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September 5 2012

10:51 PM

Fantasy mailbag: BMW

By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Columnist A week ago, I devoted this entire space as an endorsement to plug Rory McIlroy in for the Deutsche Bank Championship. As I state all the time, it's always a bonus when golfers fulfill their projections, but failing to take a ride on the bandwagon can prove costly. Here are tales from both sides of last week's decision on whether to invest. I’m in fifth place in my fantasy league of 40 players. I’m roughly $1.3 million out of first. I’m the only one who still has McIlroy in the bag (yep, could have, would have, should have -- PGA/Deutsche Bank). Given the field sizes and payouts of the last two tourneys, where would you use him -- BMW Championship or the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola? During the FedExCup Playoffs, we can pick two players for each tourney. I have Sergio Garcia, Webb Simpson and Nick Watney to round out my final four picks of the season (with McIlroy). My original plan is Simpson/Garcia (BMW) and McIlroy/Watney (finale). -- Scott It's funny how the dynamics shift our preparation. McIlroy's cachet aside, before the Playoffs, I would have circled Crooked Stick as the only track on the short list. The logic was simple, too. He had just romped at Kiawah Island, another Pete Dye creation, and the host course for the BMW is a mystery to the majority of the field. This is to say that the playing field is level. McIlroy is still learning the courses, but he's not at a disadvantage. Then, after further inspection last week, he shoved his way into the focal point of investments, thus earning my attention, and therefore yours. Now, he'll be gunning for consecutive victories. It's a rare achievement because it's hard to do and the law of averages tilts heavily toward the field. Given these factors, I agree that you wait until East Lake to burn him. I have no reason to argue the positioning of the other three on your agenda. In my one-and-done league, I was the only one with Rory McIlroy last week. Moved me from 10th to fourth place. My league goes to the very end of the season but I want to finish the Playoffs strong. My top-ranked players left are: Nick Watney, Sergio Garcia, Ernie Els, Bo Van Pelt, John Senden, John Huh. Any one of these guys jump out at you as a good fit for Crooked Stick? -- Sean One of the most challenging -- if not impossible -- aspects of what I do is attempting to translate how I perceive a situation involving competitive spirit into quantifiable data. For example, as an observer of the sport for the entirety of Jim Furyk's career, I refused to consider that he wasn't going to play his way onto the Ryder Cup team. Whether his T13 at TPC Boston played a role in that fact is irrelevant, but that he got the job done fulfilled the expectation, and you can't measure heart, grit and all of the other intangibles a veteran like him possesses. Transcending a similar vibe, while Watney didn't crack the Ryder Cup squad, his work is far from over. After winning The Barclays, he tied for 20th at the Deutsche Bank Championship and sits second in FedExCup points entering the BMW. I'd like to believe that he'll shake off any disappointment from not qualifying for the biennial team competition at Medinah Country Club and dump all of his focus on winning the FedExCup. Not only is Watney playing well and owns the kind of game seemingly necessary for success at Crooked Stick, but history is on his side as well. Since the current version of the FedExCup was introduced in 2009, the top three in points entering the BMW Championship have entered the finale inside the top five. If any in the top five at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola win that event, he will be declared the FedExCup champion. Watney controls his own fate. He's also my one-and-done pick this week.
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