DRAWS AND FADES
Draws and Fades: Fortinet Championship
September 13, 2022
By Rob Bolton , Golfbet for PGATOUR.COM
- Hideki Matsuyama finished T6 here last year and looks for more success this time around. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Greetings, gang! As always, it’s an absolute pleasure to welcome you to the next installment of the PGA TOUR – the 2022-23 edition. This begins my 14th season in this chair. Thank you for your loyalty and for your community. I’m sincere in conveying that it means everything to me. Peace and love.
By now you know that this is the last wraparound season before the TOUR resets for 2024. What transpires in the fall of 2023 is TBD, but however you experienced the most recent offseason won’t be replicated.
This will include a return to a natural launch of my full-membership fantasy ranking late in the calendar year. This season’s edition published last week, so if you haven’t dived in, please consider doing so. It includes ages, salaries (and bargains where noted), membership status and a comment for all 214 golfers. There’s also a printable Cheat Sheet for draft leagues. The opening page reviews the changes relevant to fantasy and much more. As explained, the entire project is a guide and it’s evergreen. Bookmark it. I’d ask for you to share with others, but that would mean that you think that it won’t give the edge that will assist in your quest for a league title. S’OK, I’m used to it!
PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf also launches this week. The overall format essentially is the same – four Segments; league play; prizing for each and the overall season – but there’s one significant change in scoring: Every par will be worth one point. When the scoring system was modified for 2021-22, pars were zero to align with Modified Stableford scoring. Refer to Rules for more.
Obviously, fantasy scoring now will rise. With it, the value of making cuts reemerges as a priority. (Veteran gamers of PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf are familiar with previous iterations that rewarded cuts made.) Segment 1 always is a soft open due to the construct of the fields, so you won’t have to concern yourself with rationing starts for pretty much anyone. However, building a foundation of golfers you believe have a greater chance of cashing is going to be the proper swing thought to separate from your opponents. Roster up, not down.
The other significant news is that the stand-alone fantasy app soon will be discontinuing. It’s still active for Fortinet, but at some point, mobile users will need to enter the PGA TOUR app to access PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf. It also will remain accessible via mobile browsing. It’s always parked on the FANTASY page of the desktop website and accessible directly via FantasyGolf.PGATOUR.com.
POWER RANKINGS WILD CARD
Hideki Matsuyama (-145 for a Top 20) … Injuries to his left wrist and neck interrupted playing time in July and August, but he walked off the 2021-22 season with a T11 at East Lake where he opened as the 17-seed. That’s enough of a reason to worry about extended health, but it’s a great sign that he’s committed to the Fortinet where he finished T6 a year ago. At the same time, it’s also (and maybe even more so) a test of his physical health in advance of next week’s Presidents Cup. If you’re feeling frisky, stow him on your bench in PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf because the variables of his current snapshot present more reason to abstain.
Davis Riley (+140 for a Top 20) … Although he has a phenomenal rookie season, the best part is that inexperience is replaced with knowledge. This goes for everyone, but we always assume that guys value what they’ve learned and they don’t just show up and rely entirely on talent, even for a player like this who profiles well just about everywhere. That can pay off at times, but it’d be stressful to attempt to sustain that approach for a very high percentage. Of course, he presents none of that concern, but the test begins now. He missed the cut in his debut at Silverado last year, which means that he had two rounds under his belt. Roll Tide.
Chez Reavie (+250 for a Top 20) … He’s the most recent winner of a PGA TOUR event nearest Napa, and the Barracuda champion has a perfect record at Silverado. He’s 8-for-8 with a T3 highlighting three top 25s. What more needs to be said about who and what this place rewards? Veteran ball-striker!!
J.J. Spaun (+250 for a Top 20) … Hung up a T9 here two years ago and he reconnected with some form late last season. For a guy who keeps the ball in the best places to find it, he’s a brilliant option in DFS.
Odds sourced on Tuesday, September 13th at 7 p.m. ET. For live odds visit betmgm
Stewart Cink … No conflict this year. The 2020 champ sat out his title defense so that he could attend his son’s wedding. He’s moved on since that career second wind but there’s still room for the 49-year-old deep in full-season rosters. Faith is down considerably, however. A top 25 is a genuine bonus now.
Cameron Champ … So badly want to leave the doubt in the past, but there’s been no consistency for the 2019 Fortinet winner. Whether his wrist still is an issue or perhaps bad habits triggered by it have complicated matters, he’s not playing up to the projections.
Webb Simpson … In any other sport (and hopefully again on the PGA TOUR come 2024), the offseason would allow for time to recover from injury and separate competitively. Even though optimists can cite a reset for all to zero FedExCup points, body and soul can’t be fooled into thinking that a true break has occurred. This is to say that his slump is more likely to continue than end despite the new chapter. Save a couple of glints of form in the last six months, the 37-year-old has done nothing to convince us that he’s overcome whatever lingered after returning from sitting out two months to rest for a herniated disc in his neck.
Denny McCarthy … Sometimes, fit trumps form, even when a guy has rewarded us as often as he has. Fact is, Silverado exposes his weakness on approach, so he’s putting to save pars more than for par breakers, and that’s led to four missed cuts in as many tries. He’s broken par just twice in eight rounds.
Gary Woodland … Making his debut at Silverado. Concluded last season by going MC-MC-T51, thereby extending his trend of trading forgettable weeks with thrilling performances.
Alex Noren … Also a debutant at Silverado, but he was recently bothered by a sore neck. It knocked him out of the FedEx St. Jude, and then he finished T52 at the limited-field BMW.
RETURNING TO COMPETITION
John Huh … A lower back injury forced him to walk off TPC Southwind a month ago. He was a co-runner-up the week prior at Sedgefield, but don’t lean into that hope. His history at Silverado is dreadful. He’s cashed only once in seven tries (T35, 2016).
Nate Lashley … Opted not to give it a go in the Playoffs due to an ongoing issue with a toe. He can be a dynamic performer, so that slots him best in DFS and in deeper long-term formats. His track record at Silverado is a microcosm of his profile, too. Both of his paydays in five starts are top 20s. Finished T16 a year ago.
Scott Piercy … After qualifying for the Playoffs with a late surge, he withdrew during the second round of the FedEx St. Jude with a sore back. That was a month ago, so the loyalist at Silverado is positioned to hit the ground running, or at least jogging. Since 2016, he’s 4-for-6 with a trio of top 20s, including a T11 last year.
Brandt Snedeker … Hasn’t pegged it in earnest since missing the cut at the Deere more than two months ago. An explanation for his absence hasn’t been released, but he didn’t carry significant fantasy value, anyway. However, he could be worth a flier in salary games this season. He opens on a Minor Medical Extension for which he has five starts to earn 148.084 FedExCup points and a promotion to the Major Medical category. If he falls short, he will burn a career earnings exemption, so while the results haven’t been terribly helpful in a while, he’s in position to yield ~25 starts. And hey, maybe he finds the fountain of youth at Silverado. It was just four years ago when he lost in a playoff. He placed T17 in his last trip the following year. That he’s ready to get back after it immediately is a green light.
Dean Burmester … Hey, someone has to be the first out, and no one ever can take it away from him. While he’s a Korn Ferry Tour Finals grad, don’t be surprised if he follows a similar path of fellow South African, Christiaan Bezuidenhout, who was a KFT grad last season and did just fine. Burmester is 67th in the Official World Golf Ranking, so he’s poised to earn opportunities that most of his fellow grads won’t. Stick with him long-term and you should be rewarded for your understanding and patience.
RECAP – TOUR Championship
Power Ranking Golfer Result
1 Patrick Cantlay T7
2 Scottie Scheffler T2
3 Xander Schauffele 4th
4 Jon Rahm T15
5 Rory McIlroy Win
6 Justin Thomas T5
7 Sungjae Im T2
8 Sam Burns 24th
9 Matt Fitzpatrick T15
10 Will Zalatoris DNP
11 Cameron Smith 20th
12 Tony Finau 9th
13 Jordan Spieth T13
14 Joaquin Niemann T11
15 Adam Scott 25th
16 Scott Stallings 29th
17 Max Homa T5
18 Corey Conners 26th
19 Brian Harman T21
20 Aaron Wise T13
21 Billy Horschel T21
22 Cameron Young 19th
23 Viktor Hovland T15
24 Sepp Straka T7
25 Collin Morikawa T21
26 J.T. Poston T15
27 Sahith Theegala 28th
28 K.H. Lee 27th
29 Tom Hoge 10th
30 Hideki Matsuyama T11
BIRTHDAYS AMONG ACTIVE MEMBERS OF THE PGA TOUR
September 13 … none
September 14 … Tony Finau (33); Emiliano Grillo (30)
September 15 … none
September 16 … none
September 17 … Byeong Hun An (31); Seonghyeon Kim (24)
September 18 … Viktor Hovland (25)
September 19 … Ryan Palmer (46); Michael Gligic (33)