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Monday, March 5, 2012

WGC-Cadillac Championship Fantasy Preview

The WGC-Cadillac Championship is building up to be one of the most anticipated tournaments of the year. The field gathering is, top to bottom, stronger than any major championship and headlines abound. Tiger Woods' attempt to get the monkey off his back, Rory McIlroy trying to go back-to-back and Phil Mickelson's form upon his vacation return are just a few plots that will play out.

Here is my Yahoo fantasy preview:
  • A-List - I'm starting Adam Scott and having Mickelson ready to go on the bench. I like Scott and Steve Williams in the spoiler roll to Woods' attempted return to the winners circle. Scott has also played well in some really big events in the past year including Firestone and the Masters. As for Mickelson, it's hard for me to jump on him in his first tournament back from a layoff because of the constant tinkering he seems to be doing. While he didn't play well here last year, he is a past winner. It was really hard for me to pass on Keegan Bradley and Sergio Garcia in this group, so consider them as well.
  • B-List - I'm starting Woods and McIlroy and I have Lee Westwood and Dustin Johnson on the bench. This group was loaded with potential winners including Hunter Mahan, Justin Rose and Bill Haas, but I don't know how you can pass on Woods, McIlroy and Westwood after The Honda, and Johnson is trending really well headed into a tournament that he finished second in last year.
  • C-List - I'm starting Charl Schwartzel and keeping Graeme McDowell in my stable. Both Schwartzel and McDowell are off to solid starts in 2012.  While McDowell didn't play particularly well here last year, Schwartzel's current form and tie for 24th here last year seem like a safe combination. Several people to keep an eye on from this group would be Peter Hanson who is in nice form and Jonathan Byrd who finished tied for 10th here last year.
Here is the Golf Channel Preview:
  • Group 1 - For me, this pick came down to Woods and McIlroy and I'll take Woods for one reason. I think it will be very hard for McIlroy to win in back-to-back weeks; especially with such a stacked field to deal with. I've also said since my season preview that I thought Woods would probably win at  Bay Hill after a nice warm up at Doral, but that was before I knew he would play The Honda. At this point, there's no reason not to think a Woods win really could happen this week. While McIlroy is probably a safer pick for cash, I'm going all-in with Tiger.
  •  Group 2 - I'm a little torn between Keegan Bradley and Justin Rose, but I'm taking Bradley.  He feels a little like Matt Kuchar two years ago and Webb Simpson last year, in that he's a human ATM machine.  Rose could have a little higher ceiling, but Bradley feels like a safe top 10 almost every week.
  • Group 3 - I'm taking Jonathan Byrd over Kyle Stanley and Rickie Fowler.  This is a dangerous pick because J-Byrd can be all over the map on where he finishes, and seemingly has no rhyme or reason to his finishes at times. That said, he finished tied for 10th here last year.  Fowler may be the safest pick for a top 25 and Stanley may have the best chance to win out of the three, but I'll stick with Byrd.
  • Group 4 - I'm taking Charles Howell III in the fourth group.  No point in really over-analyzing it.  I thought about Singh due in large part to the number of times he's competed here, but Howell seems like the smart pick in this spot.
Check back tomorrow and we'll take a look at the tournament odds.  Also, the Puerto Rico Open Golf Channel fantasy picks will be up later tonight.

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