On that note, the weather reports for Friday are pretty nasty. The popular thought is that the Thursday PM / Friday AM tee time wave will be at an advantage. I've followed this tournament enough to know that waiting until the last possible minute to follow weather changes is often a good move. If it becomes clear that one wave will have a decided advantage, I will go all in with my fantasy games to reflect that advantage. The only tournament this season where I can recall that being the right move was the Valero Texas Open.
In the power ranking, I am attaching either "LE" or "EL" to each player. That stands for the Late / Early or Early / Late wave of tee times. If that's confusing to you, my guess is that you haven't been playing fantasy golf for all that long :)
Here we go:
- Dustin Johnson (EL) - Might catch the wrong end of the draw, and if so that impacts his value. Several things about DJ. He's extremely long, and we covered the importance of that in our Preview. He's also won some tournaments contested in rainy / poor weather. If 2010 was any indicator following his U.S. Open final-round snafu, he will bounce back in one of the next two majors.
- Paul Casey (LE) - Not only is he having a great season, he's a solid links golfer and enjoyed a T3 at St. Andrews in a past Open. Experience matters, especially with the weather looking ugly, and he has it.
- Henrik Stenson (LE) - Another seasoned links player, the Swede has three top-three finishes in this event with one of those coming at St. Andrews. Get's a major bump in "form"with a runner-up in his last outing leading up to this week.
- Jordan Spieth (EL) - There's no doubt he's a fast learner, but there's nothing to suggest he's learned how to handle weather like what he will face this week. I suppose there is nothing to suggest he won't handle the situation very well, but we just don't know. If this tournament is played in 8 MPH wind, he's first on the list.
- Louis Oosthuizen (EL) - He may have led off this list had it not been for the misfortune of playing with Tiger Woods the first two rounds and likely landing the wrong end of the tee time draw.
- Rickie Fowler (LE) - Can't ignore the win at the Scottish Open and he's been very reliable in his Open Championship history.
- Sergio Garcia (EL) - Another trusted Open player, making 14/18 players with eight top 10s and two runner-up finishes. We all know the golfing gods are against him, or at least he thinks so, but you know what you are buying here.
- Adam Scott (LE) - Another great Open player, but his putter is a big question mark. Hard to rank him much higher or much lower. If the flat stick is average, he'll lurk.
- Martin Kaymer (LE) - Really upped his stock with a fourth-place finish in his last start leading up to this. He tied for seventh at St. Andrews in the 2010 Open and has excellent form on the Old Course at the Dunhill Links.
- Matt Kuchar (LE) - Impossible to ignore his runner-up in Scotland last week and his recent form in the Open Championship has been very solid.
- Ian Poulter (EL)
- Shane Lowry (EL)
- Hideki Matsuyama (EL)
- Tommy Fleetwood (LE)
- Victor Dubuisson (EL)
- Bubba Watson (EL)
- Phil Mickelson (LE)
- Brandt Snedeker (EL)
- Francesco Molinari (LE)
- J.B. Holmes (EL)
- Justin Rose (LE)
- Branden Grace (LE)
- Charl Schwartzel (EL)
- Marc Warren (LE)
- Brooks Koepka (EL)
Next 10: Ernie Els, Russell Knox, Ross Fisher, David Howell, James Morrison, Jason Day, Ryan Palmer, Lee Westwood, Zach Johnson and Danny Lee
We will return tomorrow with a one-and-done.
Best of luck to all!