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

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Arnold Palmer Invitational - Fantasy

The Arnold Palmer Invitational ushers in a different spin on our coverage of the popular fantasy formats. Due to the growth of the Rotoworld golf website, there is a new feature that will appear every Tuesday entitled "Playing The Tips" that details the Yahoo! and Golf Channel picks from the Rotoworld staffers. There you will find not only my Yahoo! and Golf Channel picks, but also those of Rob Bolton, Ned Brown and Mike Glasscott (listed alphabetically...not playing favorites).

Click here for the link to this week's feature.

What you will likely find is a general consensus on most picks, with several areas of "debate" mixed in. An observation would be that if none of the four of us have a guy in a certain format and you are considering going with him, realize that you are probably going against the grain.

In my Wednesday blog, I will list my starters and any lineup changes to the Yahoo! format. Those likely will not be reflected in the Rotoworld features. I will also tweet changes on @RyanGolfBlogger. The one-and-done will go down on Wednesday per usual.

I'm debating about how to fill this space on Tuesdays, and it will probably take a little time to nail down. For today, I'm going to offer a couple of opinions on topics I would normally stay away from.

Tiger Woods:

Woods pulling out of the API is a big deal. He's a creature of habit, especially as it relates to preparation for the majors. Plus, he could have used a shot of confidence that a nice finish would have offered. Now he's faced with trying to figure out another spot to warm up for August National, possibly the Shell Houston Open, or going into the Masters cold. Both have their risks.

I'll go as far as to say that his season is in serious jeopardy at this point. Consider that he left Bay Hill last year with his third win of the season, but has yet to crack a top 10 this season.

In the chase for Mount Nicklaus, Tiger can't afford another "lost" season in the majors, and that's how this is starting to set up.

Sponsor Exemptions:

John Daly sparked the debate as to the usage of sponsor exemptions when he posted a second-round 90 to miss the cut badly. Tom Gillis was vocal on Twitter today about how Arnold Palmer handed out his invites.

While I see both sides of the argument, I fall quite squarely on one side of the fence.

I'll first say that I'm as big of fan as any of the journeymen on TOUR, and think the reshuffle system is a tough one to navigate. There is a ton of pressure for players to play well, and do so early. I love following the mini tours, the Web.com Tour and the overall journey of professional golf. I personally know players that have conditional status (126-150) on the PGA TOUR this year, Web.com Tour players and players on the PGA TOUR subject to the Web.com Tour reshuffle, and I would be happy for any of them to read this opinion.

So what's my take? Play better.

Russell Henley won the Sony Open in 2013 and didn't have to worry about sponsor invites. Scott Brown won the 2013 Puerto Rico Open out of the 126-150 category and set his season. Woody Austin took advantage of limited status to win in Mississippi last year. They took care of their destiny.

When tournament sponsors pay the amount of money they do to allow for well over one hundred players to compete for (most weeks) over a million dollars, they can put whoever they want in the tournament within the confines of their unlimited sponsor exemptions. If they want to trot John Daly out there, then great! If Arnie wants to send his grandson out on the course, the King's earned that right. When a Web.com Tour event put Jerry Rice in the field, awesome! (Anybody could have tried to Monday qualify for that tournament BTW.) If the Wells Fargo Championship wants to put Ric Flair in the tournament, then I say WHOOOHH!

If John Daly is relevant in the sponsor's eye, then that's all that matters. If a TOUR player, full status or limited, doesn't like it, then he can play better.

And to Tom Gillis (and I have nothing against Tom Gillis), the purses you play for on a weekly basis are directly tied to the efforts of Arnold Palmer decades ago to make the game as popular as it is now. Rather than gripe at who did or didn't get a sponsor exemption, how about show some respect for the King. Maybe offer to carry his grandson's bag?

We'll be back tomorrow with any Yahoo! updates and the one-and-done.

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