I love LA
Each week I painfully writhe and wretch trying to figure out the proper strategy to find a player that will hit the top 10. Wins are great but aren’t likely, so I’m satisfied with having a chance to hit the big money. Missed cuts are absolutely the death in this game, but even the surest of things don’t always happen in the reality world of fantasy golf.
|Safeway Open||Tony Finau||2nd||669,600|
|CIMB Classic||Paul Casey||T7||218,166|
|CJ CUP @ 9 BRIDGES||Keegan Bradley||T47||23,759|
|WGC-HSBC Champions||Hideki Matsuyama||T50||51,875|
|Sanderson Farms||Chesson Hadley||T2||464,400|
|OHL Classic||Kevin Chappell||MC||0|
|The RSM Classic||Charles Howell III||MC||0|
|Sentry TOC||Kevin Kisner||T17||99,333|
|Sony Open||Brian Harman||T4||256,266|
|CareerBuilder Challenge||Jason Dufner||T36||27,189|
|Farmers Insurance||Jon Rahm||T29||43,872|
|AT&T Pebble Beach||Phil Mickelson||T2||488,400|
|Total Events: 14||Top 10s: 6||Top 25: 8||$3,646,900|
Good news, bad news, great news and then OK news.
Ahhhhhhhh, the tournament to chase Phil Mickelson!
I’m being hard on him here but T2 is fantastic. With a par-5 finishing hole that was the easiest of the day, I was dreaming of NOT splitting the check FOUR WAYS for second place.
I had no chance of T2 until he birdied Nos. 14, 16 and 17 so I can’t have it both ways! Mickelson was making birdies when nobody else was on Sunday; he just didn’t make one more. Not bad for a guy who hasn’t won since 2013 at The Open Championship.
The best part of last week? I don’t have to ride the PhilCoaster until 2018!
Bing Crosby saved me, as requested!
My Choice: Phil Mickelson T2
Close Second: Brandt Snedeker T20, Dustin Johnson T2, Jason Day T2
Outliers: Chesson Hadley T35, J.B. Holmes MC, Nick Watney T47
Gut Shot(s): Patrick Cantlay T35
Rank Outsider(s): Matt Jones MC, James Hahn T26, Brandon Harkins T15
The Confidence Factor should give you plenty of clues and angles for one of the great classic courses.
Riviera Country Club has crowned a couple of champions from off the radar since 2013 with John Merrick and James Hahn. They are only two of four winners this century who picked up their first TOUR win at this event.
There are some big-boy, heavy-hitters in this field and a few knocked off the rust last week at Pebble Beach.
Dustin Johnson is the landlord here this week as he’s flushed SEVEN top-10 finishes from 10 career starts and defends. He’ll look to join Phil Mickelson as the last player to do so (2008-09). Johnson was off the pace last week and yet, only ONE guy beat him. I would have been SUPER MAD if I played him in this format last week. I know that pain as I did play him when James Hahn beat him in a playoff in 2015.
Check out The Confidence Factor for more details.
No pro-am this week but over 7,300 yards of canyon, elevation changes, barranca, kikuyu grass, doglegs, tough fairways and smallish greens.
As Rob Bolton pointed out, the average winner here needs five tries prior to his first victory.
Or as I would say: Experience is a factor this week.
My Choice: Dustin Johnson
Close Second: Paul Casey, Chez Reavie, Thomas Pieters
Outliers: Jimmy Walker, Jason Kokrak, James Hahn
Gut Shot(s): Adam Scott
Rank Outsider(s): Sangmoon Bae, Martin Laird, K.J. Choi
Key Questions this Week:
Fade or follow, I’m not worried either way!
Which Californian do I burn this week?
Good question. When you’re not sure, go safe and stayhyper-local for an excellent compromise. Those of you who didn’t fire Mickelson last week will have some history to overcome but he’s playing well enough to overcome that.
Nobody makes a ton of putts on Poa annua so find guys who will have the most chances to make easy pars. With smallish greens, those who hit the most of them should occupy the upper reaches of the leaderboard. The par-3 holes are no picnic either this week!
I’m using the same theory that I used last week for Mickelson. He is absolutely dominant here and it’s not a field as deep as a major. There is also zero pressure on him to perform and I’m guessing he’ll be a bit geeked up after not winning last week. It’s a home game and he has all the tools in the tool box to defend. I have zero concerns about the final round (minus his amateur partner, father-in-law Wayne Gretzky who WD last minute Sunday) and think he’ll do this business again this week.
Don’t forget to check Rob Bolton’s Twitter feed for all the PGATOUR.COM/Fantasy info!
Argue? Disagree? Whatever is clever!
You do you.
I’ll do me.
We can learn from each other.
2015-16 Season total: $5,978,929; 47 events
- Wins: 2 (Matsuyama, Hoffman)
- Seconds: 0
- Thirds: 1
- Top 10s: 9
- Top 25s: 18
- MC: 8 (Mickelson, FIO; Oosthuizen, SHO; Chappell, Colonial; Casey, Memorial; Woodland, FESJC; Hearn, RBC Canadian; McGirt, Wyndham; Justin Thomas, DBC)
2016-17 Season total: $6,533,509 45 events
- Wins: 1
- Seconds: 1
- Thirds: 1
- Top 10s: 12
- Top 25s: 20
- MCs (10): Grayson Murray (Safeway Open); Patton Kizzire (SFC); Jamie Lovemark (CB Challenge); Jimmy Walker (FIO); Charl Schwartzel (Genesis); Russell Knox (Honda); Henrik Stenson (API); Thomas Pieters (Zurich); Kevin Kisner (WFC).
Thanks for reading!