Fantasy preview: Wyndham ChampionshipAugust 14, 2012
Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Columnist
Every once in a while, we can't help but notice the domination of a Yahoo! gamer. To wit, in just nine tournaments in the Summer Segment, Gunga Galunga (managed by Joe Felty) has raced out to a 94-point lead. To put his success into perspective, his 98-point margin over third place equals the difference between second place and 499th (where I currently sit). Felty has picked six winners, four runners-up and a pair of third-place finishes.
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 field at this week's Wyndham Championship in our Power Rankings and provides five players who could surprise.
As for PGA TOUR Matchups on Facebook, I went 2-3-0 for the third straight week to fall to 71-61-3 with 151 points, missing a golden opportunity to gain ground on the leader. Austin Frank (2-3-0) remains out front with 175 points, two clear of a foursome in pursuit.
My picks for the Wyndham Championship:
Power Rankings Distribution for Yahoo! (rank)
Sleepers Distribution for Yahoo! (rank)
Group A ... none
Group B ... none
n/a ... Ben Kohles
On a Roll (Yahoo! Group)
Chris Kirk (B) ... Prior to the Reno-Tahoe Open that employed the Modified Stableford scoring system, he rattled off eight consecutive rounds in the 60s (and 11 in his last 12). It led to consecutive top 10s in Mississippi and Canada. Currently 27th on the PGA TOUR in greens hit, 29th in birdie average and second in birdie or better on par 4s, a split that carries additional weight given Sedgefield is a par 70.
J.B. Holmes (A) ... The first-timer at Sedgefield is coming off consecutive top-15 finishes in Canada and Reno. You'll remember that he downplayed the surgeries he had on his brain last year, and was hopeful that he'd return to the kind of form that he exhibited pre-vertigo symptoms. Sure enough, he's executed with seven top-25s among 15 cuts made in 19 starts. Overlooked in his comeback is that he's putting better than ever. Also ranks 13th on TOUR in birdies or better on par 4s.
Andres Romero (B) ... Two top threes in his last five starts, including a solo third in Reno. Because he's so streaky, he transcends the stats, but you'd rather be on board when he's closed the door more recently than investing at a time that might make more sense given a course matchup.
Will Claxton (C) ... The rookie has recorded top-25s in his last two starts, and four of his last six. He has a streak running of nine straight rounds of par or better. Currently ninth on TOUR in greens hit and 40th in adjusted scoring.
Brian Harman (C) ... Climbed out of a two-month rut with top-25s in four of his last five starts. Four of his last eight rounds have gone for a 65 or lower.
Rob's Yahoo! lineup Group A: Webb Simpson; Nick Watney Group B: Tim Clark; Ken Duke; Bill Haas; David Toms Group C: Jason Dufner; Carl Pettersson YAHOO! STATS: 4,744 points; 6,942nd SUMMER: 1,460 points (499th) ONE-AND-DONE : Carl Pettersson 2012 EARNINGS: $5,617,939.67 DUFFER: Dean Wilson 2012 EARNINGS: $392,675.50
Stuart Appleby (C) ... Top-25s in three of his last six starts, including a season-best T16 in Reno. Currently 142nd in FedExCup points. On the short list of veterans that have scratched their way out of a corner with the clock ticking on status. (For the record, he burned a top-25 career earnings exemption in 2010, meaning he still has the top-50 exemption to exhaust.)
Horses for Courses (Yahoo! Group)
Jerry Kelly (C) ... Two top-10s in three starts at Sedgefield, including last year's T4. More recently, he's survived five consecutive cuts, a stretch that includes a pair of top-15s. Leads the PGA TOUR in accuracy off the tee and ranks 79th in greens in regulation.
Jason Bohn (C) ... After a solo second at the True South Classic, he missed the cut at the RBC Canadian and then finished T19 in Reno, so he's converting much more of late than early this season. In two appearances at Sedgefield, he's logged a T2 (2009) and a T12 (2011), averaging 66.625 strokes per round.
Kevin Streelman (B) ... In three starts at Sedgefield -- not far from his college stomping grounds at Duke University -- he's posted a pair of top 20s. A recent T8 at the John Deere Classic is his only top 45 in his last 10 starts, but he's inside the bubble for the FedExCup Playoffs at 113th in points.
Justin Leonard (B) ... Without a T5 in Reno two weeks ago, he'd have landed elsewhere in this feature given his suspect form over several months. Instead, he enters on a good vibe at a track where he's had success: T3 in 2010 and T17 last year. In his eight rounds at Sedgefield, he's averaged 66.50 strokes per.
Leaking Oil (Yahoo! Group)
Harris English (C) ... No top 50s in his last six starts. No PGA TOUR rookie has posted a top 15 in the last three editions of the Wyndham Championship.
Robert Karlsson (C) ... After a self-imposed mini-sabbatical to alleviate bad habits, he missed the cut at the PGA Championship by two strokes. First-timer at Sedgefield.
Charley Hoffman (B) ... Since withdrawing prior to his final round of the John Deere Classic due to a balky back, he's missed the cut in each of two starts.
D.A. Points (B) ... Only cut made in his last seven starts resulted in a T46 at The Greenbrier Classic.
Brian Gay (C) ... Only one top 40 (T28, RBC Canadian Open) in his last 12 starts. Ranks 156th on TOUR in greens hit but leads the circuit in scrambling. However, when pars lean toward net-bogeys as they could in the aggregate at Sedgefield, scrambling is all but irrelevant.
Camilo Villegas (A) ... Showing flashes as often as he fades. Classic failure to put four rounds together. No top-25s among four cuts made in his last nine starts. Currently 146th in FedExCup points.
Chris Stroud (B) ... Hasn't made a cut in all four appearances at Sedgefield and hasn't posted top 50 in his last six starts entering this week.
Robert Allenby (B) ... In his last seven starts, his only cut made was a solo 69th at the no-cut Bridgestone Invitational.
Colt Knost (C) ... His only cut made in his last 12 starts resulted in a T48 at the RBC Canadian Open. Also 0-for-2 at Sedgefield.
Paul Casey (C) ... Since withdrawing from THE PLAYERS due to a recurrence of his shoulder injury, he's missed seven cuts in as many starts.
Bobby Gates (C) ... Just two top-25s among 13 cuts made in 24 starts this year. Arrives in Greensboro having missed the cut in seven of 11 starts with no top 25s.
Danger (Yahoo! Group)
Ryan Moore (B) ... The 2009 Wyndham champ and once-automatic investment on Donald Ross designs has been a fantasy enigma this year despite four top 10s. His value remains highest in full-season formats as he's a better fit on paper in a given week than the results have supported. This may or may not have something to do with his ever-evolving unique approach to his equipment, but gamers prefer relying on known commodities in the short-term.
Charl Schwartzel (C) ... The season isn't over yet, but he's fallen short of backing up a breakout 2011. The first-timer at Sedgefield has not been able to avoid the big number for months. Regardless, Carl Pettersson and Jason Dufner are likely to corner the market in Yahoo!'s Group C this week.
Gary Woodland (B) ... Announced that he was pain-free from a wrist injury, and opened with a 67 at Kiawah Island, but faded to finish T42. A T24 at the HP Byron Nelson Championship remains his only top 25 in a full-field event this year. Also a first-timer at Sedgefield.
Sergio Garcia (A) ... Once upon a time, he was as much of a lock on classic tracks as anyone, but he's hitting fewer greens in regulation on the PGA TOUR than in any season since 2001. His overall ball-striking is at a five-year low, and he hasn't posted a top 25 in any of his last five starts worldwide. In fact, after going 27 straight starts without missing a cut (including five no-cut events), he's missed the cut in both starts that had one.
Charles Howell III (A) ... Careful here. He has a pair of top-15s here in as many starts, including a T4 last year, but he's riding a current streak of 12 consecutive events without a top 25.
Lucas Glover (B) ... At some point, the injury he sustained in his right knee while paddle boarding will be a distant memory for fantasy gamers, and his game will again click, but he's yet to post a top 45 among five cuts made in 15 starts this year. Given that he has three top-25s in four starts at Sedgefield, he's a trap for course history buffs.
Chez Reavie (A) ... Two of his eight career top 10s on the PGA TOUR have occurred in his two starts at Sedgefield, but his game across the board has tailed off since last season. He's had a pair of short spurts of consistency this year, but he's currently 132nd in FedExCup points, which is a better (read: disappointing) reflection of the year overall.
Medic! (Yahoo! Group)
Jonas Blixt (B) ... Returns after a 10-week sabbatical due to a rib injury. As a result, he dropped 41 spots in the FedExCup standings to 99th.
Dean Wilson (C) ... He's withdrawn from each of his six previous commitments this year. He's played Sedgefield the last four years, but withdrew during the tournament in both 2009 and 2011.
Notable WDs (Yahoo! Group)
Jason Day (B) ... Missed the cut at the PGA Championship by two strokes and ranks 107th in FedExCup points.
Robert Garrigus (A) ... Finished T21 at the PGA Championship for his fourth consecutive top-25. Currently 22nd in the FedExCup standings.
Fredrik Jacobson (B) ... Sits 87th in FedExCup points following a T36 at Kiawah Island.
Spencer Levin (A) ... Zero top-35s in his last eight starts. Now 42nd in FedExCup points.
Michael Thompson (B) ... At 61st in FedExCup points, he'll limp into the Playoffs after a 1-for-5 stretch with a T61 at the RBC Canadian Open.
Kris Blanks (B) ... After a series of early withdrawals due to what was diagnosed as tendonitis in his left shoulder, he's done for the year. Wrote the following on Twitter on Monday: "Well it's official, I'm shutting it down for the rest of the season. Shoulder is still bothering me and I'm tired of hurting. At the Dr now!"
Hunter Haas (B) ... Didn't enter the Wyndham Championship but full-season gamers should be aware of what he tweeted on Monday: "Having hip surgery, and will be out till next year."