PGA TOUR CHAMPIONS FANTASY
Primer: One & Done presented by SERVPRO
January 17, 2018
By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM
- Kevin Sutherland claimed the Schwab Cup and Charles Schwab Cup Championship in 2017. (Chris Condon/PGA TOUR)
The second season of PGA TOUR Champions One & Done is here. This primer covers all pertinent factors for long-range planning and focuses on key elements that are guaranteed to capture your attention early and often. So, its value is both as introduction and repeatable resource.
The first 24 events of the 2018 season contribute to the One & Done. We get going with the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai on Jan. 18-20. It's the only tournament with a scheduled Saturday finish. The One & Done season will conclude with the SAS Championship on Oct. 12-14.
All five majors are 72-hole competitions, but only the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship (May 24-27), U.S. Senior Open (June 28-July 1) and Senior Open Championship (July 26-29) feature 36-hole cuts.
As usual, the following four majors will be contested on courses different than where they were last year:
• May 24-27 … KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship at Harbor Shores (previously held there in 2012, 2014 and 2016); 2017 winner = Bernhard Langer
• June 28-July 1 … U.S. Senior Open at Broadmoor (previously held there in 2008); 2017 winner = Kenny Perry
• July 12-15 … Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship at Exmoor (first-time host); 2017 winner = Scott McCarron
• July 26-29 … The Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex at the Old Course at St. Andrews (first-time host); 2017 winner Bernhard Langer
After a one-year hiatus, the Toshiba Classic (March 9-11) returns to the schedule. It'll be played at Newport Beach Country Club. The California site hosted the tournament from 1996-2016.
The inaugural Ally Challenge (Sept. 14-16) and Sanford International (Sept. 21-23) replace the JAPAN AIRLINES Championship (2017 winner = Colin Montgomerie) and Pacific Links Bear Mountain (2017 winner = Jerry Kelly).
Three tournaments continue under new names at the same site: Boca Raton Championship (formerly Allianz Championship) on Feb. 9-11, Cologuard Classic (formerly Tucson Conquistadores Classic) on March 2-4 and Rapiscan Systems Classic (formerly Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic) on March 23-25.
Since the objective is to bank as much of every purse as possible, saving the bluest chips for the biggest tips is a straight-line strategy.
The top-four most lucrative payouts are majors:
1) U.S. Senior Open ($4.0 million)
2) KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship ($3.0 million)
3) Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship ($2.8 million)
4) Regions Tradition ($2.4 million)
As noted above in SCHEDULING, the top three are migratory, so if you're a course history buff, the Regions Tradition carries additional value. The Senior Open Championship presented by Rolex features a purse of $2.0 million.
Among the non-majors, the Shaw Charity Classic ($2.35 million) and Insperity Invitational ($2.2 million) boast the richest prize money. All others range from $1.6-$2.1 million.
To state the obvious, there's never a bad time to invest in Bernhard Langer. We're all going to burn him at some point. Still, the anticipation of when the hammer drops can be a weapon in private leagues especially.
It would be trite to quantify his support in any tournament, but there is one angle that just might pay off your time to read this primer.
Assuming you holster him for one of the four majors that sit 1-4 in total prize money, immediately cross off the U.S. Senior Open Championship on tournament history alone. While he won in the 2010, it's easily his most challenging event. He's gone two editions without a top 10 while recording top 10s in each of the other four in each of the last four years, eight of which were victories.
Since only the Regions Tradition of the remaining three retains the component of course history, and because Langer is the only winner in both editions at Greystone Golf & Country Club, this is where I'll be plugging him in.
Now, I can't argue if you want to cite his prodigious record at the SENIOR PLAYERS and how he was essentially just one tee ball from making it four straight victories in that tournament – I remember it all too well as he was my pick at Caves Valley last summer – but again, there's never a bad time to invest in the ageless force.
HELP IS ON THE WAY
This is only the beginning. In advance of every tournament, I will share Future Possibilities for notables in my usual One & Done column (published every Wednesday for PGA TOUR events). The section devoted to the PGA TOUR Champions will include relevant nuggets about the course, tournament history and possible impact of weather.
We're also reprising the stand-alone Expert Picks that will publish the day before the PGA TOUR Champions event is scheduled to begin. It will include our picks, reasoning and two others we considered. We'll share our progress throughout the season.
YOU HAVE ONE JOB
If you're not yet signed up, register at FantasyGolf.PGATOUR.com. It's free to play all three of the fantasy games offered. Instructions, prizes and rules are provided for each.
For the curious, the top-four PERCENT OWNED are listed in a graphic on the Standings pages for each game on the platform. What you see will fluctuate when you view it because that data is measured in real time.
Those of us in Expert Picks are members of the PGA TOUR Experts league. It's an open league, so hop in.
See you there!