Welcome to Playing the Tips!
Each week this will be the one-stop resource to soak in all the picks from our group of fantasy staffers from Rotoworld.com. We’ll have all of our selections from the GolfChannel.com, Yahoo! Fantasy Golf plus my new expanded feature on my weekly selection for One-and-Done players.
GolfChannel.com Fantasy Golf
Glass ($19,951,332; Rank: 1,855)
Sometimes when you win, you lose and that’s what I ran into at the PGA as McIlroy did the business for the third time in a row on TOUR but the supporting cast I provided didn’t. The recent of form of Keegan Bradley, Mark Leishman and Robert Karlsson ALL failed to fire and left McIlroy alone to carry the weight. I dropped 50-some spots with having the winner.
Usually around $20 million wouldn’t bother me much but I’ve had non ham to go with my eggs. The weeks I’ve had great support staff, I haven’t found the winner (The Open) and weeks I’ve found a winner I haven’t backed him up.
The pain keeps me coming back for more!
Group 1: Brandt Snedeker
Group 2: Brooks Koepka
Group 3: Martin Laird
Group 4: Johnson Wagner
ANALYSIS: Snedeker’s putter is where I’m planting my flag this week and I’m supporting him with some off-the-radar selections as I try to chase down the Ned Brown train. Brooks Koepka needs a victory to become eligible for the FedExCup Playoffs and had a great showing last week at Valhalla and played great at another Donald Ross layout at Pinehurst No. 2. Charlotte residents Laird and Wagner have been playing their best golf of the season, which isn’t saying much to be fair, but in a thin field, I can reach.
Rob Bolton ($18,005,745; Rank: 5,089)
Group 1: Patrick Reed
Group 2: Nick Watney
Group 3: Carl Pettersson
Group 4: Chad Campbell
ANALYSIS: McIlroy and not much else last week as well for Bolton as he fires this week with the defending champ and three veteran ball-strikers. Nick Watney has been sniffing around all summer; Pettersson either is in the top five or MC here and Campbell has been steady this summer.
Ryan O’ Sullivan ($19,496,972; Rank: 2,447)
Group 1: Brandt Snedeker
Group 2: Tim Clark
Group 3: David Toms
Group 4: Chad Campbell
ANALYSIS: We have a three-fronted battle this week after only matching Snedeker in Group 1. Last week, his K, Kevin Chappell defeated my K, Robert Karlsson in Group 4 and O gained some valuable ground.
Ned Brown ($21,901,621; Rank: 492)
Group 1: Brandt Snedeker
Group 2: Tim Clark
Group 3: Carl Pettersson
Group 4: Joe Durant
ANALYSIS: We matched three of four last week but the one we didn’t ended up netting Ned over $1 million (Mickelson v Bradley). In two of the last three weeks Ned and Rob have selected first and second in the GolfChannel.com game. This week, we only match at the top as Ned goes with the NC State crew in the middle an 50-year-old Joe Durant, who has been playing quite well, in Group 4.
Event No. 2 Wegman’s LPGA Championship
Group 1: Stacy Lewis
Group 2: Paula Creamer
Group 3: Brittany Lincicome
Group 4: Laura Diaz
Group 1: Stacy Lewis
Group 2: So-Yeon Ryu
Group 3: Haru Nomura
Group 4: Mirim Lee
Group 1: Lexi Thompson
Group 2: Cristie Kerr
Group 3: Yani Tseng
Group 4: Kim Kaufman
Group 1: Inbee Park
Group 2: So-Yeon Ru
Group 3: Harukyo Nomura
Group 4: Mirim Lee
Yahoo! Fantasy Golf
Ned Brown is a long-time contributor for Rotoworld Golf. He’s had documented success in Yahoo!’s game for years. Even if you’re confident in your selections for that game, give his insight a read. He’ll lead us off each week in the Yahoo! game.
PGA Points: 214
Summer Segment Points: 1,236
Summer Ranking: 10,123
Season Points: 4,931
Season Ranking: 2,764
Brandt Snedeker: Almost all of the big name players are resting up for the FedEx Cup Playoffs, but Snedeker has chosen to play this week. The first half of the year he struggled, but he has been coming on recently with T12 at the WGC-BI and a T13 last week at the PGA Championship.
Patrick Reed: He was red hot at the start of the season, but he fell into a deep slump after his victory at the Doral. Recently he has played better with made cuts in four of his last five starts with the high point being a T4 at the WGC-BI. He has played only twice at the Wyndham, but his last start here was a championship.
Hideki Matsuyama: He picked up his first PGA Tour championship at the Memorial and since then he mostly has played in the US with his best finish being a T12 at the WGC-BI. This week's field is much weaker than the fields he recently has played in and he did finish in 15th place here last year.
Bill Haas: Looking at his record this season it jumps out that he has made every cut this year except at the RBC Heritage where he withdrew. His recent record at the Wyndham is solid with two top 10s (T10 in '09, T7 in '12) in his last five starts.
Brian Harman: He picked up his first TOUR championship at the John Deere Classic and since then has played ok with checks at the British Open, WGC-BI and the PGA Championship. Harman's record at the Wyndham was two missed cuts until last year when he tied for third place.
Ernie Els: He was a last moment entry into this week's field and he then proceeded to look great last week in his T7 finish at the PGA Championship. His most recent trip to the Wyndham was last season, when he tied for 20th place.
Tim Clark: The field is full of players that are trying to move up in the rankings, so Group C has almost all of the players in the field. The result is there are a lot of good choices in this group. I'm going with Tim Clark, who tied for fifth at the John Deere and then next time out won the Canadian Open. His recent record at the Wyndham is good with two tops 10s (T6 in '08, second in '12) in his last four starts here.
Carl Pettersson: It's been an up and down type of year for Pettersson with his most recent run being a T3 at the St. Jude and a T7 at the Travelers. What I like about him this week is he a bit of a horse for the course with a championship in '08 and a pair of T4s in '11 and '12.
Ryan O’Sullivan (O)
“The Golf Aficionado”
PGA Points: 196
Summer Segment Points: 1,312
Summer Ranking: 1,269
Season Points: 5,146
Season Ranking: 89
PGA Points: 220
Summer Segment Points: 1,334
Summer Ranking: 444
Season Points: 4,977
Season Ranking: 1,665
PGA Points: 218
Summer Segment Points: 1,249
Summer Ranking: 8,090
Season Points: 4,960
Season Ranking: 2,039
Another 200-plus effort for the second week in a row as my Mickelson “gamble” paid off except for the fact that I left him on the bench on Sunday. It never ends! I missed out on Furyk in Group B but Rose and McIlroy carried the weight and I still have one start left for Furyk. Garcia and McDowell alternated low rounds each day so predicting that was impossible.
Brandt Snedeker: Group A is as thin as Chesson Hadley’s waistline this week so I have a feeling I won’t be the only guy playing Snedeker and the defending champion. I prefer a no-brainer after last week’s Group A of Death.
Patrick Reed: The Beach Boys wrote Good Vibrations and that’s what gamers are hoping Reed feels this week as he returns to the scene of his first TOUR win. He’s been close recently with the 54-hole lead at Congo and T11 with a closing 65 at Firestone, not exactly two shabby tracks.
The substitute pool this week sticks out just like the chalk as CH III and Kyle Stanley are the only two guys I would consider. That’s it.
Bill Haas: Mr. Consistency on Sedgefield and everywhere else is a must-play this week as 16 of his last 18 rounds here have been in the 60s.
Hideki Matsuyama: If I had him in Group B in the biggest, best field in golf at the PGA, I’m not sure how I can leave him out this week.
Webb Simpson: It was a three-way battle for the Group 1 selection at the GolfChannel.com game between him, Haas and Snedeker. His best successes this year have been on classic courses and the Charlotte native has posted 64 or better each year of the last four.
Brian Harman: With a very steady foundation above, I’m going to jump back on the lefty who was T3 here last year and hasn’t regressed after his first win at the JDC.
The subs bench in Group B is a bit deeper with more than two choices but not much. Ernie Els, Brendon de Jonge and super-putter Freddie Jacobson could fill a spot above as could Billy Horschel. Martin Laird is an excellent long shot look this week as is Bryce Molder if a big risk is needed.
Tim Clark: The former NC State player has seen the courses around this area once or twice and a T6 and solo second shows he likes Sedgefield regardless of the grass on the greens. He also threw up a T6 at Forest Park in the late 2000s.
Brooks Koepka: Holing putts will be crucial this week as there isn’t any rain in the forecast. Koepka, as noted above, has already played well on a Donald Ross setup and should been excited if the greens get slick on the weekend. This is also his last tournament of the season unless he wins.
Group C does have plenty of flier opportunities and could be the group where separation occurs this week. Robert Karlsson, Francesco Molinari and Paul Casey are three of the foreign contingent that leap to mind but none of them are regarded for their putting prowess. Shawn Stefani is an interesting long shot as his best result of the season game on slick greens at the SHO. Justin Hicks has been on fire and should have ample consideration as well.
Frys.com: Gary Woodland, MC. Well, at least I don’t have to worry about when I’m using GARY WOODLAND again!
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. BANG TRISCUITS. Winner, winner, chicken dinner and $1,188,000.
NTO: Dustin Johnson goes to bat this week for Team Glass. His form is excellent and the fact that he’s banged top 10s in half of his trips here doesn’t hurt either. Tacos for everyone! Johnson’s solo second adds $723,600 to the bank! #heatwave
WGC-Match Play: Ian Poulter will be my hedge this week. His recent starts hardly inspire but there’s no doubting his inner fortitude in Match Play. He is the 2010 champ and was fourth last year. I don’t see myself using him anywhere else this season. Hunter Mahan would be choice No. 2 but I don’t like his draw with the sizzling Zach Johnson. Don’t forget Mahan played in the last group in the U.S. Open and The Open in 2013. Ah, Poults…$48,000.
Honda Classic: Graeme McDowell is the choice this week. There has been no rust after his time off this winter and I’m encouraged after his result at Pebble and WGC-Match Play. I’m using Mickelson at Pinehurst so this is an easy play. He was three-under heading into the weekend. He was even when the weekend was over. Add $15,600 to the bank. That couldn’t cover Bolton’s Lear jet for the weekend…
WGC-CC: With a massive prize pool, I have no problem pulling the trigger on, as for reasons mentioned above, on an ultra-premium player. GO MCILROY GO! After making a birdie on No. 1 on Sunday, He was just four back. That was his last birdie of the day, sigh, T25, $76,000.
Valspar: It was down to Furyk or Donald, but Donald had only ONE bad round last week! Go Luke Go! Donald finished T4, good for $235,600. Another cash and another top five works for me.
VTO: It came down to Charley Hoffman and Freddie Jacobson last week and the American with the impeccable track record at Valero won the starting spot. He didn’t disappoint as he ground-out a T11 to rack up $136,400. #verynice
Shell Houston Open: The big Swede I should have went with was Freddie Jacobson but instead it was Henrik Stenson. I have now been severely toasted on two premium players in 2014 as McIlroy (T25, WGC-CC) and Stenson (T54) have given me absolutely nothing. Yes, $14,456 is nothing in this game.
Masters: The Westwood for a two-and-done was more solid advice than going with (again) injured Jason Day. He rallied nicely for T20 but that’s not what I need in big events. I’ll add $101,600 to the kitty.
Here are my results in the big payday events:
WGC-Match Play; Ian Poulter: T33
WGC-CC: Rory McIlroy; T25
Masters: Jason Day; T20
THE PLAYERS: Sergio Garcia; Third
U.S. Open: Phil Mickelson T35; reality checked
The Open: Adam Scott; T5
WGC-BI: Keegan Bradley; T4
PGA: Ryan Moore; T41
RBC Heritage: Donald would obviously be the selection this week but I’ve burned him at Tampa. I’m going with Jim Furyk this week as he returns to a track where he’s had plenty of successes and his game has been in fine form the past month. I also considered Spieth and Kuchar for this spot but after a trying weekend at the Masters, I’ll save them both for down the road. As I mentioned above, I #fantasyfailed in so many ways on Kuchar this week I’ve lost count. Jim Furyk did exactly what gamers would expect, a top 10 (T7) and $187,050.
Zurich Classic: The safe pick this week would be Justin Rose but as I’ve demonstrated above, I DON’T PLAY SAFE. Or smart, sadly, for that matter. Whatever. That was the FIRST SENTENCE I wrote last week. Top 10s are GREAT people! Sadly, T29s are not and that’s what Graham DeLaet racked up for me last week. Sure it’s $44,200 but that’s not what I was looking for from a guy who made only FOUR bogeys on the week!!!
Wells Fargo: Since I’ve burned McIlroy, Furyk, Fowler and Walker, that leaves me Westwood, Moore, Rose and Holmes from my top eight. As I’ve mentioned, I’m leaving Rose for larger fish fryings and I would suggest that Holmes makes a nice choice for TADs this week. That leaves last week’s champion in Malaysia, Lee Westwood and Ryan Moore. Moore’s current form is the biggest concern and that’s the least of my worries with the Englishman. Westwood will fly the flag this week for the S.S. Tirefire. SO CLOSE YET SO FAR as Holmes was the suggestion in the TWO and Done so hopefully Don from the PNW read the column!! As we all know, Westwood MC.
THE PLAYERS: For those of you who didn’t blow Westwood out last week, he’ll make a tasty TAD pick this week to go along with Rory McIlroy, Jim Furyk or Sergio Garcia. Since I’ve burned three of the four mentioned above, I’m going with the Spaniard to claim his second title here. Vamos Sergio! Wow. All FOUR of those picks hit the T6 or better last week! I know what that means this week: carnage. Fine. I’m not scared.
HPBNC: I’m going with #SpiethBoner in his backyard. Keegan Bradley would make a fine selection as well and I should hedge but WHAT FUN WOULD THAT BE? I wouldn’t talk you out of Woodland either as I’m really high on him this week as well but I’ve burned him already. For the TOADs (TwOAndDones) in the crowd, Marc Leishman is the no-brainer here. Add Jordan Spieth to the Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Jason Day pile of premium players that I have burned with awful results. At least my TOAD pick with Leishman was quality. Spieth finished T37 for $30,403.
CPIC: There are two reasons I like Zach Johnson this week. One, I’ve already burned Jim Furyk. Two, the win pool is almost $300k more than the JDC where I will burn Stricker. LET’S GET GREEDY. There are three chalk players this week and I’ve mentioned two of them. Matt Kuchar is the third. Oh, and Paul Casey was mentioned for the TOAD. O-fer EVERYTHING last week. #awesome. Zach Johnson finished 73rd, or third-to-last, for a whopping $12,416.
Memorial: I’m going with Charl Schwartzel here even though only seven of 38 winners over the years are non-American. He’s a steady-eddy and his last three starts here have all improved and have all been inside the top 25. Well, that worked out nicely as the South African finished T8 for $167,400. This is part of the column where I would mention he was T5 beginning Sunday if I was bitter but I’m not.
FESJC: A thin field leaves me with few premium choices as I am burning Mickelson next week at Pinehurst and DJ has already bagged me a solo second at Riviera. John Senden and Paul Casey are the only two in my Call to Order that I have not played this season. I’m going to keep it simple stupid and roll with Aussie who has been firing all season long. Sendo wento homo earlio with MC. Rubbish. The alternate selections of DJ, Westwood and Palmer fell just as flat. Complete throw away week last week.
U.S. Open: I’ve had Phil Mickelson circled for this event for 364 days. Do I wish he was playing better? No. This week is this week. The U.S. Open is the U.S. Open. I’m looking for some #Philanthropy to get back into the top 500 or so in the GC game. Well, Mickelson was, well, Mickelson but sadly not U.S. Open Phil Mickelson. He was 2014 Mickelson. He was T35. $59,588 will have to do.
Travelers: It’s time for #BubbaGolf! Like Mickelson, this play has been planned out for some time so I hope I’m not a day late and a million or so dollars short. #fingerscrossed #BubbaGolf resulted in T31 or worse for the third tournament in a row. #FadeMe
QLN: I’m sending the quiet assassin Brendon Todd to bat this week to shake it up. He’s better than you think and his game is a solid as it gets. It feels so good to be back in the top five again! Almost like a win!! T5, $237,250
Greenbrier: A very difficult decision this week came down to three players: Patrick Reed, Marc Leishman and Ben Martin. Leishman will get the nod because of his form, barely, over Martin and Reed. Brendan Steele should have been in the conversation but I’ll save him for Reno-Tahoe. The ENTIRE LINE-UP WAS AWFUL unless you consider Reed’s T26 a positive result. Leishman ended up MC for $0.
JDC: This week, there are only two choices for OAD, Steve Stricker and Zach Johnson. If you need to be contrarian, this is not the week because of the course history and domination of Stricker and Johnson. If you are new to this format and you’ve already burned these two, take a look at Chris squared, Kirk or Stroud. Stricker, Johnson and Spieth all cashed nice checks but ZJ was the winner on solo second. Stricker’s T11 was good for $112,800 or about $830,000 less than I expected with him in the final group.
The Open: My top two players are available this week and that has been by design. I have put off using Rose and Scott for occasions such as this and now comes the difficult decision of picking the “right” one. There is no wrong answer this week for my money. I’m going with Scott as he is fresh, focused and has been at Hoylake practicing since last Thursday. Rose is the hottest player on the planet but The Open is far and away his weakest major and until last week, links golf hadn’t been very kind to him as a professional. The world’s No. 1 player didn’t win but he cashed another top five for me in a big tournament. Bueno.
RBC Canadian: With Kuchar, Snedeker and Mahan my only choices from the top 10 remaining, I’m going to fire Kuchar. I don’t like defending champions, even though the course is at another site. Mahan hasn’t shown enough form that THIS week will be the week he finally finds the top 10 again. Kuchar didn’t win but he did cash a T5 so no complaints here.
Barracuda Championship: Brendan Steele has finished in the top eight twice in two career starts so he fires this week. I won’t mention that he began Sunday T4 or that he was just one of nine players to have NEGATIVE points in the final round. That would sound greedy. His T25 is what it is and I add $25,200.
WGC-BI: Part of me really wants to pull the trigger on Tiger Woods on course he’s dominated but I could have made the same argument at Torrey. People were shooting 65 on Sunday at Hoylake. He was 10 shots worse. I guess the good news is I will have him for down the road since Keegan Bradley gets the billing this week. BANG! Another top five performance keeps the fire burning as Bradley was T4 and pocketed $308,000.
PGA: With Tiger Woods and Jason Dufner injured, my insurance policies are dwindling with six events remaining. I’m saving Rose for East Lake, that’s a done deal so he’s out. In a major, I need a guy who can hole some putts so I’m putting the WHITE HOT Ryan Moore in the driving seat this week. #CrossesFingers as Brandt Snedeker and Patrick Reed also had my attention. Well, that streak of top-five finishes in the big events ends at three as Moore crashed out on Sunday to finish T41 and pocket $32,000. All my form plays last week, Bradley, Leishman and Moore fizzled on the big stage.
Top TOUR Players Left (according to OWGR)
Justin Rose (4)
Matt Kuchar (7)
Tiger Woods (9)
Keegan Bradley (23)
Jason Dufner (25)
Patrick Reed (30)
Brandt Snedeker (35)
Bill Haas (36)
Ryan Moore (39)
Kevin Streelman (40)
Chris Kirk (43)
Hunter Mahan (44)
Jonas Blixt (45)
Harris English (48)
Matt Every (49)
Wyndham: I’m going with Snedeker this week as I feel his putter on these greens will be the difference. Bill Haas had my attention until post time but he just hasn’t flashed signs of picking up a W. Webb Simpson should also be on your short list this week. For those of you scraping, Ernie Els is coming off a great week at Valhalla; Justin Hicks has two podium finishes in his last two starts and Tim Clark has had a very nice summer outside the last two weeks in big-time events. I’d also have no problem burning Matsuyama. Best of luck!
SEASON TOTAL: $5,756,756; 40 events
Wins: 1; Jimmy Walker (AT&T Pebble)
Seconds: 1; Dustin Johnson (NTO)
Thirds: 1; Sergio Garcia (PLAYERS)
Top 5s: 8
Top 10s: 12
Top 25s: 21
Thermometer: Results of T5, MC, T11, T5, T4, T25, T4 and T41 has been solid but I was burned on current form by the worst two finishes.
And the analysis doesn't end here. Rotoworld's Rob Bolton and I will be co-hosting a live chat Wednesday at NOON p.m. ET. We will be breaking down the field at the Wyndham Championship and answering your questions. Simply return to the golf home page to join in on the chatter.