May 2 2012
By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy columnist
With so many of the world's elite competing at this week's Wells Fargo Championship, one-and-dones are faced with a challenge. Do they burn a high-profile guy or remain confined to the next tier of talent? As it is with most things fantasy golf, it depends.
Here are a few related emails that poured in this week:
I am looking at Furyk, Z. Johnson, or Fowler for my one-and-done. Which of those three would you take? We have Phil, Rory [McIlroy], Mahan, Westwood, and [Keegan] Bradley available, too. I am just thinking that this week is not the week to use any of them. What do you think about that strategy? Thanks again. -- Craig
I have narrowed it down to four: Zach, BVP, Tringale and Huh. Your thoughts? Thanks. -- Don
I'm liking Zach Johnson, Webb Simpson, Bo Van Pelt and Cameron Tringale this week, thoughts? Thanks again for your help. -- Mike
First, we need to take a look at the purse. It's a fruitful $6.5 million. Therefore, no one should be eliminated on prize money alone.
Next, we'll take a peek at the all-time money list at Quail Hollow to help gauge value. Lucas Glover has the edge over Jim Furyk by nearly $12,500. Glover is a few bucks shy of $2.25 million. Vijay Singh sits in third at $2.087 million. Phil Mickelson ($1.978M) and Tiger Woods ($1.898M) round out the top five. (Rory McIlroy sits in 10th with $1.17M, all courtesy of his breakthrough victory in 2010.)
Glover, who defends his title this week, is still working his way back into form following his knee injury, so he's not a recommended option. Furyk has been rolling, so we'll start our short list with him. Singh is back in action after a trip to Germany for therapy, and he's without a top 10 in nine starts this year, so I wouldn't rank him ahead of Furyk.
That leaves Mickelson and Woods. I slotted the lefty No. 1 in my Power Rankings, but I always like reserving him until the FedExCup Playoffs. I stated my case on Woods in this space a few weeks ago, and then burned him at the Masters. Even if he's still available to you, there are better options than Quail Hollow, so hold off.
Back to the emails, you'll note that Zach Johnson is a popular choice, and I endorse him. Add him to the short list.
Rickie Fowler is still grinding out a season filled with challenges. While I'm not fading him, he'd sit behind Furyk and ZJ.
Hunter Mahan is a fine option but I like him later in several places.
In my fantasy preview, I laid out why I'm fading Lee Westwood, so please take a read if you already haven't.
It's hard not to lean on Keegan Bradley just about anywhere, and that's a ringing endorsement given he's a PGA TOUR sophomore, but I prefer more experience at Quail Hollow.
Bo Van Pelt will be more useful in a field that's not as deep as the compilation at Quail Hollow. Certainly, he's one of the TOUR's most consistently successful, and the safe choice this week if there is such a thing, but I'll holster him for another event.
A strong argument could be made for Cameron Tringale. He's after his fourth consecutive top 10 this week. However, like Bradley, I want more experience on this track in my one-and-done.
John Huh's strength is tee-to-green, which doesn't matter as much as putting this week. While he's shattering all kinds of stereotypes for rookies, I'm still sitting on Furyk and ZJ.
So, with a short list at two deep, let's take a look at how each breaks down.
Furyk has four top 10s including a win and a second at Quail Hollow. He's also recorded a T11 and a T24.
Meanwhile, after missing the cut in his first three trips, Johnson is 5-for-5 with three top 25s, including a T6 last year. He also revealed last week that his wife is pregnant with the couple's third child. He's likely known about the imminent birth for a while, which could help explain his strong start to 2012. Things might change when he evolves from man-to-man defense to the zone in "mid-fall" when he's cited the baby's due date, but we can ride him now without worry.
Furyk's history and current form tilt the balance his way.
Of course, I'm all in on Rory McIlroy, who's arguably the hottest golfer on the planet in the last eight months. Since he finished T40 at the Masters, I'm likely in the minority of one-and-doners that are investing this week. And that's exactly the kind of matchup you want in the format.