Fantasy preview: RBC HeritageApril 10, 2012
Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Columnist
Well, so much for the one-and-done strategy I touted in the Fantasy Mailbag the week of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard. Tiger Woods went on to place T40 at the Masters, his worst finish as a professional in the season's first major.
Got a fantasy question for Rob? Click here to e-mail him. You can also follow Rob on his Twitter account. Power Rankings Rob Bolton breaks down the RBC Heritage field in this week's Power Rankings and provides five players who could surprise.
Given the factors surrounding him upon arrival at Augusta National, he was the most obvious choice for one-and-doners. Congrats if you invested elsewhere (and it paid off) but there's no need to play the what-if game if you plugged Woods in. Fantasy golf is not a game for those that employ hindsight to fuel emotion. We must learn from what happened and use that knowledge moving forward. All that aside, you know that Woods will likely crack our short list again next year anyway.
In PGA TOUR Matchups on Facebook, I went 2-2-1 at the Masters to go 25-19-1 with 55 points on the year. Overall leader Chris Stolle recorded a 3-1-1 record last week to maintain a two-point margin over the first-name-only squads of Frank and Bob, 73-71.
My picks for the RBC Heritage:
Power Rankings Distribution for Yahoo! (rank)
Group A ... Jim Furyk (1); Luke Donald (2); Matt Kuchar (5); Kevin Na (7); Webb Simpson (11) Group B ... Brandt Snedeker (3); Ernie Els (4); Bo Van Pelt (6); Brian Davis (8); Bryce Molder (9) Group C ... John Huh (10); Boo Weekley (12); Jason Dufner (13); Ricky Barnes (14); Brian Gay (15)
Sleepers Distribution for Yahoo! (rank)
On a Roll (Yahoo! Group)
Bud Cauley (C) ... Made his PGA TOUR debut (and missed the cut) here in 2010. More recently, he arrives on the coattails of consecutive top 10s at Bay Hill and Redstone. Sits 54th on TOUR in greens in regulation and 34th in scrambling.
Geoff Ogilvy (B) ... First appearance here since 2007. Finished T3 in 2003 and posted a pair of 11th-place finishes thereafter. Coming off a T19 at the Masters, which chased a T16 at the Transitions. Ranks 15th on the PGA TOUR in scrambling.
Padraig Harrington (C) ... Ending a 10-year hiatus in Hilton Head. Posted a T8 at the Masters to extend his consecutive cuts made streak on the PGA TOUR to 11. Three top 20s in six starts this year.
Charles Howell III (A) ... His share of 19th place at the Masters was his fourth top 20 in his last five starts. The problem for gamers is that he's posted just one top 15 in 10 events this year. Ranks 43rd on TOUR in greens hit and has three top 25s (but no top 10s) in six starts here.
Jeff Overton (C) ... Making his debut at Harbour Town. Top fives in two of his last three starts; top 20s in four of his last five. Currently ninth on TOUR in scrambling.
Greg Owen (C) ... A T14 at the Shell Houston Open was his fourth top 20 in his last seven starts. Hasn't missed the cut in five appearances at Harbour Town. Only top 35, however, was a T19 in 2005.
Horses for Courses (Yahoo! Group)
Aaron Baddeley (C) ... Most obvious snub in my Power Rankings given he's a former champion here (2006) and hasn't finished outside the top 25 in all five starts since. However, I started 2012 with elevated expectations for the Aussie and he's posted just four top 25s in nine starts, and only two of those were in full-field events. Missed the cut in Houston two weeks ago, and then finished T40 at the Masters.
Fredrik Jacobson (B) ... You could make an argument that he belonged in the Power Rankings or in "On a Roll" above. The Swede has four top 25s in seven starts at Harbour Town, and he's coming off a T19 at the Masters, his third top 20 in six starts this year. He's a fine substitute for Yahoo! gamers that are saving starts on Bo Van Pelt.
Rob's Yahoo! lineup Group A: Luke Donald, Jim Furyk Group B: Brian Davis; Ernie Els; Bryce Molder; Brandt Snedeker Group C: Ricky Barnes; Boo Weekley YAHOO! STATS: 1,920 points; 31,965th place SPRING: 113 points (77,716th) ONE-AND-DONE: Jim Furyk 2012 EARNINGS: $1,108,772.00 DUFFER: Chad Collins 2012 EARNINGS: $252,732.00
Stewart Cink (B) ... Recorded two of his six PGA TOUR victories at this event (2000, 2004). He's survived his last nine cuts, a stretch that includes a T7 in 2008 and T14 in 2010. Still struggling of late, however, with no top 35s in his last seven starts this season.
Briny Baird (B) ... Co-runner-up here in 2009 and no worse than a T17 in any of his last three appearances. He didn't make my Power Rankings because he's a mere 3-for-8 this season with just one top 30 (T12, Mayakoba).
Nick O'Hern (B) ... Top 10s in three of his seven starts at Harbour Town, including his last two. However, zero top 25s among three cuts made in seven starts this year. Furthermore, his greens-in-regulation split is more than five percentage points down over a year ago. He's a classic trap for course history buffs.
Leaking Oil (Yahoo! Group)
Kyle Stanley (A) ... Missed the cut at the Masters by two. In his last four starts, he's made two cuts but didn't finish inside the top 50 in either.
Brendon Todd (C) ... All or nothing for the last two months with a pair of top 15s sandwiched between six missed cuts, including his last three. Hasn't broken par in his last six rounds. First-timer at Harbour Town.
David Hearn (C) ... Since a T10 at Waialae to begin his season, he's gone 3-for-8 with no top 40s. He's missed his last three cuts. Despite this trend, Harbour Town is a decent fit given that he's 60th on TOUR in greens in regulation and 58th in scrambling.
Ryuji Imada (B) ... Now 2-for-8 this year with a pair of MDFs. He's broken 71 just once in his last 14 rounds.
J.J. Killeen (B) ... Finally took a breather after 12 straight weeks on the road, but only because he didn't qualify for the Masters. The rookie has missed five of his last six cuts, including his last three.
Jason Kokrak (B) ... The PGA TOUR rookie has missed his last three cuts and hasn't broken par in his last eight rounds.
Chad Collins (C) ... Missed all seven cuts this season. Has two starts remaining on a Major Medical Extension.
Danger (Yahoo! Group)
Zach Johnson (A) ... Surprising that he has just one top-35 finish in seven starts here (solo sixth, 2007). He's still one of the best at scrambling for pars -- 10th on TOUR this season -- but his game hasn't matched up well enough to endorse.
Martin Laird (C) ... Even if he were playing well of late, I'd fade the long hitter this week. While he's 12th on TOUR in greens hit, he's 169th in scrambling and hasn't posted a top 40 in either of his two starts at this event.
Rory Sabbatini (A) ... Top 15s in his last two appearances at Harbour Town (2009, 2010) but he remains mired in a slump. In his last seven starts this year, he's made just two cuts and didn't finish inside the top 60 in either.
Chez Reavie (A) ... Found some form at Copperhead recently with a T20 but it's his only top 30 of the year in nine starts. Also 0-for-3 at Harbour Town.
Chad Campbell (B) ... Shared 14th place here last year but hasn't cracked a top 25 in nine starts this season. Also missed five cuts.
Tim Clark (B) ... Still shaking off rust. Shot 73-81 at Augusta National last week, missing the cut by five.
Medic! (Yahoo! Group)
Spencer Levin (A) ... Called it quits while playing the 11th hole at Redstone two weeks ago, but no explanation was released. He was 5-over at the time. And that followed a 12-over 81-75=MC at Bay Hill the week prior. Use this week to monitor only.
Chris Kirk (B) ... Making his first start as a father. He was a late scratch from Houston due to an issue as it related to his newborn, but he announced an all-clear on Twitter on April 1. While gamers are prone to lean a little bit more on new daddies, give him at least one start before serious consideration.
Chris Couch (B) ... Withdrew after one round in Houston two weeks ago. No explanation provided. He has a history of health problems so don't get bent out of shape about it. In fact, he's a flier in deeper formats this week having finished T14 here last year.
Matt Bettencourt (C) ... Withdrew from the Shell Houston Open after 18 holes with an unspecified injury. Only top-45 finish among four cuts made in 11 starts this year is a T26 at the Mayakoba.
Steve Elkington (C) ... In the field at the TPC Stonebrae Championship on the Nationwide Tour. He's in the Past Champions category on the PGA TOUR but he's withdrawn from both starts on the circuit, the most recent of which with a rib injury at Pebble Beach in mid-February.
Notable WDs (Yahoo! Group)
Ben Crane (C) ... Withdrew on Monday after finishing T17 at the Masters.
Davis Love III (C) ... His consecutive starts streak at this event ends at 26. The five-time champ and all-time earnings leader told Golfweek.com's Alex Miceli that he's not sure if he, indeed, has a cracked rib as originally believed or if it's a pulled muscle.