Fantasy golf advice: Round 2 of the Zurich Classic
April 26, 2018
By Mike Glasscott, PGATOUR.COM
Kim & Putnam lead after 36 holes at Zurich
Here are nine tidbits from the second round of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans that gamers can use this weekend or down the road. The TPC Louisiana in Avondale has been the host since 2005 and plays 7,425 yards to a Par-72.
PAIN OR GAIN
These were the top 10, plus one, picked golfers in the PGA TOUR Fantasy One & Done presented by SERVPRO:
The cut landed on five-under 139, one shot higher than last year. There are some big names that are packing up early.
Bud Cauley and Justin Thomas only made two birdies in the best-ball format in Round 1 but rallied for five in Round 2. Sadly for investors that was one birdie short as they missed by a shot. They couldn't get up-and-down on the Par-5 18th to try and improve on their T5 checks from last year. Gamers who went with Cauley won't be nearly as disappointed as those who went with Thomas but it still stings regardless.
Michael Kim and Andrew Putnam backed up their opening round best-ball 62 with 69 in the alternate shot format. They did absorb a double bogey but it's their only negative hole of their first 36. Their 13-under-par total is one clear and they will be in the final group on Saturday. Kim's best finish this season in six weekend tries is just T23. Putnam has posted a pair of top-10 finishes in his last three starts including T8 last week at the Valero Texas Open. Hot golf is contagious!
Keeping up with Jones
Australian Matt Jones paired with Ricky Barnes in 2017 and took home T22 money. This year he's back with veteran ball-striker Chad Campbell and is making noise again. Their round of 70 consisted of 14 pars, three birdies and a bogey moving them up six spots to T3. Neither player has a top 25 finish in 26 combined starts this season.
Round of the Day
In the inaugural event last season two teams fired 66 for the lowest round of the week in the alternate shot format. In the first round of alternate shot this year, Matt Kuchar and Bubba Watson posted 67 to make up lost ground after a grinding 68 in Round 1. They moved up 56 spots to T7 after slapping each other silly a whopping seven times with birdies. Check yesterday's edition of the Emergency 9 for more details on their odd birdie celebration!
Cantlay and Reed are the only twosome in the field that both have wins to their name this season and were rightly considered in the favorite's category to start the week. They had a proper grind in Round 2 as they made bogey on two of their first three holes before rattling off five birdies in six holes mid-round. The ending was bittersweet as they dropped from nine-under to seven-under with bogeys on the last two holes. They are T13 and six shots back and will need to go even lower than their opening round 65in best-ball in Round 3.
This was an absolute kick in the guts to the gamers who invested in Jordan Spieth's partner, Ryan Palmer, in the format above. By the book, that was the play to make but fantasy golf rarely plays by any rules. Last year he and his partner Jordan Spieth shot the co-best alternate shot score of the week with 66 and finished fourth. After dodging bullets throughout the round with magical up-and-downs, their mojo ran out on the final two holes. They were three shots above the projected cut line with two holes remaining. They doubled each of the final two holes to miss the cut by a shot. It was their only two holes over par for the 36 holes. Savage!
This could have been a column unto itself as there were plenty of big-name players packing up early:
Last year's third-place finishers Kelly Kraft and Kevin Tway couldn't reconstitute their magic as they missed by a shot. Tway has made 12 of 16 cuts this year but T28 is the biggest payday. ... Round 1 co-leaders Xinjun Zhang and Zecheng Dou posted 60 to share the lead at 12-under. Round 2 saw them add 20 shots to their card as they missed out after posting 80. ... Jon Rahm, not Wesley Bryan, made the list above but both of the teammates are leaving early. Only gamers feeling a worse sting were those who started Justin Thomas, not Bud Cauley, this week. It's a painful lesson that shouldn't be forgotten!
Last-man into the field Denny McCarthy replaced Martin Piller and responded by pairing with Joel Dahmen to make the cut. McCarthy MC in seven of his first nine this season before cashing a career-best payday (fourth) at Corales. He'll tee it up on the weekend for the fourth consecutive event. ... Brooks Koepka returned to action this week but MC with Marc Turnesa. Long-term investors won't care about the result or will they care his streak of cuts will come to an end at 19. ... Englishman Chris Paisley didn't need any help from his partner Tommy Fleetwood as he aced No. 3 from 221 yards. ... Remember, walk-up music begins tomorrow!