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Kevin Na (C): He was T5 in 2012 and T22 last year. Only one round of his last eight is over par. His health has returned and his worst round in 2014 is 70 in three events.
Aaron Baddeley (C): His last three years he has posted T6, fourth and T12 on the lumpy, bumpy greens on the Pacific Ocean coast. He’s opened 2014 MC, 74th and T48 last week so he’s in the right category this week.
Richard H. Lee (C): His best finish in 2013-14 in seven starts is T35 but if Lee is going to kick-start his season it’s going to be this week. In two trips to the Pro-Am he’s registered finishes of T15 and T12 the last two seasons.
Spencer Levin (C): The Nor-Cal native has been par or better in 14 of 15 career rounds at this event. He’s racked up finishes of T14, T46, T4 and T9 in four events over the last four years. He didn’t’ play last year as he was recovering from a wrist injury. He played the Web.com Tour last season to work his game back into shape. His plan has been solid as he’s seven of eight in the new season on TOUR.
Justin Hicks (C): His 67 on Sunday last year vaulted him to T12 in just his second start at the Pro-Am. His 2014 sees him trending in the right direction as well as he has finished T51, T48, T43 and T19 in his last four including 67 on Sunday at WMPO. Shhhhhhhhhhh.
Bryce Molder (B): In the last four years he’s been T12 or better three times. In two of those finishes he had Sunday finishes of 76 in 2010 to finish T10 and 74 to finish T6 in 2011. Last year, he cracked the code on Sunday to post the low round of the day, 64, to move up to T12.
James Driscoll (B): Somewhat all-or-nothing, in the last six years he’s finished T14, T69, MC, T13, MC and T9. You and I have both reached for much worse.
The recent form of this bunch has been heating up
Patrick Reed (A): Gamers will be aware of his T16, WIN and T19 streak in his last three. Add that to his T7 (-14) in his maiden voyage last year and everyone is paying attention. He was eight-under heading into the weekend at WMPO before cooling off (71-72) on the weekend. My only question is if he is ready to bring it every week because there is no question the talent is there.
K.J. Choi (C): Not surprising that he cooled a bit last week in a birdie-fest in the desert but Choi did NOT fire a round over par in the four days. His steady ball-striking will be his biggest asset this week as he continues his bounce-back season here in 2013-14.
Russell Knox (C): He’s quietly six out of seven to start the season and his two best finishes have been in his last two events. He posted T13 at Humana and backed that up with a T10 at Torrey so he’s proving his game can adapt to multiple styles of golf courses. He’s in the top 20 in fairways and greens and is also 56th in total putting. He went low at MPCC last year as he opened with 64.
Matt Jones (B): He’s played the weekend in five of six tries at this event and has seen the weekend in his last five TOUR events. He was tied with Bubba Watson after 36 holes last week in Phoenix after a pair of 65s but faded with 72-73 on the weekend. He’s been T43 or better in his last five with a T13 at Humana and T12 last week.
Matt Every (B): He has seen the weekend, dating back to last season, in 10 straight events. In 2013-14 he’s six from six with half of those T13 or better. He was in the mix last Sunday before a final round 75 saw him fade to T37.
Brendon Todd (C): Hey, looks who is back! Sure, he’s only made one cut in three tries at Pebble but his only finish was T9 in 2012. He’s 37th in fairways, 15th in GIR and 17th in strokes gained-putting. He’s also made 10 straight weekends.
Will MacKenzie (C): He returns to this event for the first time since 2010 and he does so on mayjah fiyah. He’s played five weekends in seven events this year with finishes ranging from T15 to T7. His history at Pebble is null and void for me as this is a straight form play this week.
Kevin Stadler (A): He could have been in the horse-for-course section as well as he fired 69-65 at Pebble last year to finish T3. After last week, he’s now 1-239 on TOUR.
Players I’ll watch from a distance
Brandt Snedeker: Too many high ones to offset the weekly low one. He was T2 and second before he won here last year. This year he limps in MC and T61 so that form doesn’t suggest a repeat.
Chris Stroud: In seven trips to Pebble he has a T6 and six MCs. Sounds like his 2013-14 season! I’ll pass.
Brendon de Jonge: Most weeks he’s a fantasy favorite with his propensity to go low but in five events here his best finish is a mere T44.
The Man with His Own Section in the Column
Jim Furyk: One of my favorite players, Furyk has not won on TOUR since The TOUR Championship (and FedExCup Playoffs) in 2010 but he has managed to scrape over $3 million in the last two seasons. He has begun his season here the last two years and has finished T40 and T30. I would prefer him to have a start or two under his belt before entering him into the lineup but he does have four top 10s here in 15 starts. When I’m conflicted with a big player, he gets his own section in the column.
Jordan Spieth of the Week Last Week
The column was taken over and thrashed by the kid from Texas last year. Out of respect, I’m not changing the title of it for 2013-14. It will remind me just how good Spieth was in the last three months of the season. This year, we’ll still identify an up-and-coming player and/or rookie that fantasy players should have on their radar.
Frys.com: Hideki Matsuyama, T3; Brooks Koepka, T3; Max Homa, T9.
SHCO: Ryo Ishikawa is only 22, don’t forget, T2; Chesson Hadley, T5.
CIMB: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, 24, might have enough money after this week to earn Special Temporary Membership. Pay attention!
WGC-HSBC: Jordan Spieth was 17th. Tommy Fleetwood (T18) is only 22 and plays in Europe. Matsuyama WD with a bad back.
McGladrey: Scott Langley turned 24 last April and is in his second season on TOUR. He finished T22 last week and No. 124 last season. #slimpickinngsthisweek
OHL Mayakoba: Harris English turned 24 last July. He won.
HTOC: Er, Jordan Spieth, solo second.
Sony: Hudson Swafford and Will Wilcox both finished T8. Both played on the Web.com Tour last year and are rookies on TOUR this season.
Humana: Patrick Reed won. He’s 23. You need to pay attention.
FIO: Ryo Ishikawa, 22, bagged another top 10 finish. That’s his sixth in his last 10 events on TOUR or the Web.com Tour. He’s an alternate this week as of Monday afternoon.
WMPO: Hideki Matsuyama is 21. In 11 events the last two years, he’s hit the top 25 in NINE of them, including T4 last week. #ALLRIGHTYTHEN
SEASON TOTAL: $566,246
Frys.com: Gary Woodland, MC. Well, at least I don’t have to worry about when I’m using GARY WOODLAND again!
SHFC Open: Hideki Matsuyama. Time to break through, son. Matsuyama WD with injury so he was replaced with Nick Watney. He finished T48 for $15,264
CIMB Classic: Let’s try this again: Hideki Matsuyama. There’s no cut. This pleases me. His T25 after 74 on Sunday does not please me. Oh well. Here’s $53,433 into the piggy bank.
WGC-HSBC: Martin Kaymer. There’s no other place I would consider using him and he’s the defending champ on this track. #hangsonfordearlife. Kaymer’s third round 62 dared me to dream but his T8 and $161,667 is a nice deposit.
The McGladrey Classic: David Toms. He’s finished T3 in 2010 and second last year. His recent form suggests he’s playing well and I don’t see another chance to burn him down the road. It was him or CH III. Well, BOTH of my selections finished T27. I should have listened to O…T27 was good for $39,050.
OHL Mayakoba: Brian Gay. When form meets course history… Well, that was a nice theory but it resulted in T45 and $18,060. I’m glad 2013 is now over.
HTOC: Martin Laird. Since I’m off to a woeful start I see no reason to burn a premium player. Chris Kirk was my second choice but nobody wins in back-to-back starts plus he’s just had another child. Laird is the horse-for-course. The Scot finished T20 in a 30-man field for $87,000.
Sony: Charles Howell III. He plays great in the early part of the season and his record at Waialae has everything BUT a win. If you notice, I saved most of my heavy hitters for the latter part of 2013 last year and that strategy worked out. Hey, a top 10 and $119,000! Feels like a winner!
Humana: Webb Simpson has been on fire to get 2013-14 started and going low has never been a problem. It’s time to start firing at ‘em. Sigh. Another week brings another disappointing selection as I add a whopping $57,000 to my morbid total.
FIO: Same as last year, Rickie Fowler. He’s working with Butch Harmon to get to the next level and he’s played SoCal courses plenty in his young life. He finished up last week at Humana 67-66 and he’s finished T5, T20, T13 and T6 last year in four career starts. I’ll save Woods and Mickelson for down the road for bigger winner’s checks. Snedeker and Walker were also considered and are solid options for this week. Fowler was just as bad as the other four I had listed, save for Woods’ MDF cash. Tough week in OAD for most I’m guessing. MC $0.
WMPO: Ryan Palmer. He’s on fire, can really putt and was fifth here last year. His excellent 64 saw him make the cut but his 70-72 weekend resulted in T48 at $15,772. I finished strong last year because I had a stable full of studs from The Open Championship through the FedExCup Playoffs. I’m not panicking. Yet.
AT&T PEBBLE: Jimmy Walker is the pick this week. He’s a beast on the West Coast and he’s had time to recover from his illness after MC at Torrey Pines.