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August 1 2012

9:00 PM

Fantasy mailbag: Bridgestone

With the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational on tap this week, we have officially arrived at the home stretch. The final seven tournaments of the FedExCup portion of the season include the Bridgestone, the PGA Championship, the Wyndham Championship and four FedExCup Playoff events. The Bridgestone Invitational and the final two feature limited fields and no cut.

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As you'd expect, fantasy strategies and decisions are coming to a head.

Rob, with only three plays left for Tiger, I am trying to decide when to use them. Do you know which tournaments he plans on playing with only seven to go? I know he is playing Bridgestone and the PGA. Do you have a guess on which of the remaining five? Despite him being the favorite at Bridgestone, I am thinking of not playing him this week. Thanks for your insight. -- Don

The short answer is that even if you had just one start remaining, this is the week to burn it. That you have three is a luxury. There is no reason to believe that he won't tee it up in all of the remaining events minus the Wyndham, an event he's never played. Save one for THE TOUR Championship for sure. Of the other four, only the Deutsche Bank Championship is contested at the same track as last year, and Woods won there in 2006. Of course, he won the 2002 U.S. Open at Bethpage Black, site of this year's Barclays, so that site has merit as well. (Woods was also the high finisher out of the wrong side of the draw at the weather-beaten U.S. Open at Bethpage in 2009.)

I only have three more tournaments left for my one-and-done pool. Who should I pick for Firestone out of Adam Scott, Jason Dufner, Louis Oosthuizen, Bubba Watson, Nick Watney, Keegan Bradley and Jason Day. I am saving Dustin Johnson for next week's PGA championship. Regards, Steve

Since you're apparently allowed to plug in the defending champion, Scott is the best option based on both course history and recent form. It was clear in his presser today that he's turned the page since the late fade at the British Open. I'm exhausting Watson this week since he's excelled just about everywhere all year. You can ignore the lefty's mini-slump that resulted in missed cuts at the Memorial and U.S. Open.

We have two weeks left. Most free agents available are not that great. Right now I am considering Simon Dyson or Paul Lawrie. Which one do you think will make more money the final two weeks? Also, besides Nicolas Colsaerts, who was picked up -- he was on my radar all year and I missed the boat -- who else from across the big lake may be a better pick than Dyson or Lawrie? Thanks! -- Tom

Indeed, there are formats like Tom's salary game that call it a season with the final major. If his only question was to suggest the best international non-member other than Colsaerts, Lawrie would be the choice. While he's enjoyed a renaissance over the last 16 months and I could easily cite that as Exhibit A, there are intangibles that clinch it. He's currently inside the bubble for a return to the Ryder Cup and he's spoken with the kind of swagger and confidence you love to hear. Francesco Molinari ranks second on my short list.

Which of these two would you keep for the playoffs -- Carl Pettersson or Scott Piercy? Thanks for the help. -- Gary

Pettersson has more experience in the Playoffs, having reached the third leg four of five times. He advanced to THE TOUR Championship in 2008. Piercy's first visit to the BMW Championship didn't occur until last year, and he didn't qualify for the 30-man field at East Lake. The argument boils down to a known commodity versus an upward arrow.

Pettersson arrived at Firestone this week ranked eighth in the FedExCup standings, and Piercy is 13th, so each figures to roll into the postseason with little stress. (Pettersson is also one of the four champions of the Wyndham at its current home, Sedgefield Country Club.) If the rest of your team is solid, give Piercy a look. However, if you're riding along with a question mark or two, Pettersson's predictable value rises. If you can, await the conclusion of the Wyndham to decide.

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