As we embark on the final month of the 2016-17 season, there are a few fantasy checkpoints to memorize.
• Friday, Sept. 1: The scheduled start of the Dell Technologies Championship. If you forget, that's OK, for the alternative of forgetting if it were to start earlier, say on a Wednesday like the Dell Match Play, would sting.
• Wednesday, Sept. 6: Special column for the PGA TOUR Champions One & Done presented by SERVPRO. Since the PGA TOUR has an off-week following the scheduled Monday finish of the DTC, the usual One & Done column won't run. In its stead will be the customary grouping of notes and notables for the JAPAN AIRLINES Championship.
• Tuesday, Sept. 12: The next edition of the FI due to the off-week, thus the additional week of birthdays at the bottom of this page.
• Late September: First edition of Qualifiers for 2017-18. This will include all secured exemptions and remaining qualifying criteria into all of the majors, World Golf Championships and THE PLAYERS in 2018. It's a must-read for any full-season gamer.
• No later than Monday, Oct. 2: First edition of Medical Extensions for 2017-18.
• Monday, Oct. 2: First edition of the Web.com Tour graduate reshuffle for 2017-18. The Web.com Tour Finals is scheduled to conclude on Sunday, Oct. 1.
• Monday, Oct. 2: My annual full-membership fantasy ranking. Given the absence of even a week between the conclusion of the Web.com Tour Finals and the first event of the 2017-18 PGA TOUR season – the Safeway Open is scheduled for Oct. 5-8 – this year's ranking will be abridged, but not at the cost of quality and depth.
If that's too much to commit to memory, bookmark this page and revisit when necessary or just check PGATOUR.com/Fantasy every now and then for everything you need.
PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf presented by SERVPRO
My roster for the Dell Technologies Championship (in alphabetical order):
You’ll find my starters in Expert Picks.
Others to consider for each category (in alphabetical order):
Scoring: Jason Dufner; Tony Finau; Rickie Fowler; Charley Hoffman; Dustin Johnson; Brooks Koepka; Hideki Matsuyama; Justin Rose; Charl Schwartzel; Adam Scott; Jordan Spieth
Driving: Keegan Bradley; Paul Casey; Kevin Chappell; Graham DeLaet; Jason Dufner; Rickie Fowler; Sergio Garcia; Russell Henley; Jason Kokrak; Hideki Matsuyama; Francesco Molinari; Kyle Stanley; Gary Woodland
Approach: Chad Campbell; Paul Casey; Graham DeLaet; Jason Dufner; Dustin Johnson; Hideki Matsuyama; Chez Reavie; Webb Simpson; Jordan Spieth; Kyle Stanley
Short: Rafa Cabrera Bello; Graham DeLaet; Rickie Fowler; Russell Henley; Dustin Johnson; Brooks Koepka; Chez Reavie; Xander Schauffele; Charl Schwartzel; Jordan Spieth
Power Rankings Wild Card
Chez Reavie … Easily one of our stories of the season who would resonate in the mainstream if he can rise to victory. He nearly did just that at TPC Boston in 2011, losing to Webb Simpson in a playoff. Reavie arrives this time having survived nine consecutive cuts, five of which going for a top 25, including a T10 at THE NORTHERN TRUST. What he's lacked in distance off the tee as compared to his peers, he's overcome in precision on approach and putting.
Sergio Garcia … The year 2017 will go down as a life-changer for the Spaniard, both inside and outside the ropes, but he's not done in the Playoffs. He's 6-for-6 at TPC Boston with two top 10s and another pair of top 25s, including a T24 last year.
Jason Dufner … Mixed results at TPC Boston but chuffing along with enough steam right now to warrant consideration in every format. Top 20s in his last two starts and led the field at Glen Oaks in strokes gained: putting of all things. Of note, as a devout fan of the Cleveland Cavaliers, you know he won't be without endless, um, support this week. OK, so at least he should have some fun with that.
Gary Woodland … Not losing faith despite last week's missed cut. There's been enough of an uptick since the birth of his first child to warrant patience. Also 5-for-5 at TPC Boston with top 15s the last two years.
Tony Finau … Back for revenge after slipping from T7 to T24 in the final round of last year's edition. Fantasy gold in every format because he's 14th in greens in regulation, T19 in birdie-or-better percentage, inside the top 10 in both par-4 and par-5 scoring, and 18th in adjusted scoring. Oh, and he's survived 10 consecutive cuts with four top 20s sprinkled in.
Charl Schwartzel … Remains one of the strongest complementary pieces on the board. No reason to suggest he won't continue to fill that role. Perfect in five tries at TPC Boston.
Russell Henley … At this time of year with the depth of the fields in the Playoffs, there aren't many potential potent surprises, but he's one of them. Enjoying arguably his best season at age 28, he returns for his fifth appearance at TPC Boston (personal-best T2 in 2014) having survived seven consecutive cuts, the most recent a T25 at Glen Oaks where he was the first-round leader.
Keegan Bradley … Back at TPC Boston and among his native New Englanders for the first time in two years, he connected top 25s here from 2012-2015. Since the U.S. Open this summer, he's 8-for-8 with three top 15s. And at 47th in FedExCup points, the pressure is off to advance, thus allowing him to get to work to build similar insurance for a return to East Lake.
Francesco Molinari … Ah, fantasy golf. No matter our most confident decisions, we're forever at the mercy of the reality. It's one of the reason why we love it. Fellow renown ball-strikers Kevin Chappell (T6) and Justin Rose (T10) converted at Glen Oaks as their profile projected. Not so much for the Italian who missed the cut by two. Although Molinari is making his debut at TPC Boston, he hasn't missed consecutive cuts on U.S. soil in 30 months. He's not afraid to go low, either. So, treat last week's failure as a deterrent for your opposition.
Xander Schauffele … Since that head-turning T5 at the U.S. Open, he's performed like a stable veteran instead of an unsure rookie. Last week's T17 at Glen Oaks was his sixth top 20 in eight starts. Ranks 23rd on TOUR in greens in regulation and 32nd in strokes gained: putting.
Phil Mickelson … No matter how you want to spin motivation for any golfer, it doesn't guarantee anything. Because of that, as I've reiterated to you for years, you can't size up motivation as being more valuable than another when building a fantasy team. His run of competing in every Presidents Cup will come to an end at some point, and we might be arriving at it. No top 35s in his current 2-for-4 slump and without a top 40 at TPC Boston since 2012.
Kevin Kisner … No change from last week's message. His T54 at Glen Oaks extended his run without a top 25 in the Playoffs to seven consecutive starts. That includes two at the 30-man TOUR Championship. Putting on bentgrass this week, too.
Billy Horschel … It's been three years now since he closed out his FedExCup title T2-Win-Win. Since the close call at TPC Boston, he finished 72nd in 2015 and missed last year's cut, which was surprising given solid form upon arrival and his proven profile as streaky. This time, it's been anything but since a T4 in June as he's manufactured only one top-45 finish in seven starts (T26, Quicken Loans).
Kyle Stanley … Slow-playing the hand here on his fit alone, or lack thereof since he's not a strong option in shootouts even when they're borderline like this one. At 19th in points, he'll advance regardless of this week's result. Shared 25th place at THE NORTHERN TRUST where it made sense on unfamiliar greens. Now returning to TPC Boston for the first time since 2013.
Bubba Watson … Love his carefree approach entering the Playoffs, although we did learn that he's likely taillights until 2018 when (if?) he's eliminated. After climbing inside the top 100 in points, the pressure is back on as the new 72-seed. He lands here based entirely on pedestrian course history. Zero top 25s among three cuts made in his last five appearances.
Bill Haas … Faded terribly in the last two months. TPC Boston doesn't present the prospect that he'll find his game, either. No better than a T60 in his last two appearances.
Kevin Na … Reconnected with some form at Sedgefield for a T4 and end-loaded a T29 at Glen Oaks with 69s on the weekend, but has no better than a T60 (2015) in his last four tries at TPC Boston. Eleven of his last 13 scores on the course were over par.
Returning to Competition
Michael Thompson … Sidelined the last two months with a shoulder injury. He's slated to return at the Web.com Tour Finals this week. Even if he doesn't snag one of the 25 PGA TOUR cards up for grabs, he'd open the 2017-18 season with conditional status for finishing 148th in FedExCup points. It might be tagged with a medical extension, too.
Will MacKenzie … Hasn't competed since a T17 at the Travelers Championship in late June. No news has surfaced to explain why. At the time he left TPC River Highlands, he was 164th in the FedExCup standings. The PGA TOUR season completed with him slotted 183rd, so he's in the Web.com Tour Finals on merit.
Steve Wheatcroft … Withdrew early in the week of the Wyndham Championship due to a torn TFCC in his wrist. Finished 179th in the FedExCup standings, so he enters the Web.com Tour Finals with some suspense.
S.J. Park … Try as he might, he wasn't up for the task after several commitments since withdrawing during the FedEx St. Jude Classic with a sore shoulder. He's in the Web.com Tour Finals via a medical exemption.
Henrik Stenson … Resting his right knee. At 22nd in the FedExCup standings, he can afford to.
Brandt Snedeker … Alerted the world before the Playoffs that he wasn't going to compete due to a slow recovery from soreness in his sternum joint. This will be his last entry in this section this season as he's 68th in FedExCup points.
J.B. Holmes … The only mystery among this foursome. He missed the cut at THE NORTHERN TRUST to fall to 88th in points. Until an explanation surfaces for his decision not to give it a go at TPC Boston, full-season salary gamers should jot him down at $1.353 million for 2017-18 with a pencil, not a pen.
Scott Piercy … Has not pegged it since the Travelers Championship due to a sore shoulder. Currently 94th in the FedExCup standings and cannot advance.
Power Rankings Recap – THE NORTHERN TRUST
Power Ranking Golfer Result
1 Hideki Matsuyama MC
2 Brooks Koepka T49
3 Henrik Stenson T17
4 Justin Thomas T6
5 Jordan Spieth P2
6 Rickie Fowler T20
7 Rory McIlroy T34
8 Dustin Johnson Win
9 Patrick Reed T20
10 Paul Casey 5th
11 Matt Kuchar T10
12 Francesco Molinari MC
13 Louis Oosthuizen T10
14 Jason Day T6
15 Charley Hoffman T17
16 Brian Harman MC
17 Jason Dufner T20
18 Jon Rahm T3
19 Kevin Chappell T6
20 Justin Rose T10
Wild Card Ian Poulter 66th
Sleepers Recap – THE NORTHERN TRUST
David Lingmerth T29
Rory Sabbatini MC
Steve Stricker MC
Jimmy Walker MC
Richy Werenski T49
Birthdays among active golfers on the PGA TOUR
August 29 … Carl Pettersson (40)
August 30 … none
August 31 … Padraig Harrington (46); Charl Schwartzel (33)
September 1 … none
September 2 … Tyler Aldridge (33)
September 3 … none
September 4 … none
September 5 … none
September 6 … none
September 7 … Tag Ridings (43)
September 8 … none
September 9 … Hudson Swafford (30)
September 10 … none
September 11 … none