I can also be found at Rotoworld.com and on Twitter @RyanGolfBlogger.

Monday, September 30, 2013

2013-14 Preseason top 125

I have completed my preseason top 125 for the 2013-14 PGA TOUR season and the article is up on the Rotoworld Golf page. Here's the link http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/gol/44582/350/ryans-top-125-preseason-rank

I hope you find it helpful.

Also, join me, Rob Bolton and Mike Glasscott for our Rotoworld preseason chat at Rotoworld.com on Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET. Fire away with all of your questions!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

2013-14 PGA TOUR Update

As an update, I am currently working on several assignments for Rotoworld.com.

Here is a rundown of expected publish dates at Rotoworld:

  • 2013-14 top 125 publish on Monday, September 30th.
  • Tuesday, October 1st at 8 p.m. ET I will co-host a live Rotoworld golf chat with Rob Bolton and Mike Glasscott. Please join us and throw your questions our way. If you are unable to attend, I'm sure the replay will be available for a while.
  • Wednesday, October 2nd I will have a Presidents Cup preview publish. 

In the mean time, feel free to email questions and keep up with the results of my research via the Rotoworld articles.

Thanks!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

TOUR Championship - Fantasy

Cutting it a bit close, here is this week's Fantasy Post for the TOUR Championship. After hearing from several of you, I have come to realize that putting this together on a Wednesday evening probably cut it a little close. Lesson learned, and thanks for your patience.

One big note.....your strategy and play this week should not necessarily mirror mine, rather your current standing in your games (assuming they end this week).

Here we go:

Yahoo!
Current Standings: 5,595 points; 3,510 rank (97th percentile)
Segment: 1,697 points; 3,211 rank

A-List - Tiger Woods starting with Phil Mickelson on the bench
B-List - Jim Furyk and Hunter Mahan Starting, with Luke Donald and Zach Johnson on the pine.
C-List - All Aussie, with Adam Scott starting and Jason Day on the bench.

For my Golf Channel picks, check out Glass' weekly Rotoworld.com article.

One-and-done and Two-and-done:

For those that follow me regularly, you've probably realized that I've saved Adam Scott for this occasion. In my two-and-done, I essentially need a win to cash and I'm going risk/reward with Phil Mickelson. If all I needed was a nice top 10, it would have been Hunter Mahan or Jim Furyk.

PGA TOUR Standings

Season:

  1. Pure Spin - 11,661
  2. O'Sullivan's Tribe - 11,350
  3. Case of Biershenks - 10,000
  4. Started a Week Late - 9,763
  5. Woltz - 9.731
BMW Standings:
  1. KyRoadz - 327
  2. Started a Week Late - 277
  3. Stink Eye - 272
  4. BIG SWIFTY - 267
  5. O'Sullivan's Tribe - 260
Best of luck to all this week!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

TOUR Championship - Power Rankings

It's a bit redundant to say, but a strong group of players make their way to East Lake for the TOUR Championship and it's time for our final power rankings of the 2013 PGA TOUR season.

As always, some combination of course history and current form drop into the melting pot in an effort to produce the magic formula.

Here we go:

  1. Jim Furyk - The 2010 FedExCup champion returns to East Lake on the heels of a solo third at the BMW Championship. That was his second top 10 of the 2013 Playoffs, and his impeccable record at East Lake includes two seconds and a third to go with his 2010 win. 
  2. Hunter Mahan - The 2011 TOUR Championship loser in a playoff to Bill Haas is riding a strong trend into East Lake. A T25 at The Barclays led to a T13 at the Deutsche Bank and a T4 at the BMW last week. In his previous six TOUR Championship starts, he has three top 10s.
  3. Luke Donald - Classic case of converging trends. He earned his berth into the field this week off a T4 at his home course of Conway Farms and has finished inside the top three at East Lake each of the last three years. 
  4. Tiger Woods - Undeniable record in the TOUR Championship with a pair of wins to go with four seconds. Flirted with contending at Conway Farms last week, but now hasn't won since the WGC-Bridgestone.
  5. Phil Mickelson - Lefty has two wins and a third here in 16 starts. He's been a little off the last few weeks, with a T41 and a T33 in his last two starts, but that's part of what makes him intriguing this week. 
  6. Brandt Snedeker - Had a great round to start off his week at Conway Farms, but faded over the weekend. He's the defending champ, which leads me to fade him slightly. In his three previous starts at East Lake he's improved steadily each time from a T29 to T16 to Win.
  7. Adam Scott - Similar to Mickelson, the Aussie's faded a bit since his win at The Barclays to kick off the Playoffs, but returns to the friendly confines of East Lake. He has a win and three top 10s in seven starts.
  8. Zach Johnson - The chances of him going back-to-back are pretty slim, but if you look at his record since the John Deere Classic, his form rivals that of Henrik Stenson. In six starts, he has two top 10s with a T2 in 2007 the best East Lake finish. It bears mentioning that he needed a course-record 60 to pull off that T2.
  9. Steve Stricker - In nine TOUR Championships, he has three top 10s with a third in 1996 his best. Recent form is exceptional, with a runner-up at TPC Boston and a T4 at Conway Farms. Seeing that he canceled his hunting trip to appear at East Lake, he'll do everything he can to make it worth his while.
  10. Matt Kuchar - Making his fourth start at East lake, Kuchar notched a T10 for his best finish here last year. His form has been steady, but not spectacular of late, with a T19 and a T24 surrounding a T4 at TPC Boston. 
  11. Jason Day - The Aussie is still in search for his first win of the season, and he has a T17 and a T6 in his first two stops at East Lake. A T4 at Conway Farms last week is a solid testament of his current form.
  12. Henrik Stenson - Perhaps I should have learned my lesson on fading him due to a lack of course history, but I'm doing it again. A T44 and a T33 surrounded his win at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
We will return tomorrow for our weekly look at the usual lineup of fantasy games. Until then, best of luck to all!

Monday, September 16, 2013

TOUR Championship - Preview

The final event of the 2013 PGA TOUR season is here, as the top 30 in the FedExCup standings head to East Lake for the TOUR Championship. Brandt Snedeker is your defending champion, with other recent winners including Bill Haas, Jim Furyk, Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott and Tiger Woods also in the field this week.

Of note, the course record at East Lake is held by none other than Zach Johnson (60 in 2007). In case you missed it, he won the BMW Championship earlier today.

What stands out about East Lake is the diversity of the champions. Of the names mentioned above, Furyk, Johnson and Snedeker don't look all that similar to Mickelson and Woods in game. That very well may be a product of a limited field.

On the line this week isn't just the TOUR Championship, but the FedExCup. The top five in the standings (Woods, Stenson, Scott, Z. Johnson and Matt Kuchar) each control their destiny. A win, and they nab the $10 million grand prize.

East Lake is a par 70, reaching 7,154 yards. Perhaps the most memorable trait of the course is the lengthy par-3 finishing hole.

Water has also played a significant part in the imagery at East Lake. You'll remember the scene of Jim Furyk sinking the clinching putt with his hat on backwards as the rain fell down, and how can anyone forget Bill Haas' splash onto the green in the playoff with Hunter Mahan in 2011. Given the PGA TOUR's struggles with weather, one can only imagine if or how water will come into play this week.

Since the BMW Championship just finished this afternoon, we'll operate on an abbreviated schedule this week. We will return tomorrow with the power rankings and then finish things off with our fantasy post on Wednesday.

Until then,  happy research!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

BMW Championship - One-and-done

Hours before we get or first look at Conway Farms in the BMW Championship, let's finalize all of the loose ends.

For our one-and-done, we will call on Lee Westwood. That means you may as well count on Adam Scott for our TOUR Championship one-and-done next week barring a major setback.

The two-and-done will be Justin Rose. Excellent ball-striker and elite player. Why not?

Starters remain the same as we mentioned in yesterday's post.

Best of luck to all!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

BMW Championship - Fantasy

As we inch closer to the BMW Championship, representing the third leg of the FedExCup Playoffs, let's dive into our usual lineup of games.

Yahoo!
Season - 5,519 points; 3,102 ranking; 97th percentile
Segment - 1,621 points, 2,277 ranking

Tee times shouldn't matter all that much this week since there isn't a true morning and afternoon wave. Here are my starters as of this moment. If I change them, I'll update in Wednesday's post and/or tweet it out.

  • A-List - Jason Dufner starting with Phil Mickelson on the bench
  • B-List - Luke Donald and Graham DeLaet starting with Matt Kuchar and Steve Stricker on the bench.
  • C-List - Henrik Stenson starting and Adam Scott on the bench.
(I only have one Kuchar start left and would prefer to save it for East Lake unless he goes low early.)

Golf Channel:

As always, check out my pick and all of the Rotoworld staffers in Mike's weekly preview at rotoworld.com.

PGA TOUR game

Season Standings:
  1. Pure Spin - 11,423
  2. O'Sullivan's Tribe - 11,090
  3. Case of Biershenks - 9.757
  4. Woltz - 9488
  5. Started a Week Late - 9,486
Deutsche Bank Championship Standings:
  1. Subliminal Magic - 505
  2. Pelicans Rule - 436
  3. Rubio2016 - 378
  4. Case of Biershenks - 293
  5. Putter's Paradise - 246
We'll be back tomorrow with the one-and-done and two-and-done picks, as well as any updates. Until then, best of luck to all!

Monday, September 9, 2013

BMW Championship - Power Rankings

Trying to pen a power ranking for the BMW Championship has proven to be quite the game of darts. Conway Farms is a first-time host as we mentioned in the preview.So how do we try and pull this off?

Along with form, there are three factors I considered heavily:

  1. Players who are able to play on any kind of course. Since we don't truly know what will be the deciding factor(s) statistically this week, playing a guy who is able to navigate all flavors or courses is a prudent idea.
  2. Putting. Being a good putter is never a bad thing.
  3. Distance. I understand that this is a relatively short course on the card, but I can see where length can be a factor. For starters, the par 3s have some length to them, so hitting a 7-iron when most of the field is hitting a 5- or 6-iron is an advantage. Being able to try and drive a par 4 is an advantage. Taking aim at a par 5 in two with a 3-iron instead of a 3-wood or laying up is an advantage.
Here's my best guess at trying to provide some semblance of an order of value:
  1. Matt Kuchar - He has 14 top 25s in 21 events with a pair of wins and runner-up finishes. He can show up anywhere from a tight Colonial to a forgiving Memorial. If you are protecting a lead in a format, Kuchar is your friend this week.
  2. Adam Scott - A class player with plenty of power and overall game should be high on anyone's radar. Ask yourself this question. If you are trailing and the gamer you are chasing is playing Scott, are you nervous? Of course you are.
  3. Phil Mickelson - He's got six top 3s in 19 starts. That's a pretty good ratio. Ranks inside the top five in both par 3 and par 5 birdie or better percentage.
  4. Henrik Stenson - I really don't like picking a guy following a win, but I really can't ignore the Swede. 
  5. Steve Stricker - He's in the Presidents Cup after a runner-up at the Deutsche Bank and is the epitome of a guy that can play any course.
  6. Luke Donald - A member at Conway Farms, he's an interesting watch this week. Expect course history buffs to gravitate towards him just because he's played the course more often than anyone else. That could be a huge advantage, but it certainly isn't a given. If you are chasing, go with someone who offers more risk/reward than Donald.
  7. Tiger Woods - He falls this far because he hasn't been dominant on courses where his history is lacking. 
  8. Rory McIlroy - The defending champion (Crooked Stick) has kept many people buzzing of late about being "close." I fall into that category, but he's burned me all year. Still, you have to like his upside if he gets hot with the driver and/or putter. 
  9. Lee Westwood - Class player with a solid game tee-to-green and improved scrambling certainly has the ability to factor. He's also the East Lake bubble boy at 30th in the FEC standings and needs a big week.
  10. Justin Rose - A T2 at The Barclays and a T16 at TPC Boston show the Merion hangover has passed. He's second in total driving, fourth in ball-sticking and sixth in all-around ranking. 
  11. Jordan Spieth - I don't know how you leave him out. 
  12. Jason Day - Still haven't figured out how he's only won one time on the PGA TOUR. He's made each of his 19 cuts with 10 top 25s this year, proving he can be counted on for consistency. 
No next five this week.

We'll be back tomorrow to look at the usual slate of games. Until then, best of luck to all!

Sunday, September 8, 2013

BMW Championship - Preview

After a refreshing week off (and I'm talking about me, not the players), it's time to do our homework for the BMW Championship at Conway Farms Golf Club.

There really isn't much we know about Conway Farms from a competition standpoint. It has hosted a smattering of qualifiers for majors and highly touted amateur tournaments over the years, but nothing that we can glean all that much from.

What we do know is that it is a Tom Fazio design, constructed in 1991, and plays to a par of 71 stretched out to 7,149 yards. Included in that are three par 5s, all between 570 and 600 yards, with three of the four par 3s measuring 197 yards or longer.

In taking the course tour online, it doesn't have the feel of a course that significantly favors one ball flight over another. Despite the somewhat short length on the card, this has the feel of a course where length could be a factor. We've already noted the distance of the par 5s and most of the par 3s, but several of the par 4s have fairways bunkers that may not be in play for bombers but will be for the shorter hitters.

Other than Luke Donald, we also don't have a good read on players with plenty of looks at Conway Farms. It's safe to assume some or most of the field hasn't even played it as of the time this posts.

All things considered, we have to trust form and class in a week like this. We will return tomorrow with the power rankings for the BMW.

Until then, happy research!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

U.S. Presidents Cup thoughts

I put out a tweet earlier this evening in which I stated that I would peg Jordan Spieth and Webb Simpson with captain picks for the Presidents Cup were I the captain. I further said that Dustin Johnson and Jim Furyk would have been the next to closely behind.

Since the BMW Championship doesn't start until next week, I thought I'd fill a little space with some Presidents Cup chatter.

First let me say that if I'm Tom Watson, I'm praying Fred Couples selects Jordan Spieth and Billy Horschel. With the U.S. team the overwhelming favorite at Muirfield Village in a few weeks, it would be a nice tryout to see how the two fared in the heat of team battle. That said, I don't think there's any way Horschel's form allows for that risk.

So the real contenders:


  • Jordan Spieth - There's no way he can be passed over. There are enough veterans with the likes of Woods, Mickelson and Stricker to where veterans aren't a must pick.
  • Webb Simpson - Very narrowly missed out on making the team on merit and would be a good partner with a number of players. Again, I like youth over experience with the picks due to the makeup of the team, so he'd be my guy. 
  • Dustin Johnson - I would not at all be surprised if Couples took DJ. He's always seemed to like him and his power could come in handy. He just hasn't been predictable or consistent enough for my liking.
  • Jim Furyk - This one drew some response on Twitter. Six weeks ago he wasn't in the conversation, and his Ryder Cup effort in 2012 was as pathetic as his ability to blow tournaments down the stretch. But. He's shown some form of late and has a nice history at Muirfield Village. If I needed a veteran, I'd take him. I also think he's got something to prove after last year's Ryder Cup. I consider the possibility of him being selected a long shot, and it would also be a slight to Spieth and Simpson if it happened, but it's at least worth a passing thought.
So to recap.....

If I'm Tom Watson, I'm pulling for Spieth / Horschel.
If I'm the captain, it's Spieth / Simpson.

But I think Couples may go Spieth / DJ.