This is the final Long-Term 101 of the 2012 season. Since Volume Five, four tournaments have elapsed.
Nick Watney tamed Bethpage Black to win The Barclays; Rory McIlroy won both the Deutsche Bank Championship and the BMW Championship; and Brandt Snedeker captured the FedExCup title by winning the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
The purpose of the Long-Term 101 is to highlight the fantasy value over a 365-day period instead of a weekly synopsis. This yearlong cheat sheet uses top finishes (money) and quality of play as measurements for the rises and falls within the different volumes. With only four events comprising the Fall Series, this is a great resource going into the 2013 season.
These rankings are based on the final standings of the ‘12 FedExCup Playoffs, PGA TOUR money list, stats and recent trends. Pay close attention to the Fall Series and the movements with the official money rank as players inside the top 30 in earnings receive exemptions into the Masters. The top 30 in the final FedExCup standings are eligible for the first three majors of 2013. These exemptions allow players to customize their schedule for the courses that fit their game.
Included below is each player’s current rank on the money list. The Fall Series events will play a role in the outcome of the final money list, but their current standing offers a good indication of value entering the conclusion of the season.
Please utilize my “Open Door” email policy to make each fantasy team a success in ’12. I will answer every email and will prefer to talk via the phone on certain occasions. Find me on Twitter at @J_McNamara_Golf or email me at JMacFantasyGolf@aim.com with any questions.
Rank Player (Volume Five Rank; Money Rank) ... Comments
1. Rory McIlroy (1; 1) … Finished second in FedExCup. Leads PGA TOUR in par breakers and adjusted scoring average. Ranks 41st in GIR and 34th in scrambling. Only blemish is that he ranks 80th in SG-Putting. He needed only 16 events to lead money rank by almost $2 million.
2. Tiger Woods (2; 2) ... He is the clear-cut No. 2, but he is closer to McIlroy than many might expect. Woods ranks eighth in par breakers, second in adjusted scoring, 19th in GIR, fourth in scrambling and 36th in SG-Putting. I would take McIlroy first, but it would be a tough decision.
3. Dustin Johnson (19; 17) ... I know this might be a surprise, but DJ is trending forward in the Big Five (par breakers, adjusted scoring, GIR, scrambling and SG-Putting), and he missed time with an injured back. HUGE upside and I would roll the dice.
4. Phil Mickelson (14; 8) ... His stats are much better than his results have led us to believe. He's still the safest pick in the four-hole.
5. Webb Simpson (11; 15) ... He didn't have his best stuff in ’12. Makes birdies in bunches and has proven he can contend on both Bermuda and bentgrass greens.
6. Luke Donald (12; 13) … Loses value in leagues that rewards wins, but sits perfectly in leagues that rewards top 10s. His GIR ranking continues to improve after a slow start to the ’12 season.
7. Matt Kuchar (10; 11) … Here is another top-10 machine, but he's regressed since Volume Five with his irons (70th versus 32nd). However, his short game made up for it (ninth versus 26th in scrambling and 23rd versus 42nd in SG-Putting).
8. Steve Stricker (4; 16) … Ranks a mere 65th in SG-Putting or he would have had a better year. I would be thrilled to draft him in the eight-hole.
9. Jason Dufner (3; 4) … This could be a little low, but I want to see back-to-back seasons before I slot him higher. His stats are awesome except he ranks 77th in SG-putting.
10. Bubba Watson (7; 5) … Like DJ, I love Watson’s upside. He'd be higher, but his short game is too inconsistent (ranks 106th in scrambling and 152nd in SG-Putting).
11. Brandt Snedeker (17; 3) … His win at the TOUR Championship was IMPRESSIVE, but I cannot see myself taking him higher than anyone in the top 10. In addition, his spot at 109th in the GIR rankings is a slight turnoff.
12. Zach Johnson (9; 6) … Big bounce-back year -- I will likely keep in the third round of my keeper league -- and he now has at least one win in four of the last five years. Like Snedeker, Johnson's irons are inconsistent (ranks 94th in GIR).
13. Justin Rose (6; 7) … Has eight top 10s and one victory. Leads the PGA TOUR in GIR, but the flat stick holds him back at times (130th in SG-Putting).
14. Hunter Mahan (13; 9) … Like Rose, Mahan is a Sean Foley pupil, and both of them put on a “stripe show” weekly. Mahan ranks fifth in GIR, but cooled off considerably since July.
15. Nick Watney (45; 23) … The year looked as if it was going to be a bust, but he has played well since July, including a victory at The Barclays.
16. Jim Furyk (15; 19) … Mr. Steady Eddie has seven top 10s on the season, but struggles to make birdies (ranks 139th in par breakers). He does fare better on tougher courses (third in adjusted scoring).
17. Adam Scott (27; 24) … I missed on him this year. While his irons regressed in ’12, but his short game really suffered the biggest drop-off from ’11.
18. Keegan Bradley (5; 10) … Won the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. His stats are solid outside of a mediocre scrambling (87th).
19. Bill Haas (16; 32) … Didn't make it to East Lake, but he'll finish the calendar year inside the top 50 of the OWGR. No concerns with his schedule.
20. Bo Van Pelt (16; 21) … Still gets lost looking for the winner’s circle, but he will play in all the majors and most likely all of the WGC events in ’13. Ten top-10 finishes in ‘12.
21. Sergio Garcia (23; 28) … Has positive trends in the Big Five, but he played in only 16 events. Would be higher if he played more on this side of the pond.
22. Lee Westwood (56; 22) … This is low and there is some thought that he will play more on the PGA TOUR in ’13 after moving his family to southern Florida. If there is confirmation that he will play more than the minimum 15 events, then he jumps to No. 15 on this list.
23. Ernie Els (18; 18) … I would be worried about taking him in the third round, but he is hard to overlook after a bounce-back year in ’12.
24. Rickie Fowler (25; 20) … Shed the monkey of not having a win on the PGA TOUR, but this spot is generous with his stat line (59th in par breakers, 60th in adjusted scoring, 80th in GIR, 103rd in scrambling, 135th in SG-Putting).
25. Carl Pettersson (8; 12) … I said this about Luke Donald three years ago: “watch out world if he learns to hit his irons” and the same can be said for Pettersson (ranks 105th in GIR).
26. Robert Garrigus (24; 25) … The big hitter showed moxie over the last 23 months, taking his game to the next level. Played in Atlanta and will pick his schedule in ’13.
27. Jason Day (108; 97) … Didn't make it past the second round in the FedExCup Playoffs and he will most likely outside the top 30 on the money list, but he ranks 30th in the OWGR and will be eligible for all majors in 13. See Scott; I missed on this Aussie, too.
28. Scott Piercy (22; 27) … I did not miss on the big-hitting hot shot in ’12 and I hope you were on board. Won for the second year in a row. He will play Augusta National for the first time and made the TOUR Championship. Solid peripherals.
29. John Senden (35; 39) … Like Piercy, I was all over the smooth-swinging Aussie to start ‘12, and he too made it to the TOUR Championship. Senden's ball-striking is outstanding and he ranks 91st in scrambling in ’12 compared to 145th in ’11.
30. Louis Oosthuizen (28; 14) … Came on strong to end the year and heads into the ’13 season with some momentum. I could watch him swing at it all day long. Finished inside the top 30 in the FedExCup rankings as well.
31. Ryan Palmer (29; 52) … Did not finish inside the top 30 of the FedExCup rankings and he's not currently in the top 50 of the OWGR, but I like his stats. He didn't get a ton out of his game this year, but is poised for a great ’13 season.
32. Charl Schwartzel (81; 75) … His status will be similar to Jason Day’s, and Schwartzel is trending forward in the Big Five, but I do not like hit limited schedule. It's cost him spots in the ranking.
33. Bud Cauley (26; 40) … Showing positive trends coming down the stretch. Big year coming up in ’13.
34. Seung-yul Noh (31; 44) … Has already played 28 events.
35. Ryan Moore (58; 36) … Made it to Atlanta and heads into ’13 with significant momentum. Great peripherals outside of shaky scrambling stats (107th).
36. Tim Clark (41; 53) … Bounced back after a rough 13 months with an elbow injury. He seems to be back to pre-injury form.
37. Kevin Na (38; 37) … Tread carefully with him on draft day. Has not played well since July -- he battled a shoulder injury that knocked him out of the PGA Championship -- and his normally good stats have trended backwards.
38. Geoff Ogilvy (44; 64) … I am still a believer and would take him if available in the fourth round.
39. Chris Kirk (39; 73) … See Ogilvy above. I also believe the “nappy factor” (having a child during the season) affected Kirk's ’12 season. I love his upside.
40. Graeme McDowell (21; 30) … A sexy pick, but his short game is too worrisome for me (171st in scrambling and 154th in SG-Putting).
41. Padraig Harrington (53; 47) ... Trending forward in the GIR category, but still ranks 143rd; same with SG-Putting (108th). Played 18 events in ’12; made 10 straight cuts.
42. Martin Laird (32; 34) ... His last top 10 was at THE PLAYERS.
43. John Huh (30; 26) ... Most likely will win Rookie of the Year and has made 21 of 27 cuts with 11 top 25s. He will be one of my keepers in 2013.
44. Ian Poulter (40; 41) ... Another sexy pick, but he only played in 15 events with six top-25 finishes.
45. Peter Hanson (n/a; n/a) ... His value increases if he takes up full membership in ’13. Pay close attention to this in the offseason.
46. Ben Crane (70; 43) ... The beginning of the season was overshadowed by a shoulder injury, but he played through it.
47. Vijay Singh (71; 55) ... Continues to defy the law of old age. Played well down the stretch.
48. Jeff Overton (53; 57) ... I will take a flier on him in ’13 and I love his consistent splits.
49. Brendon de Jonge (36; 58) ... Here is another player who is not flashy. Nevertheless, continues to post consistent numbers.
50. Matt Every (59; 46) ... Can go low and ranks 28th in par breakers. Putter is inconsistent, but his game is for real.
51. Aaron Baddeley (62; 68) ... Ranks 181st in GIR compared to 97th in ’11.
52. Spencer Levin (57; 60) ... Irons killed any momentum throughout the year, but I expect a bounce-back in ’13.
53. Harris English (73; 82) ... I will likely protect English in my keeper league. He is a star waiting to bloom.
54. J.B. Holmes (64; 74) ... Made 10 of his last 11 cuts, and he makes birdies in bunches. Short game was better in ‘12 compared to ’11.
55. Troy Matteson (48; 70) ... Made nine of his last 10 starts. Short game holds him back, but he can stripe his irons.
56. Kyle Stanley (34; 31) ... Was red-hot to start the year, then cooled off before warming back up late. Short game is his Achilles' heel.
57. Graham DeLaet (86; 85) ... People questioned my high expectations in the middle of ’12, but he answered, and he's poised for a big ’13. Trending forward with SG-Putting and par breakers; this long-hitting ball-striker will be a force if these positive trends continue.
58. Sean O'Hair (60; 84) ... Won the RBC Canadian Open in ’11. Both his scrambling and SG-Putting are going in the wrong direction.
59. David Toms (90; 66) ... Age is starting to get to the LSU Tiger, but his career has been remarkable.
60. Cameron Tringale (50; 69) ... Solid stats across the board, but struggles on tough courses (ranks 97nd in adjusted scoring). Not sure when he will break through, but this talent has a long career ahead of him.
61. Marc Leishman (42; 38) ... Won for the first time on the PGA TOUR in ’12, but he does not have top 25 since the victory.
62. Charles Howell III (74; 91) ... Big year of regression.
63. Charley Hoffman (79; 62) ... The putter always seems to be his nemesis.
64. Mark Wilson (47; 35) ... Has one win on the PGA TOUR in three of the last four years.
65. Rory Sabbatini (83; 78) ... Showed signs that he was close to finding his form in June of last year, but he regressed coming down the stretch.
66. Sang-Moon Bae (85; 72) ... I was skeptical of his schedule to start the year, but he played 25 events. Started on fire, but has one top 25 since March. Hasn't erased doubt that his right shoulder is still an issue.
67. Fredrik Jacobson (87; 95) ... A thumb injury caused him to miss some time to start the year and he never gained his ’11 form (had one top 10 all year). Look for a bounce-back in ’13.
68. K.J. Choi (65; 94) … Two top 10s and ranks 116th in GIR.
69. Ryo Ishikawa (n/a; n/a) … This number goes up if he accepts PGA TOUR membership. Ranks 101st in non-member earnings.
70. Jimmy Walker (33; 56) … I like him but his irons and chipping keep him from next level.
71. Ken Duke (46; 51) … I still cannot believe after looking at his golf swing, but he continues to produce.
72. Ben Curtis (49; 29) … Won the Valero Texas Open and is exempt for the next two years on the PGA TOUR. It was his fourth career title.
73. John Rollins (52; 50) … Consistent stats in the Big Five, but he's very vanilla.
74. Johnson Wagner (37; 33) … You can have him.
75. Pat Perez (69; 81) … Big fan of PP. I would take him for sure in the ninth round.
76. Jonathan Byrd (51; 45) … Eligible for the invitationals (Arnold Palmer, Memorial -- top 70 on money list; Colonial -- top 80). Unfortunately, statistical trends show that game is going in wrong direction.
77. Jonas Blixt (102; 89) … The Swede came on nicely before being sidelined with a rib injury. Seems to have overcome it, however.
78. Brian Davis (55; 61) … The Englishman looked as if he might contend regularly back in ’10, but ’12 was just okay (four top 10s and 10 missed cuts).
79. William McGirt (66; 67) … Consummate ball-striker from Wofford College.
80. Kevin Stadler (92; 48) … Streaky, but he's matched a career high with five top 10s. Added another seven top 25s to boot.
81. Charlie Wi (61; 42) … Always seems to have one or two events that he contends and rakes in the cash. I cannot endorse such inconsistency, but he finds himself atop leaderboards. You can have him.
82. Blake Adams (63; 88) … Looked so close to breaking through with a victory, but he will head into the ’13 season for his fourth year on the PGA TOUR.
83. D.A. Points (67; 49) … There is nothing exciting about him. Despite his rank on the money list, I am not a believer.
84. J.J. Henry (54; 59) … Won the Reno-Tahoe Open and continues to hit his irons well.
85. Bryce Molder (104; 83) … It was a disappointing year. I missed.
86. Tom Gillis (105; 76) … Who knows what you are going to get with him: WD, MC, top 10, etc., but he did post four top-26 finishes in his last five starts.
87. Dicky Pride (91; 63) … Played his way into the top 125 in earnings from the Past Champion category, but the 43-year-old does have a ceiling.
88. Brian Gay (98; 116) … Made four of his last five cuts and heads into the Fall Series with some confidence.
89. Michael Thompson (75; 65) … Has shown signs of breaking through, but droughts keep him from elevating to the next level.
90. Brian Harman (99; 77) … This little lefty can score, but has yet to post a top-10 on the PGA Tour.
91. Ricky Barnes (96; 104) … Nothing sexy here, but he grinds out finishes.
92. Ted Potter, Jr. (89; 54) … His win at the Greenbrier keeps the unorthodox rookie on the PGA TOUR for at least two more years. Feast or famine.
93. Gary Woodland (n/a; 138) … Will be eligible for ’13 season because of win in ’11, and he looks to rebound.
94. Greg Chalmers (94; 71) … Might have best short game on TOUR, but he cannot keep his irons on the map (173rd in GIR).
95. John Merrick (77; 86) … Loves to hit the center of the clubface with his irons. A lock to be on the PGA TOUR again in ’13.
96. Josh Teater (82; 101) … GREAT second half and he hits his irons so pure.
97. George McNeill (76; 79) … The end of the season has not been kind, but his win at Puerto Rico has the Florida State Seminole exempt through ’14.
98. Y.E. Yang (n/a; 135) … Slowly turning his game around. His win at the '09 PGA exempts him through the ’14 season.
99. Chad Campbell (84; 108) … Showing positive trends.
100. Roberto Castro (109; 115) … The Georgia Tech Yellow Jacket is far from being a lock to shore up his card in ’13, but he has made 11 of his last 14 cuts.
101. Lucas Glover (n/a; 210) … Got hurt in Maui to start the year, but he's exempt through '14 for his win at the '09 U.S. Open. Worth a flier in this spot.