They're back! After a one-year hiatus, FedExCup bonus points in PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf will be returning for the 2019-20 season. Count on managing every tournament and Segment with that promise.
Bonus points were eliminated this season, so it took just one week to realize that cuts made would fill the void as the most valuable currency.
For gamers who didn't register or start playing until 2018-19, your starters in every final round were credited with a fraction of FedExCup points applied to their finish. In events with ShotLink, the bonus was one-tenth the actual. In events without ShotLink, the bonus was one-half (to compensate for lighter fantasy scoring overall). While details concerning everything regarding the next iteration of PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf are forthcoming, the absence of bonus points grumbled the masses. Consider yourselves heard, gang!
With no bonus points in play and with no cut at this week's BMW Championship, only the nail-biters among contenders will lose sleep. This does not apply to my little league in which Ben Everill holds a 245-point edge over me in second, this despite one of my best efforts of the season at THE NORTHERN TRUST. I totaled 800 points, but because Ben got four to the weekend, I outpaced him by only 63. So, it's over; well, as long as he remembers to save a lineup. Shhh…
Looking ahead, with a full-field Power Rankings for next week's TOUR Championship, this preview column will be abridged. It also means that this week's Sleepers is the last edition until Tuesday, September 10, for A Military Tribute at the Greenbrier.
My annual full-membership fantasy ranking should publish by Friday, Sept. 6, but timing on that always is fluid due to the numerous resources required to generate the finished product. As always, keep an eye on the FANTASY page and my Twitter for everything.
PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf
My roster for the BMW Championship (in alphabetical order):
You’ll find my starters in Expert Picks.
Others to consider for each category (in alphabetical order):
Scoring: Patrick Cantlay; Bryson DeChambeau; Rory McIlroy; Andrew Putnam; Jon Rahm; Justin Rose; Jordan Spieth; Justin Thomas
Driving: Paul Casey; Jason Day; Bryson DeChambeau; Tommy Fleetwood; Lucas Glover; Jason Kokrak; Rory McIlroy; Jon Rahm
Power Rankings Wild Card
Jason Day … Classic rebound candidate. That I loved his short-lived commitment to Steve Williams to spark a relatively lackluster season, I guess you now know in which school I belong. (Hint: It's not new.) Now handing caddie duties to friend and former PGA TOUR member David Lutterus, he of the different-colored eyelashes – black on the left, blond on the right – Day should have more fun in theory. Quite simply, I'll buy that and the fresh start at 50th in the FedExCup.
Rickie Fowler … Inconsistency is killing this cat, but we have to set aside our emotion and remember that he doesn't slump. A quietly strong T6 at The Open Championship is his only top-40 finish in five starts, and he's managed a busy by sitting out the WGC-St. Jude, so fatigue isn't a factor for the 17-seed. Keep the faith even though you can't attach anything empirical to it.
Keegan Bradley … He's the defending champion, but he prevailed at Aronimink outside Philadelphia. If only he could find the kind of mojo with the putter that fellow major champions Justin Rose, Webb Simpson and most recently Adam Scott has captured, the 66-seed likely would be enjoying consistently strong form instead of looking up and seeing only one top 25 in his last 13 starts.
Tiger Woods … It comes as zero surprise that he devoured the par 5s en route to both victories in the PGA Championship at Medinah. He led the field in 1999 with a scoring average of 4.44 on the set, and then "settled" for T4 at 4.50 in 2006. That narrative applies to every par 72 throughout his career, and he loves this course, but when his health interrupts performance, well, it's worthy of more concern than just about anyone else. If there's good news, it's that he merely strained an oblique muscle. The learning curve continues as he balances how much he needs to rest without getting rusty competitively, but his body rules that court. Seeded 38th, he might need a top 10 to advance.
Matt Kuchar … If there's a bright side, it's that he can't miss consecutive cuts for the first time in eight years, but he hasn't been himself since a closing 79 at Royal Portrush that bumped him 29 spots to a T41. He's broken par just twice in his last seven rounds and has gone three starts without a top 40. However, he's been a lock for the TOUR Championship as the top seed for months during the regular season. Currently fourth.
Returning to Competition
Rafa Cabrera Bello … Talk about a win-win! The Spaniard sat out THE NORTHERN TRUST for the birth of his first child and he retained position inside the top 70 in the FedExCup after sliding only eight spots to 67th. He'll need to contend for a spot on the podium at Medinah to advance, but with nothing to lose in a no-cut event and in conjunction with the Nappy Factor, it's a headline in waiting.
Kevin Chappell … Out since November after having a microdiscectomy, the 33-year-old is giving it a go at the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship. He'll receive a Major Medical Extension in 2019-20 with somewhere in the vicinity of 22 starts to earn 268.297 FedExCup points and retain status, but a successful blast through the Korn Ferry Tour Finals would set up a safety net for the entire season. With a price tag of just $257K, full-season salary gamers especially will be monitoring his progress intently, as they should.
Kevin Na … Done for the season at 55th in points, but for the best of reasons. His wife is due to deliver the couple's second child soon.
Power Rankings Recap – THE NORTHERN TRUST
Power Ranking Golfer Result
1 Brooks Koepka T30
2 Rory McIlroy T6
3 Webb Simpson T18
4 Justin Rose T10
5 Jon Rahm T3
6 Justin Thomas T12
7 Rickie Fowler MC
8 Patrick Cantlay T12
9 Billy Horschel T21
10 Francesco Molinari 82nd
11 Matt Kuchar MC
12 Patrick Reed Win
13 Tommy Fleetwood T43
14 Adam Scott 5th
15 Dustin Johnson T24
16 Sungjae Im T38
17 Rory Sabbatini T43
18 Jason Day MC
19 Collin Morikawa T52
20 Louis Oosthuizen T6
Wild Card Xander Schauffele MC
Sleepers Recap – THE NORTHERN TRUST
Brian Harman T52
Russell Henley T59
Troy Merritt T12
Joaquin Niemann T30
Kyle Stanley T71
Birthdays among active golfers on the PGA TOUR
August 13 … Tommy Gainey (44)
August 14 … none
August 15 … Ted Purdy (46); Harold Varner III (29)
August 16 … none
August 17 … none
August 18 … Cameron Smith (26)
August 19 … Jhonattan Vegas (35)