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May 9 2012

7:42 PM

Last-minute picks for THE PLAYERS

By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy columnist

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Big week. Busy week.

Hey, Rob. The PLAYERS' picks are hard, my friend. Just need your best guess between two players: Phil Mickelson or Sergio Garcia? Best regards, Federico in Guatemala.

Garcia and Mickelson sit 1-2, respectively, on the all-time money list at TPC Sawgrass. While neither should be ruled out anywhere he competes, Garcia most definitely deserves the edge. He's thoroughly embraced TPC Sawgrass, which is a dynamic you must grab without reservation.

Tough one this week with Bubba Watson and Charl Schwartzel sitting it out. I need four to start out of the following: Justin Rose, Jason Dufner, Nick Watney, Robert Garrigus, John Huh, Bud Cauley. Rose and Duffs are no-brainers. Watney's top 10 is encouraging. Garrigus has been solid, and who knows how the rooks will do. What say you? Thanks. -- Erik

I say that you don't need my help. Rose, Dufner, Watney and Garrigus makes the most sense.

Group of players I'm considering and would like your thoughts since the other three are set (Lee Westwood, Jason Day, Bud Cauley): Graham DeLaet, Chris Couch, Josh Teater, Colt Knost, Rod Pampling. -- Joey

I like experience at TPC Sawgrass, so that eliminates DeLaet and Knost as first-timers, and Teater is 0-for-1. Pampling has made the cut in half of his eight starts in this tournament, but he hasn't posted a top 25. Couch is just 2-for-3 but he shared 17th place in 2010. Yet, because he has struggled this season, Pampling gets my vote thanks to three top 25s in 2012 and to a general return to old form over the last 14 months.

Hey Rob. Which two do you like in a one-and-done pool the best: Lee Westwood, Luke Donald, Ben Crane, Bud Cauley? I'm not sure if it makes sense to take two big names for this event or not. On the flip, it is the biggest pot of the year so maybe the gamble is worth it? I've looked at rankings and websites and don't see Crane anywhere but he has a pretty good history here and played pretty well last week. What do you think? -- Justin

While Westwood and Donald are worthy of dispensations from my rule not to burn the elite this week, the combo of Westwood and Crane is tasty. The value of holstering Donald for later only inflates the argument for Crane, who is the only golfer in the field with three top 10s since the course renovations took effect in 2007. For more on him and much more, click here for my fantasy preview.

Have you heard anything new on Dustin Johnson? I'm thinking of dumping him for Matt Kuchar for the rest of the season. -- Michael

Johnson issued a statement on May 3 indicating that he wouldn't return until he was "100 percent ready." On Tuesday of this week, he wrote the following on Twitter: "So - guess who's out on the course getting some practice in...THIS GUY!! I feel gooooood!" Michael, if you can't afford to be patient, I'd endorse spelling DJ with Kuchar. However, if you're in a format that uses earnings as a measurement for your scoring system, pull the trigger immediately. THE PLAYERS is the richest event of the year.

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