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

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Masters Fantasy Game

While I know it's a bit early, I wanted to make you aware of a game specific to the Masters on an established fantasy golf site. The site is fantasygolfteam.com and the game is called Mark 15.

Below is the link to the game:
https://www.fantasygolfteam.com/content/2014-mark-15-masters-pool-home-page

For those of you that played BuzzDraft with me in the past, some of the same guys behind BuzzDraft are also behind this game. It's somewhat similar to the BuzzDraft Group Play, in that you pick players out of each group, which is arranged by the Official World Golf Ranking.

If you are interested in learning more, I'd encourage you to go to fantasygolfteam.com and dig a little deeper.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The Honda Classic - Fantasy Update

I realize this is 11th hour, but the Thursday weather forecast at The Honda Classic is a mess and I'm making some Yahoo! changes.

The only lineup change to the team that I'm making is dropping Luke Donald for Lee Westwood. The biggest reason I had Donald was to have a Thursday AM tee time in the A-List, but he was a calculated reach. Westwood and Rickie Fowler are in the same tee time wave, but it's become murky which wave has the advantage.

I'm also leaning towards the Thursday PM wave of players, as they could actually spill over into Friday morning and miss the bad weather. The rain his roughly 50/50 all day on Thursday, to where I'm banking on the Thursday AM tee times having to fight it for part or all of their rounds.

New starting lineup is:

Westwood (Thursday PM), McIlroy (Thursday PM), Keegan Bradley (Thursday AM) and G-Mac (Thursday PM)

The bench is:

Fowler (Thursday PM), Zach Johnson (Thursday AM), Matsuyama (AM) and Schwartzel (AM)

Hope this isn't too confusing and that I've read the tea leaves correctly.

The Honda Classic - One-and-done

The one-and-done selection for The Honda Classic was always a very short list in my mind. It came down to Graeme McDowell and Charl Schwartzel.

On paper, both seem very solid prospects for a top 10 and both have the chops to compete in this loaded field. The difference in the two is seemingly tiny from every angle, so my tie breaker was future course fit.

I'm taking Charl Schwartzel, In 2013, he recorded five top 10s, but two of those came in his first three starts. The first was at Riviera, where he tied for third and he then tied for ninth at The Honda Classic a week after a first-round loss at the Match Play. Similarly, he finished fifth at Riviera this year and lost in the second round of the Match Play this time around.

Don't take that to mean I don't love G-Mac this week as well. I've invested in him in other formats. I tend to think I won't have any trouble finding a spot for him a little later on.

Other players I gave a second look at were Sergio Garcia and Keegan Bradley. I love Garcia's form, but his course history was slightly below average. As for Bradley, he's a play at the WGC-Bridgestone or the PGA.

Best of luck this week!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Honda Classic - Fantasy

With The Honda Classic inching closer, it's time to take a look at some fantasy formats. Before we do, please note that Justin Rose W/D due to continuing discomfort with the shoulder tendinitis that delayed the start of his 2014 campaign.

Here we go:

Yahoo!

Big week at Riviera, increasing our point total to 1,225 and improving to 2,190 for the season (97th percentile). We hit the Bubba Watson jackpot!

This week presents a dilemma in the A-List in the form of Tiger Woods. I'm laying off, as there are plenty of places on TOUR where Tiger is a past winner, but this ain't one of them. So that leaves us with:

  • A-List - Luke Donald starting and Rickie Fowler on the bench. Almost rolled with Lee Westwood in Donald's place, but wanted the Thursday AM tee time with Donald. The A-List scares me because we are leaning on Fowler (missed his last three stroke-play cuts) and Donald (limited starts of late). That also exactly why I'm not playing Woods. I'm not sure I could hide him and save a start were he to be out of contention because one of the Donald / Fowler duo could lay an egg. Fingers crossed.
  • B-List - Zach Johnson and Keegan Bradley starting with Hideki Matsuyama and Rory McIlroy on the bench.
  • C-List - Easiest call of the week, with Charl Schwartzel starting and Graeme McDowell on the bench.
I encourage you to head over to rotoworld.com and check out Mike G's weekly preview for all of our Golf Channel picks. While Ned's pulling away with the lead, there's about $60k separating second from fourth between myself, Bolton and Glass.

As for the one-and-done, I fully expect my pick to come down to Schwartzel and G-Mac. I'm leaning Schwartzel, but we'll see if it holds up.

Check back tomorrow and we'll tie up any loose ends. Until then, best of luck to all!

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Honda Classic - Power Ranking

With most of the elite scheduled for an exciting week at PGA National, here is the power ranking for The Honda Classic.

  1. Rory McIlroy - Top 10s in each of his two stroke-play events overshadow a second-round exit at the Match Play last week. While his win in 2012 has proven to be the exception more than the rule in his five trips to PGA National, his current form suggests he's on the cusp of breaking through once more.
  2. Graeme McDowell - With top 10s in his last three Honda Classics and back-to-back top 10s to begin 2014, this spot seems obvious. 
  3. Keegan Bradley - Despite a somewhat surprising loss to Jonas Blixt in the first round of the Match Play, he owns three top-20 finishes in 2014. He has progressed well at PGA National, with a MC in his first trip giving way to a T12 and T4 the last two seasons. Also ranks ninth in par 3 scoring average, which bodes well at the Bear Trap.
  4. Tiger Woods - In two trips to PGA National, he has a T2 and a T37. What little bit of form we've seen from him in 2014 has been poor, but he's had several weeks to regroup. Let's face it. The only reason he's this high is because he's Tiger Woods.
  5. Charl Schwartzel - Finishing fifth at the Northern Trust Open trumps his loss in the second round of the Match Play in terms of form.He's improved from T14 to T9 to T5 in his last three Honda Classics. Converging trends.
  6. Sergio Garcia - While his history at this venue is pretty poor by his standards, his recent form is anything but weak. He's won two of his last four starts worldwide, and won his first two matches in the WGC-Accenture.
  7. Rickie Fowler - While his elevation in ranking is due in part to his third-place finish in the Match Play, it wouldn't have been complete without a T7-T13 run in his last two trips to PGA National. At 164th in SGP, the flat stick is holding him back.
  8. Zach Johnson - Returns to this event for the first time since a T30 in 2008, and his stat sheet offers reason for optimism. He ranks third in GIR, 25th in SGP, 12th in ball-striking and second in par 3 scoring average. 
  9. Adam Scott - A complete not to his class as a player, since he missed the cut here in his only start at PGA National back in 2011.
  10. Justin Rose - Still rounding into form after some off-season rest, this is a nice potential landing spot. He finished third here in 2010, then after a year off in '11 added a T5 in '12 and a T4 in '13.A T45 in the Northern Trust Open and a second-round loss to Ernie Els in the Match Play offer reason to be a little concerned regarding his form.
  11. Freddie Jacobson - Course history says it all, as he's 6/6 with all going for top 30s and a pair of them inside the top six. 
  12. Will MacKenzie - The Web.com Finals grad tied for fifth here in 2009 and 12th in 2010 before losing the status needed to earn a tee time at PGA National. He's been hot in 2013-14, ranking inside the top 35 in GIR, SGP, ball-striking and par 3 scoring average. 
Next 5: (alphabetical) Luke Guthrie, Hideki Matsuyama, Patrick Reed, Brendon Todd and Lee Westwood

We will return tomorrow with a look at the various fantasy games. Until then, best of luck!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The Honda Classic - Preview

With the WGC-Accenture Match Play in the books and Jason Day hoisting his first PGA TOUR trophy since the 2010 HP Byron Nelson Championship, it's time to turn our full attention to the The Honda Classic and this week's preview.

Once an TOUR afterthought, The Honda Classic has experienced a renaissance with one of the deepest fields in the world. PGA National Champion Course serves as the backdrop, and get ready to hear plenty about the "Bear Trap" this week. As the name implies, Jack Nicklaus did the redesign here back in 1990, and the 15th, 16th and 17th holes provide quite the test.

The par-70 layout has played as long as 7,240 yards in 2007 and as short as 7,110 the last two years. It features just two par 5s and four very difficult par 3s.

While the origins of this tournament date back to 1972, PGA National has only hosted this event since 2007. Since that time, here are the winners and runners-up:

  • 2007 - Mark Wilson (275) over Jose Coceres, Camilo Villegas and Boo Weekly in a playoff.
  • 2008 - Ernie Els (274) over Luke Donald (275)
  • 2009 - Y.E. Yang (271) over John Rollins (272)
  • 2010 - Camilo Villegas (267) over Anthony Kim (272)
  • 2011 - Rory Sabbatini (271) over Y.E. Yang (272)
  • 2012 - Rory McIlroy (268) over Tom Gillis and Tiger Woods (270)
  • 2013 - Michael Thompson (271) over Geoff Ogilvy (273)
Looking back at the stats over the past few season, a combination of GIR and strokes gained-putting seems to prove relevant. I would also recommend par 3 scoring as a metric to study. Because the score relative to par tends to be higher than most, favor ball-striking over putting since there are plenty of "traps" out there for errant shots. While it's a little less black and white, take a look at solid bunker players as well. 

We will return tomorrow with some power rankings after sorting through what should be the deepest field of the 2013-14 PGA TOUR season to date. And yes, that includes both of the WGCs already in the books.

Until then, happy research!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship - One-and-done

With the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship just around the bend, it's time to declare a one-and-done and cross our fingers.

As mentioned yesterday, my short list was down to Jordan Spieth, Hunter Mahan, Dustin Johnson, Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter.

I wanted to find a reason to plug in Poulter, but his current form just won't allow for it. I also really like Garcia, but something about his first-round match with Marc Leishman doesn't feel all that safe.

That left me with Spieth, Mahan and DJ. Full disclosure, given the multiple formats I play, I have invested in each of them in some form or fashion.

For the one-and-done, I settled on Dustin Johnson. His current form is excellent. Actually, a tad better than it was in 2012 when he tied for ninth in this event. Sticking with my own advise from the preview, he also has very winnable matches in rounds one and two.

Best of luck this week!

Monday, February 17, 2014

WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship - Bracket

For those interested, here is how my bracket picks for the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship turned out.

One thing I noticed, especially in early matches, is that I’m pretty chalky. So, while I labeled dark horses in each bracket, I only bit the bullet on two of them (Patrick Reed and Manassero) when it came time to pull the trigger. Doesn't mean I like Martin Kaymer or Chris Kirk any differently than I did a day ago. It just means that a dark horse isn't a favorite, and I go chalky.

Jones Bracket:
  • Round 1 – Stenson over Barnrat, Watney over Oosty, Sneds over Lynn, Simpson over Jaidee, Day over Olesen, Horschel over Donaldson, Stricker over Coetzee and Reed over DeLaet.
  • Round 2 – Stenson over Watney, Simpson over Snedeker, Day over Horschel and Reed over Stricker
  • Round 3 – Simpson over Stenson and Day over Reed.
  • Round 4 – Day wins the bracket over Simpson

Hogan Bracket:
  • Round 1 – McIlroy over Boo, English over Westy, Schwartzel over Stads, Furyk over Kirk in a fun one, Garcia over Leishman (potential upset special), Haas over MAJ, Poulter over Fowler and Walker over Grace.
  • Round 2 – Rory over English, Schwartzel over Furyk, Sergio beats Haas and Poulter reminds Walker that he’s still match play king with a win.
  • Round 3 – Rory over Schwartzel and I’m hedging with Sergio over Poulter.
  • Round 4 – McIlroy tops Garcia

Player Bracket:
  • Round 1 – Rose over Piercy, Gallacher over Els, Dufner over Stallings, Manassero over Donald, Kuchar over Bernd, Moore over Joost, Spieth over Pablo, and Frankie Molinari of Bjorn.
  • Round 2 – Rose over Gallacher, Manassero over Dufner, Kuchar over Moore and Spieth over Molinari.
  • Round 3 – Rose over Manassero and Spieth over Kuchar
  • Round 4 – Spieth over Rose

Snead Bracket:
  • Round 1- ZJ over Sterne, Mahan over GFC, G-Mac over Woodland, Matsuyama over Kaymer, DJ over Hanson, Streelman over Dubuisson, Bubba over Mikko and Bradley over Blixt.
  • Round 2 – Mahan over ZJ, Matsuyama over G-Mac, DJ over Streels and Bubba over Keegan
  • Round 3 – Mahan over Matsuyama and DJ over Bubba
  • Round 4 – Mahan advances over DJ.
Semi-Finals – Spieth over Mahan and Rory over Day

Finals – Spieth over McIlroy


I’m not entirely settled on a OAD, but I’m giving Spieth, Mahan, DJ, Garcia and Poulter all hard looks.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship - Bracket Summary

Rather than pump out power rankings for the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championships, I've decided to take the more practical approach of breaking down the brackets. Here are my takes on the four brackets.

Jones Bracket:
  • The top half of the bracket lacks depth, with the top two seeds of Stenson and Simpson also standing as the best options to reach the quarter finals. Still, Simpson seems to be cooling lately and Stenson doesn’t boast a great best record in this event. The Oosthuzien v. Watney match appears to be highly unpredictable, with both posting questionable results very recently. Watney’s history is better than Oosty’s. Snedeker tied for ninth in his only start here back in ’12, and has a seemingly winnable match with David Lynn in the first round. Aphibarnrat could pose an upset threat to Stenson. Jaidee shouldn’t give Simpson too much trouble.
  • The bottom of the bracket is much deeper, but lacks a clear front runner. I could see five of the eight advancing to the quarterfinals. Stricker should dispose of Coetzee in theory, but with the health of his brother a high priority his form is a complete guess. The winner of that match faces the winner of Graham DeLaet and Patrick Reed. Watch out for the winner of the GDL / Reed match. Jason Day faces Thorbjorn Olesen, and the Aussie should be a heavy favorite. The Donaldson/Horschel match could be the least interesting, but we all know what happens if Horschel gets hot.
  • This bracket is the second weakest, in my opinion, and I don’t see a “man to beat.”
  •  I don’t see a one-and-done option in this bracket.
  •  I would label Jason Day as a slight favorite in this bracket, with Patrick Reed the dark horse.

Player Bracket:
  • Of the eight halves of the four brackets, the top half of the Player bracket is the worst. Most of the eight players are lacking in current form and several are just getting underway. Leading the charge is Rose, shooting 1-under through 72 holes at Riviera in his first action of 2014 and playing Scott Piercy. Rose’s B-minus game beats Piercy, but I’m not sure Rose has any better than his C-minus game right now. Not the Piercy is sporting an A-game. Els / Gallacher is blah. Els is on the downswing and Gallacher lost in the first round last year in his only action. Dufner/Stallings has some potential, but both of these players are a little too streaky right now, with Dufner not putting well to boot. Manassero / Donald has a little flair, and if Manassero can get rid of Donald he may become the favorite to reach the quarterfinal.
  • The bottom of the bracket has very little depth, but does offer three top-end candidates. Defending champion, Matt Kuchar, is the 2 seed (Rose =1) and plays Bernd Wiesberger in what should be an easy win. One note of caution, Kuchar missed the cut at Riviera last week. The winner of that match plays the winner of Ryan Moore and Joost Luiten.  The other two matches are Jordan Spieth, the hottest in the entire Rose bracket, against Pablo Larrazabal and Thomas Bjorn v. Francesco Molinari.
  • This bracket is by far the weakest, in no small part because of the questionable form of Rose and Dufner. Spieth, Kuchar and Moore are all solid.
  • I could make a case for burning a OAD on Spieth. He seems very likely to at least win his first two matches, which would be a T9 at worst.
  • Matt Kuchar and Jordan Spieth are fighting it out to be the favorite in this bracket, with Manassero an interesting dark horse.

Snead Bracket:
  • This bracket is loaded. It’s deep and offers some fire power at the top.
  •  Standing out in the top half are Hunter Mahan, Graeme McDowell and Hideki Matsuyama. You’ll notice I didn’t mention top-seeded ZJ, who should take care of Richard Sterne but will have his hands full with a Mahan / Fdez-Castano winner. McDowell probably should be the favorite against Gary Woodland, but their styles of play are so uncomfortably different it’s hard to know what to expect. Matsuyama doesn’t have a cake walk with Martin Kaymer, who has finished 2, T9, T9 in his last three trips to Dove Mountian.
  •  When looking at the bottom half, you can’t help but look toward a potential third-round matchup between Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson; especially after they finished one/two at Riviera. I don’t see Peter Hanson getting in DJ’s way or Mikko Ilonen causing Watson any problems. Streelman v. Dubuisson feels fairly inconsequential, but Keegan Bradley could wreak some havoc to this bracket having drawn Jonas Blixt.
  • Mahan’s history warrants a OAD look here, with a win and a runner-up in his last two trips. He’s in decent form over the past month. I also wouldn’t mind a DJ burn here, since it appears highly likely that he’ll be around in the third round to take on either Bradley or Watson.
  • Mahan is the favorite in this bracket, with Kaymer a possible dark horse. Make no mistake, surviving to the final four out of this bracket will require running a murderer’s-row gamut.
      Hogan Bracket:
  • Plenty of solid depth in this bracket. I could see 10 of these 16 having a legit shot at advancing to the final four.
  •  Top half is Rory McIlroy against Boo Weekley, in what should be a Rory win. They would take on the winner of Westwood and English. So, we are looking at a McIlroy / Westwood or McIlroy / English matchup in the second round. Wow. Charl Schwartzel, coming off his top five at Riviera, plays Kevin Stadler; with the winner facing the Furyk/Kirk winner. Other than Boo, there isn’t an easy out anywhere in the top.
  •  The bottom half sees Ian Poulter staring at Rickie Fowler, who’s struggling with form. They play the winner of Jimmy Walker and Branden Grace. So, the hottest golfer on the planet (Walker) could meet match play beast Ian Poulter in round two.  Bill Haas better not sleep on Miguel Angel Jiminez, while Sergio Garcia faces a tough 15 seed in Marc Leishman.
  •  Due to the depth of this bracket, a OAD is a big risk.
  •  I’ll label McIlroy as the favorite, simply because Walker or Poulter won’t make it past the second round. Count Chris Kirk as a legitimate dark horse.

Worth mentioning, draws dictate so much in match play. As much as I would like to burn a Kaymer or a Poulter in a OAD, I’m not sure how to justify it when Kaymer plays a hot Matsuyama  and Poulter could meet Jimmy Walker in round two.


I’ll let it sink in for another day, and return tomorrow with some final calls. Also worth noting, there will be no Yahoo! format this week.

Best of luck to all!

WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship Preview

Next up on the PGA TOUR schedule is the first World Golf Championships event of 2014, with the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship taking center stage. The Golf Club at Dove Mountain serves as the backdrop, playing as a 7,791 par 72.

About the course:

Dove Mountain is a Jack Nicklaus layout and it is consistently despised by TOUR players. Even though it is listed at 7,791 yards, it never seems to play that long and the wide fairways allow for drivers to be hit without fear of much reprisal. While longer players may have an advantage, it isn't enough of one to back just the bombers.

Here's the biggest question this week, and it is to you, the reader. What's your goal and your format?

I'll answer first, as it pertains to me.

  • Goal #1 is to not do anything stupid in the one-and-done. An example of stupid would be defined as picking Tiger Woods (I realize he isn't in the field this week) if he were playing, just to see him bow out in the first round. Last year I played Ian Poulter and was ecstatic with his fourth-place finish, but it wouldn't have been a disaster if he lost early. There wasn't anywhere else I was going to use Ian. He was the perfect choice. I'm looking for a second-tier player with a favorable first-round draw and a chance to win a couple of matches. After that, maybe he gets hot and makes a real run. If he loses in the third round, that's a T9. I'll take it. Current form would be nice. Experience in this format at this event would be a plus, as well.
  • I'll play a bracket challenge in some form or fashion (not for money, I doubt). Last year, I had Matt Kuchar in my Golf Channel bracket as the winner and he won. When I looked at the brackets, he had a tough first-round draw (maybe Sergio?). I'll have fun with it and I won't think too much. Even though I really liked Kuchar, he did not fit my OAD criteria. There were just too many other places to use him.
So, if you're a full-season OAD gamer, here's my advice. Treat this like being at a bar at 1 a.m. when you are a little down on your luck. Don't hook up with the girl who was a "2" at 10, but becomes a "10" at 2. You'll hate yourself in the morning (See Matchbox 20 "Back 2 Good"). Don't drive home if you're going to blow a .19. Just ride it out for another hour, bite the bullet and call a cab, cut your losses and live to fight another day. Calling a cab = Martin Kaymer, or Ian Poulter. Not Rory McIlroy. Maybe Hunter Mahan. 

If you are playing a bracket that has no bearing other than this week, then take a few chances. Kuchar wasn't in many brackets at the end because he had a tough first round match, despite the rest of the bracket setting up well. Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson are in good form, maybe they are a good play. Spieth? Walker? Mahan has played well the last few weeks minus a tight Riviera, but Dove Mountain isn't as tight as Riviera.

Something else worth mentioning, seeding doesn't determine if something is or isn't an upset. Here's an example. I've run several possible brackets based on OWGR, and one of them has Graham DeLaet as a six seed against Patrick Reed (11). Reed beating DeLaet would not be an upset. How about this one. Marc Leishman (15) could play Sergio Garcia (2). Leishman could absolutely win that match and it MIGHT qualify as a mild upset. Not Coppin State winning an NCAA tournament game kind of upset. 

I apologize if I've come across as a downer. I actually really enjoy watching this tournament play out, but hate being overly vested in it from a gaming standpoint. So many times, we invest hours in researching the course, the players, the weather and everything else in an effort to get something "right." 

This is a week where you have to accept that you just can't account for a guy having an absolutely scorching nine-hole run against Rory McIlroy, or Hunter Mahan going on a bad five-hole tilt. There's no time to recover. Perhaps the Northern Trust Open gives up the best example of how something like that could play itself out in a stroke-play event versus match play. Bill Haas shot a 1-over in the opening round in the more favorable morning wave on Thursday and was outside the cut line despite being among the favorites. He then posted back-to-back 67s in the second and third rounds to enter the finale in a tie for 13th only five off the lead. I'm typing this Saturday night, so I don't know how it ends for Haas, but the point is that if it were a Match Play, he would have probably been bounced on Thursday. As it stands, he has a realistic shot at winning, or at least scoring a top 10, because he had time to recover.

I'll be back Monday with a power ranking, and potentially a bracket. Until then, happy research!


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Northern Trust Open - One-and-Done

As mentioned yesterday, I've narrowed my one-and-done focus for the Northern Trust Open to three players. Graham DeLaet, Bill Haas and Dustin Johnson.

Here’s the case for each:
  • DeLaet – Trend at Rivera Country Club has gotten progressively better over his short history, but the real attraction is his current form. His back-to-back T2s are impossible to ignore. Digging deeper, there’s a reason. The putter. In 2012, he ranked 156th in strokes gained-putting and 27th in ball-striking. That improved to 76th in SGP and 1st in ball-striking in 2013. For the new season, he ranks 5th in SGP and 1st in ball-striking. As his elite ball-striking has held firm, his putter has improved dramatically. In his T44 at the 2012 Northern Trust Open, he lost 1.046 strokes per round with the flat stick. In 2013, he tied for 21st and gained .562 strokes putting. Essentially, his season SGP splits are accurately reflected in this event. That bodes really well for this week.
  • Haas – Much like DeLaet, the story is in his putter. A trend that jumped out at me that is a big reason why he’s frustrating in weekly formats is the direct correlation to his putter and his finishes. Since 2010, he’s won five tournaments.  In 2010 he won twice, and those were the only two tournaments where he gained more than 1.00 strokes per round with the flat stick. In 2011, he gained a season-best 2.048 SGP at East Lake and won the TOUR Championship (his second best was a 1.967 at Quail Hollow and he finished fourth).  In 2012, he gained 2.032 at Riviera (best of the season) and won. His 1.116 at the Wyndham was second best and went for a T7. In 2013, you guessed it, his 2.496 SGP at AT&T National was the best and he won, while his 1.799 at Riviera was his second best and he tied for third. So the theory is, you want to burn Haas on his best putting weeks. Coincidentally, there really isn’t any correlation from one week to the next that will indicate how he will putt. What I can do is look back at his last few trips to Riviera and see that this is one of his best courses with the flat stick. Simply put, if he putts, he’ll have a shot on Sunday.
  • DJ – The reasoning for Johnson is much less scientific. Each of his top 10s at Riviera have come on the heels of a top 10 (two being wins) at Pebble Beach. He tied for second at Pebble last week.

Last week, it was narrowed to Jimmy Walker (Win), Hunter Mahan (solo 6) and Jason Day (MDF), so there certainly is an element of luck, even from the short list.

This week I’m taking Graham DeLaet. While the cases for the others are strong, I’m a tad concerned about Haas’ form. I don’t have a good reason not to take DJ, other than GDL just beat him out by a hair.

One final note. DeLaet is just too strong to leave off my Yahoo! team. I’m removing Spieth and inserting DeLaet.

Starters for round one are now Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson, Graham DeLaet and Kevin Na.


Best of luck to all!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Northern Trust Open - Fantasy

Before we dive into the popular fantasy games for the Northern Trust Open, I would be remiss not to say thanks for the feedback on yesterday’s post. I read every tweet and email, and reply to most. It seems like information overload was well received.

As for the games, sometimes things come together well, and sometimes they don’t. The AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am was one of those weeks where most things went right. For an example of the opposite, look back at Torrey Pines.

Jimmy Walker was a pretty easy call in most formats, and a slam dunk for most of you in the Yahoo! C group. Having him perform in a one-and-done situation was a huge plus, and sliding him into the Golf Channel game in Group 2 was icing on the cake.

Jason Day was a disappointment but, unless he was your OAD, there was enough good (D. Johnson, Spieth, Mahan) to cover up the bad.

Yahoo!

While we got the daily lineups wrong a few times, most notably in the final round by leaving Spieth and G-Mac on the bench, it was a nice Yahoo! week. We improved to 5,732 (92nd percentile) with 1,025 points.

While I typically play the AM/PM game with the first two rounds of most tournaments, I’m not going to do that this week quite as religiously. The weather is essentially the same every day in temperature and only presents relatively mild wind to where there doesn't appear to be a big advantage for the afternoon wave.
  • A-List – Starting Bubba Watson with Ryan Moore on the bench. Both are in the PM/AM wave, with Bubba ranking sixth on TOUR with a 68.33 late scoring average.
  • B-List – Starting Dustin Johnson and Bill Haas, with Webb Simpson and Jordan Spieth on the bench. It was hard leaving off Mahan and DeLaet, but this is the one wave where I reached for Simpson and Spieth because they rank first and second in early scoring average. If I went with DJ, Haas, Mahan and GDL, I would have had all four in the same wave.
  • C-List – Starting Kevin Na, with Jimmy Walker on the bench. Similar to Bubba, Na is a solid player late in the day ranking fourth on TOUR with a 68.15 late scoring average. Both are PM/AM wave.

Golf Channel

As always, check out Mike Glasscott’s weekly Rotoworld article for all of our Golf Channel picks. Shout out to Ned for killing it last week with a win (Walker), T2 (D. Johnson) and a T4 (Kevin Na).

For the one and done, I find myself essentially down to D. Johnson, DeLaet and Haas. With Walker off the board, I really don’t see anyone else creeping into the discussion at this point.

Johnson is sort of the perfect blend of course history and form. Of course, so was Jason Day last week.

DeLeat and Haas are like looking at the opposite side of a coin. Haas is the course horse with questionable form, and DeLaet is on fire with course history that is reasonably improving.

One final note for those that still have a Walker burn available…I don’t know what to tell you in a OAD. With three wins in eight starts, he’s in David Duval, Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods air. I was a casual observer at best when Duval burst onto the scene, but he rattled off wins like crazy for a while, as I remember. If this tournament was two weeks later, I’d say use Walker and don’t hesitate. But as it is, he’s still thanking sponsors on Twitter as of Tuesday morning, so clearly he’s still trying to get past the Pebble win.


We’ll firm up a one-and-done, and highlight any Yahoo! changes in our Wednesday post. 

Until then, best of luck to all!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Northern Trust Open - Power Rankings

With the research for the Northern Trust Open well underway, let’s put pen to paper and ink this week’s power rankings.

Actually, before we do that, I want to take a quick peek back. 

I was trading emails with fellow Rotoworld staffer Mike Glasscott on Sunday evening and we were marveling at how a guy like Jason Day failed to live up to everyone’s hype this week. His form was perfect and his course history very good, yet he didn't make the playing cut (MDF). Of course, we did so while hurting our arms patting each other on the back for plugging Jimmy Walker in as our one-and-done picks, but I digress.

During the conversation, we agreed that there seems to be one of those every week.

That got me wondering where the top-ranked player on my power ranking finished each week this season, and where the winner rested on the power ranking. Here goes:
  • Frys.com Open – Winner: Jimmy Walker (2nd in Power Rankings). Top-ranked player (TRP) was Billy Horschel (MC by one).  
  • Shriners – Winner: Webb Simpson (7th). TRP was Graham DeLaet (MC by one)
  • CIMB – Winner: Ryan Moore (Not Ranked). TRP was Keegan Bradley (10th)
  • WGC-HSBC – Winner: Dustin Johnson (Not Ranked). TRP was Sergio Garcia (4th)
  • McGladrey – Winner: Chris Kirk (8th), TRP was Webb Simpson (T7)
  • OHL Classic – Winner: Harris English (11th), TRP was Brian Gay (T45)
  • HTOC – Winner: Zach Johnson (3 Star (ranked differently that week)), TRP was Dustin Johnson (T6)
  • Sony – Winner: Jimmy Walker (Next 5), TRP was Zach Johnson (T8)
  • Humana – Winner: Patrick Reed (NR), TRP was Webb Simpson (T23)
  • Farmers – Winner: Scott Stallings (NR), TRP was Tiger Woods (MDF)
  • WMPO – Winner: Kevin Stadler (NR), TRP was Ryan Palmer (T48)
  • AT&T – Winner: Jimmy Walker (3rd), TRP was Jason Day (MDF)

Quick takeaways, in 12 tournaments the eventual winner was listed inside the top 12 (power rankings) on five occasions, and mentioned in the next 5 or otherwise twice more (7/12). The top ranked player has yet to win, but finished inside the top 10 on five occasions, though twice missing the cut and twice more MDFing.

Most of the time, a guy who tops my power rankings is widely considered among the favorites by numerous sources. I have to wonder if the expectations, internal or external, weigh heavy on the player. After all, when current form and course history are a major part of the equation, they realize when they are playing well and headed to a venue where they have enjoyed success.

Further, more times than not, the winner has been on my published short list.

I’m not going to change the way I do my rankings by flipping the top 3 to the 4-6 range, or anything like that, but I want to point out the current trend. That is, there’s value in spending some of your own time researching the guys in that 5-17 range.

Now that you’ve indulged me for a few moments, here we go with what you came here for:
  1. Jimmy Walker – I’m leading off with him because I really don’t know where else to put him. He’s the hottest player on the planet playing his favorite course on TOUR, where he finished T4, T4, T16 in his last three starts. Winning once in a season is a big deal. Winning twice in a season is a huge step towards the elite. Once you've won three times in eight starts, what’s a fourth? Do I believe he’ll win his third start in four tournaments? Not really, but where else do I put him? He made just one bogey in difficult conditions over the first 54 holes last week.
  2. Dustin Johnson – He’s played twice this year, both on courses where he was a past winner, and finished T6 (HTOC) and T2 (Pebble). His record includes three top-10 finishes in six starts at Riviera, with two top fours. Two of those three top 10s came off wins at Pebble, and the other came off a T5. See where this trend is heading?
  3. Graham DeLaet – There are others with better course history here (T44, T21 in two starts), but he is trending in the right direction on a course that requires some seasoning. He also has a current trend (back-to-back runners-up) that is identical to that of Brandt Snedeker when he won Pebble in 2013. He’s soooo close, and this course sets up well for elite ball-strikers. He may be the best ball-striker in the world. Seriously.
  4. Bill Haas – He’s figured this course out, going T12, 1, T3 in his last three trips. His form is just OK, with T6, T43 and T34 in his last three. Obviously, this is a nod to his course history over form. Of note, he’s putted extremely well here over the last few years, which is both good and bad. A poor performance this week likely means the putter let him down, but great putting and decent ball-striking means a top 10.
  5. Webb Simpson – We’ll go back-to-back with Wake Forest grads. Simpson’s only played here twice, but both went for top 15s (T15 in ’10 and T6 LY). His form has also been solid all season.
  6. Keegan Bradley – The elephant in the room is his second-round 80 to miss the cut at the WMPO. What was that? If you throw that out, he had a couple of top 20s headed into Phoenix and was T2 and T17 at Riviera with no rounds over par in his last eight. That 80 will scare people off his scent, so he could wind up being a good buy.
  7. Ryan Moore – Moore is 6/7 here with a T4, T17, T27 run here in his last three. While it’s apparent the trend is working backwards, they are still all respectable finishes. I would also argue that he’s having a better season this year than any other, so it’s reasonable to expect a better-than-average performance out of him this week. He’s finished 10th and 6th in his two 2014 starts.
  8. Jordan Spieth – He’s been the 36-hole leader or co-leader in his last two starts, but has not responded well in the third round. He did, however, bounce back with a really nice final round at Pebble and managed a T4 last week. He’s only played here once, missing the cut as an amateur in 2012.
  9. Hunter Mahan – Somewhat fulfilled his lofty expectations last week with a top 10, but it should have / could have been even better. Unlike the WMPO, where he was trying to mount a late charge, hanging around the lead for a few days got to him and he looked frustrated and tight down the stretch. Still, back-to-back top-six finishes is excellent form. He only has one top 10 in eight tries at Riviera, but it came last year (T8).
  10. Bubba Watson – From a current trend standpoint (T23, T2), I’ve got him a little too low. He’s a little all over the place here, missing half of his six cuts, but posting top 20s each time he sees the weekend. My lean is that this is another top 20, but you have to account for the fact that he’s missed half his cuts.
  11. Marc Leishman – Another guy I may have too low, his missed cut at the WMPO was preceded by a fifth and a T2. He’s a respectable three for four here with a pair of top 20s.
  12. Kevin Na – Coming off a T4 at Pebble, he’s 6/10 here with a T10 in ’10 and a third in ’11. Form meets history.

Wild Card:
  • Justin Rose – Deserves a mention for multiple reasons. This is his first start of 2014 after an extended break to let the tendinitis in his shoulder calm down. Before that, he was on fire everywhere he played across the globe. He’s 7/8, with a T9 and a T13 in his last two starts here. I don’t know that I’d invest in him quite yet, but he is worth a close study for the upcoming WGCs.

Next 5: Harris English, Jim Furyk,Hideki Matsuyama, Pat Perez and Charl Schwartzel

First two out: Matt Kuchar and Cameron Tringale


I hope this wasn't information overload. We’ll be back tomorrow to look at some games. 

Until then, best of luck to all!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Northern Trust Open - Preview

The PGA TOUR wraps up the stroke play portion of the West Coast Swing with the Northern Trust Open, and here is a little preview to get you started in your research.

The iconic Riviera Country Club once again serves as the venue, as it has every year with only two exceptions since 1973. It is a par-71 layout, stretching out to 7,349. Perhaps the most recognizable hole is the par-4 10th. The 315-yard par 4 is reachable by most of the field, and is often referred to as the best short par 4 in golf. While you'll probably see a few eagles on that hole, you're sure to see plenty more bogeys and doubles.

Several other things stand out about the layout.

  • There are three par 5s. The first is the opening hole, and offers a relatively easy birdie for the field. The other two come on the back nine, and are only reachable by the longest hitters after drives in the fairway. In essence, it levels out the field.
  • The par 3s have some character to them, with the par-3 fourth offering 236 yards of all you can ask for with the green sloping away. The par-3 sixth has a bunker sitting right in the middle of it. The par 3s on the back are easier than the front, but by no means easy.
  • Length is generally a good thing, and the ability to work the ball both ways off the team has some value. Especially on par 4s. 
  • Known as "Hogan's Alley," it should be no surprise that ball-striking is of importance. Perhaps more so than any other stop to date on the PGA TOUR, pure tee-to-green game is rewarded.
  • While John Merrick broke through to win here in 2013, consider that the exception more than the rule. The winner's circle in this event is littered with names like Haas, Stricker, Mickelson, Scott and Els. 
  • Of note, the white-hot Jimmy Walker has said this is his favorite course on the PGA TOUR and he has finished T4, T4, T16 here in his last three starts.
I alluded to the winner's, it's probably a good idea to list the champs and runners-up dating back to 2005 for your review.
  • 2013 - Merrick over Charile Beljan in a playoff at 11-under.
  • 2012 - Bill Haas over Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley in a playoff at 7-under.
  • 2011 - Aaron Baddeley (-12) over Vijay Singh (-10)
  • 2010 - Steve Stricker (-16) over Luke Donald (-14)
  • 2009 - Phil Mickelson (-15) over Steve Stricker (-14)
  • 2008 - Phil Mickelson (-12) over Jeff Quinney (-10)
  • 2007 - Charles Howell III over Phil Mickelson in a playoff at 12-under.
  • 2006 - Rory Sabbatini (-13) over Adam Scott (-12)
  • 2005 - Adam Scott over Chad Campbell in a playoff at 9-under (shortened to 36 holes).
We'll take our normal look at course history, current form and some relevant statistics and return with a power ranking tomorrow evening. 

Until then, happy research!

Northern Trust Open - Monday Qualifier

The Norther Trust Open Monday Qualifier will take place at Industry Hills Golf Club - Eisenhower Course to determine the final four spots into the Northern Trust Open.

For those interested in keeping up with the action, here is the link to the leaderboard http://scpga.bluegolf.com/bluegolf/scpga14/event/scpga1428/contest/1/leaderboard.htm (you may have to copy and paste).

Best of luck to all!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am - One-and-Done

Wrapping up our look at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, it's time to identify our one-and-done and name the Yahoo! starters.

The one-and-done essentially came down to three players. Jason Day, Hunter Mahan and Jimmy Walker. I absolutely would not try and talk you out of any of the above.

I'm taking Walker. In some ways this is a stubborn pick, as I had Pebble Beach in mind for JW as far back as his win at the Frys.com Open. In fact, part of my rationale for not playing him in that event (big mistake) was that I wanted him for this week. It's hard for me to imagine him winning for the third time this season, but if he's going to do it this is on the short list of places. His last three finishes here are T9, T9, T3, and his win at Sony isn't that far in the past. Perhaps the biggest weakness in his game is finding fairways, but this three-course rota generally offers fairways that are easy to hit. and greens that are small, thus somewhat assuaging his weakness. His strengths are power and putting, and the 54 greens he'll see this week are difficult to putt. He should be able to separate himself from the field with his flat stick. Bad putters are still going to putt badly. Average putters may struggle more than normal. If the elite putters can prevent a falloff, they stand to gain strokes.

Mahan's biggest pro is his form, finishing T4 last week, and his course history isn't far behind (2, T15, T16). Up until last season, his biggest weeks tended to come after poor-to-average starts. He proved a little more trendy last year, so if that keeps up this week could be splendid. An interesting note, he tied for 16th at the WMPO last year and then shared 16th at Pebble the very next week. Most one-and-done gamers would take a T4 and run if he could duplicate the feat! Full disclosure, I play several weekly games and I have hedged against Walker with Mahan in one of those in particular.

Day is great option. The heat he's putting off the last three or four months is along the lines of Walker and Graham DeLaet, and he has the history at Pebble to make him an elite pick. Like Mahan, I have some weekly love for Day spread across my formats. I'll likely play Day in a major or the HP Byron Nelson. That's not to say I'm specifically saving him, but just identifying a likely landing spot.

As for Yahoo!, my rule for the week is to always play guys at Monterey Peninsula and lay off guys at Spyglass Hill. While the advantage to MP and disadvantage to SH isn't dramatic, it will be my strategy until proven otherwise.

That said, my starters are Stadler in A (MP), Day (MP) and Mahan (PB) in B and Walker (PB) in C. The bench is Reed (SH) in A, Spieth and D. Johnson (SH both) in B and McDowell (SH) in C.

As always, best of luck to all this week!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am - Fantasy

While the tee times / course rotations haven't been announced for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am quite yet, we'll do our best to offer a fantasy outlook for the tournament ahead.

The course rotation really only matters for the Yahoo! format. The suggestion would be to try and stagger players so all your guys aren't on the same course, but it's not an absolute necessity as it was for the Farmers.

As for the Yahoo!, we are probably far enough into the season to where percentiles and points have some relevance, so I'll start listing mine. Currently 825 points, ranked 8,936 overall and 88th percentile.

One observation, it seems less people are playing the Yahoo! format this season. Typically, that ranking would have been good for about a 92nd percentile, so we likely have about 5k less in the game overall. If I had to guess, the game is more populated with serious players and some of the fluff has fallen off.

Here we go:

  • A-List - Taking Kevin Stadler and Patrick Reed, noticeably leaving Phil Mickelson off the roster. This was the hardest call of the week. I'll only consider it a backfire if Lefty posts a top three, as I would have likely held off on him for the first few rounds anyway.
  • B-List - Jason Day, Hunter Mahan, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth. That list doesn't need much of an explanation.
  • C-List - Jimmy Walker and Graeme McDowell
While Mike Glasscott's weekly Rotoworld article hasn't published yet, my Golf Channel picks will be included in that in the very near future. 

I'll return tomorrow to firm up the Yahoo! once tee times are announced and to announce my one-and-done selection. I've narrowed that down to Day, Mahan and Walker.

Until then, best of luck to all!

Monday, February 3, 2014

AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am - Power Rankings

Sticking to our regular schedule, it's time to dive into the power rankings for the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Feel free to refer to yesterday's preview for further research.

Thanks for the patience last week. Had to make a break for Orlando, Florida to take the kids to meet some mice, ducks and princesses. 

As I mention frequently, while I rank what I consider to be the top 12 most valuable players every week, there are often tiers that provide very little separation. This week, the top two players jumped off the page. After that, I could make a case to interchange numbers three through 10. 

Here we go:
  1. Jason Day - Everything is pointing towards a huge year for the Aussie. He picked up a win overseas late in 2013, then opened with a T2 in his first 2014 action at Torrey Pines two weeks ago. He's made the cut in this event on all four occasions, twice tying for sixth and adding a T14 in the mix. 
  2. Hunter Mahan - Form is trending nicely, tying for fourth last week after a bogey on the 71st hole ended his hopes at a win. His last three trips to Pebble for the Pro-Am have resulted in a runner-up, T15, T16. He has the look of a guy that is peaking for this event. I also like that he went about his business relatively anonymously at the WMPO last week until around the 13th hole on Sunday. He didn't burn up too much mental energy. 
  3. Jimmy Walker - His record in his last three starts in this event speaks for itself (T9, T9, T3). When he won the Sony Open early in 2014, it looked like Walker would trend towards the top spot in this ranking. His missed cut at the Farmers isn't too big of a yellow flag for two reasons. Number one, he had to deal with the circus of playing with Tiger Woods for the first two rounds. Second, as we gleaned from his wife's Twitter page, he was fighting an illness along the lines of a cold or flu. Now that he's had some time to process his second win of 2013-14, there's no reason he won't be in the mix for a fourth consecutive top 10 here.
  4. Graeme McDowell - Makes his 2014 PGA TOUR debut at the site of his 2010 U.S. Open victory. It's obvious that his form is unknown, but his class and course fit should still allow for confidence. 
  5. Dustin Johnson - The two-time winner of this event finally crashed here last year with a missed cut. In a weird way, that could be good for this time around. He hasn't played since his T6 at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, so there are other players with a warmer heat index. All this deflects some of the attention and expectations away from DJ.
  6. Kevin Stadler - This is a guess, since we have no history from which to pull how he will react to his breakthrough win last week. It's unreasonable to expect him to go back-to-back, but a top 10 is certainly possible. Who knows? Maybe he'll play with a major weight lifted off his shoulders. His record here is solid and includes a T3 last year on the heels of a T11 at the 2013 WMPO.
  7. Jordan Spieth - We are finally finding some starting points for Spieth in the form of course history. He tied for 22nd here last year and enters off a T19 at the Farmers. 
  8. Phil Mickelson - Let's face it. His back and subsequent form are a concern. Reports surfaced today on Golfchannel.com that his doctor isn't thrilled about his idea to tee it up this week (or last), suggesting rest over competition and warning of bigger problems if he re-injures. Lefty's won here four times and has eight top 10s, but this isn't the time to overplay your hand with him. He only managed a T42 last week in the desert. While form isn't normally a huge indicator for him, given the health concern, it could be a bigger tell this week. 
  9. Patrick Reed - Backed up his win at the Humana Challenge with a T19 at the WMPO last week, while also tying for seventh here last year. That the Humana was a pro-am format, coupled with his T7 last year at Pebble, could suggest a comfort with the overall style of Pro-Am play. 
  10. Brandt Snedeker - It's a pretty big surprise that his last three starts on TOUR have resulted in a T58, MC, T61 on tracks that should have set up very well for him. Given he faced an injury just before the HTOC, I'm forced to question if he's tried to come back too soon or was out of practice upon his return to kick off 2014. Having the pressure of defending his 2013 title adds to the skepticism. The biggest reason he's even on the list is his penchant for success on poa annua and his history on this specific course rotation.
  11. Pat Perez - About six holes into the final round of the WMPO, he looked like the guy that might win. He eventually made a bunch of bogeys and followed up his T2 at the Farmers with a runner-up at the WMPO. He's 9/11 in this event, with three top 25s and a runner-up in his first start here back in 2002. He's hot.
  12. Jason Kokrak - He's been a top-20 machine in 2013-14, racking up four in six 2013-14 starts including a T15 last week at the WMPO. While he missed the cut at Pebble last year, he tied for ninth in 2012. That's good enough for me when you factor in current form.
Next 5 (Alphabetical): Jim Furyk, Charley Hoffman, Matt Jones, Brendan Todd and Nick Watney

Snub of the week may be Chris Kirk, but he played horribly on the weekend last week.

I'll return tomorrow to begin tackling various gaming formats.

Until then, best of luck!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am - Preview

The next stop on the PGA TOUR could be the most scenic, as we begin with our preview of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

This week's format is essentially identical to the Humana Challenge, with three courses utilized over the first 54 holes and the final round taking place at Pebble Beach on Sunday. Also similar to the Humana, the cut will occur after 54 holes.

Though celebrities and other amateurs populate the field, the AT&T doesn't generally turn into a birdie binge. For starters, the greens are small and their surface is poa annua. Add to that, the wind can become a factor off the Carmel Bay, whereas PGA West was essentially played in a dome.

The courses in play are Pebble Beach (PB), Spyglass Hill (SH) and Monterey Peninsula (MP). Pebble and Spyglass each play to a par of 72, featuring four par 5s and four par 3s, with MP a par 70 with three par 5s and five par 3s.

Due to some of the intricacies with the courses themselves (small greens, poa annua, potential for wind) as well as the pro-am format, I'm inclined to give a stronger look towards course history.  Here are the champions and runners-up dating back to 2005.

  • 2005 - Winner: Phil Mickelson; Runner-up: Mike Weir
  • 2006 - Winner: Arron Oberholser; Runner-up: Rory Sabbatini
  • 2007 - Winner: Phil Mickelson; Runner-up: Kevin Sutherland
  • 2008 - Winner: Steve Lowery (Playoff); Runner-up: Vijay Singh
  • 2009 - Winner: Dustin Johnson; Runner-up: Mike Weir
  • 2010 - Winner: Dustin Johnson; Runners-up: David Duval and J.B. Holmes
  • 2011 - Winner: D.A. Points; Runner-up: Hunter Mahan
  • 2012 - Winner: Phil Mickelson; Runner-up: Charlie Wi
  • 2013 - Winner: Brandt Snedeker; Runner-up: Chris Kirk
So what stands out about this list? A few things:
  • Even though the courses aren't long, players with some length and aggression are routinely rewarded. Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson obviously jump off the page, but so do Hunter Mahan J.B. Holmes and Vijay Singh as runners-up. 
  • Strong putters are showing up. Brandt Snedeker, Chris Kirk and Charlie Wi all fit that bill.
  • There is a strong veteran presence. In addition to guys like Mickelson and Singh, Kevin Sutherland and Steve Lowery each did some work later in their careers. 
  • Mike Weir's accuracy in his prime put him in contention here. Rory Sabbatini is a noted wind player. Oberholser grew up near this course and showed up frequently on these leaderboards when healthy. 
I'll likely work this tournament a little differently than some of the recent ones. Rather than start with form and moving on to history, I'll start this one by looking back at the last three-to-five AT&T leaderboards and trying to match that list with players in good form. 

One final thought. Feel free to take a peek at the 2010 U.S. Open, contested at Pebble Beach, if you come across a guy that lacks history in the AT&T but may have teed it up in the Open. 

We will return with a power ranking tomorrow. Until then, happy research!