10th at the Hero World Challenge. What is notable is his recent record at Kapalua of a championship in ’15 and a second place last year.
Dustin Johnson (10) — He played well in the Playoffs at the end of the ’16 season with a championship at the BMW and a T-6 at the TOUR Championship. He did play in the Hero World Challenge in December and came away with a T-3 result. He has a strong history at the SBS TOC with four top 10s in six starts including a championship in ’13.
Branden Grace, Vaughn Taylor
Jordan Spieth (10) — This year Spieth really cut back the off-season events he played in. He successfully defended his Australian Open title and then he tied for sixth place at the Hero World Challenge. Like Reed, Spieth has unreal record here with a second place in ’14 and a championship last year.
Hideki Matsuyama (10) — To say Matsuyama is hot right now is an understatement. He wrapped up 2016 with a championship at the Japan Open, then a second place at the CIMB, followed by championships at the WGC-HSBC, Mitsui Masters and the Hero World Challenge. Matsuyama has only one start at the SBS TOC and it was a T-3 in ’15. A strong candidate in one-and-done games.
Brandt Snedeker (10) — Snedeker has had an up and down off-season. He tied for sixth place at the Hero World Challenge, but the highlight was his championship at the Fiji International. He has a strong record at Kapalua of three top 10’s in four career starts, including T-3’s in ’13 and last year.
Justin Thomas (10) — Normally I would go Bubba Watson in here, but I was reading this week how Bubba has switched balls and I want to watch to see how this works out. Instead, I’m using Justin Thomas. He has been hot recently with a championship at the CIMB Classic and a T-4 at the Dunlop Phoenix Tournament.
Bubba Watson, Jimmy Walker, Ryan Moore
Jason Dufner (10) — Dufner has been off since his T-8 at the TOUR Championship. He has played a couple times at Kapalua with the best result being a fifth place in ’14.
Daniel Berger (10) — He is a first-timer at Kapalua, but he looked great last time out when he tied for send place at the WGC-HSBC.
Daniel Berger, Tony Finau, Si Woo Kim
Shoot any questions and follow along at @GolfweekMag, @GolfweekFantasy and @MikeGlasscott to stay in tune.