Fantasy Insider: A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier
September 10, 2019
By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM
- Keegan Bradley has two top 15s in six trips to The Greenbrier Resort. (Matt Sullivan/Getty Images)
Offseasons of every sport have similarities, but each is consumed differently. Since the offseason is prime time for fantasy gamers to understand what we've learned, reset and prepare for the next season, it's no less busy, it's just a different kind of busy because it's not part of the weekly routine.
The offseason of the PGA TOUR deserves air quotes because it's so short. I've joked, even mocked, that if fantasy had a seat at the table to help construct a schedule, we'd want it to be longer. Alas, the last traditional offseason occurred during the holidays way back in 2012. The compressed 2013 season was the last time that all gamers were aligned with their starting points.
So, while I appreciated many kind offers to enjoy my "downtime" (with actual quotes) this offseason, it's no time to rest in our world.
My "How I Spent My Offseason" project published last Thursday. It's the annual full-membership fantasy ranking.
In addition to a full-season ranking of 243 golfers (through the Non-exempt Medical Extensions in the Priority Ranking), you'll find changes the TOUR made for 2019-20. Arguably the most significant is that the 36-hole cut for all tournaments with a cut will be low 65 and ties. In conjunction with that, the secondary a/k/a 54-hole a/k/a MDF cut has been eliminated. Tournaments with special cuts like the Desert Classic, AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-am and Zurich Classic of New Orleans also adjusted. Each will be revisited during the weeks when they're contested.
On Monday of this week, all four of my weekly updated staples turned over for the new season. You'll find them on the FANTASY page and via the Fantasy slider on the MENU at the top, and I encourage you to bookmark each for future reference.
Forging ahead to the action at hand, as first referenced in this space during the week of the BMW Championship, bonus points are back in PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf. After a one-year hiatus, this strategic component will award all of your starters in the final round of every tournament one-tenth of the FedExCup points they earn in the tournament proper. So, if the winner of the tournament is among your starters and he banks 500 FedExCup points, you're credited with 50. If you're new to the game, you might be surprised at the difference these points make, especially if your opposition has three or fewer golfers rostered in the final round. They can save an otherwise forgettable performance.
The perk will force your hand to consider burning a valuable start on a golfer who's threatening to win but who hasn't started for you in any of the previous rounds. So, weigh the cost of the start – we get only three per golfer per Segment – against the value of the bonus points he may earn. There will come a time when saving that start is more valuable because you may want his 400-500 points for one start in the future versus rolling the dice in pursuit of 50 bonus points for the same start in real time.
Lastly, PGA TOUR Fantasy One & Done and my One & Done preview are on hiatus for the remainder of 2019. When an update becomes available, you will be advised.
Enjoy the ride, gang! I'll be in the driver's seat, so ring the bell if you need anything.
PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf
My roster for A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier (in alphabetical order):
You’ll find my starters in Expert Picks.
Others to consider for each category (in alphabetical order):
Scoring: Byeong Hun An; Bud Cauley; Bryson DeChambeau; Denny McCarthy; Sebastián Muñoz
Driving: Keegan Bradley; Kramer Hickok; Joaquin Niemann; Scott Piercy; Kevin Streelman
Power Rankings Wild Card
Scott Piercy … While he contends only occasionally, he never lets us down. Missed only three cuts in all of 2018-19 while recording career bests in top 10s (six) and cuts made (21). In his age-40 season, he ranked ninth in greens hit, 17th in scrambling, T3 in par-3 scoring and T8 in par-4 scoring. Also 4-for-6 with a pair of top 20s at Greenbrier.
Keegan Bradley … With a perfect record and two top 15s in six trips, he's an automatic, but he didn't box out for space in the Power Rankings due to a sluggish conclusion to the 2018-19 season. He's a prototypical example of how omissions from the conversation starter on Mondays don't mean that I'm not endorsing with as much fanfare.
Byeong Hun An … Although he's seeing The Old White TPC for the first time, expect him to employ his hit-it-and-find-it approach. It'll play with his power, precision and putting on a track vulnerable for red numbers. After a relatively quiet foray as a member, he's put together a pair of respectful seasons, so he's very high on the short list of non-winners poised to break through.
Doc Redman … It's easy to forget about this guy. He wasn't eligible for the Playoffs, so he hasn't played in over a month, but he's fully exempt as a non-member who would have finished inside the top 125 among members with his equivalent of FedExCup points. In limited action on the PGA TOUR last season (20 rounds), he would have ranked second in greens in regulation. That bodes well at The Old White TPC, where he's a first-timer, but his combination of rest, eagerness to get back inside the ropes and propensity to score comprises the set of supportive angles not to hesitate in every format.
David Hearn … Now that he's fully exempt again (as a KFT grad), he's going to rise into focus for DFSers during weeks like this. His glistening record at Greenbrier includes a playoff loss in 2015 among four top 20s in seven trips. His scoring average in 26 rounds is 68.62. The Canuck also is fresh off a T4 at the KFT Championship.
Jimmy Walker … With a T2, a pair of T4s and a T18 in seven trips to Greenbrier, few are more comfortable in the climes, but he presents as a trap to course-history buffs who want to extend the benefit of the doubt. Last season easily was his worst in a while. As he continues to recover from Lyme disease, he's now assisting his wife in her own battle with it. So, use this week as a barometer. If he shows positive signs, log it for potential motivation to invest in the short-range. The time of the year when he excels is on the horizon.
Cameron Smith … Since his Playoffs were extinguished with a T59 at THE NORTHERN TRUST, the Aussie celebrated his 26th birthday by qualifying for the Presidents Cup team. However, now making his debut at Greenbrier, gamers expect more from this captivating talent. His game off the tee last season left a lot to be desired and he recorded only two top 25s in the last six months.
Zach Johnson … As he enters the final season of his multi-year exemption in which he's still exempt into all of the majors, the 43-year-old has to figure out a way to tighten up his approaches. His once reliable tee-to-green skill set suffered an ignominy of ranking 180th in greens in regulation last season. Greenbrier will require an elevated level of execution with the irons, so it's a terrific litmus test for the state of his game right now.
Russell Knox … Always a tweener, but for a guy who spikes more often than he slumps, that he failed to crack the top 40 in his last four starts worldwide is enough reason to lay off for one more. His aerial attack should get him to the weekend, but his inconsistent putting needs to cooperate.
Kevin Chappell … Returned to competition during the KFT Finals, but this marks his first PGA TOUR stop in 10 months. He had a microdiscectomy in late November and has 23 starts on a Major Medical Extension, so he shouldn't need much time to close the gap and retain status, but give him at least this one opportunity for him to show us what he has. If course success is any indication in its vacuum, it should be decent. Since 2012, he's 5-for-5 with a pair of top 20s here.
Returning to Competition
Sam Burns … Hasn't competed since missing the cut at the John Deere Classic because he broke his ankle retrieving a basketball not long after. He finished 94th in the FedExCup, so the second-year PGA TOUR member is fully exempt. While obviously rested, expect some rust at The Old White TPC, an ideal spot to get the juices flowing again.
Bud Cauley … Abruptly ended his Playoffs when he withdrew before the final round of THE NORTHERN TRUST due to an illness. He sat T79 after a third-round 78 at Liberty National, so he was unlikely to advance, anyway, and ultimately landed at 95th in the FedExCup. In his last trip to The Greenbrier Resort, he finished T4 in 2014. Give him a spin.
D.A. Points … You'll find him as one of the Medical Extensions linked in the intro above. He has 12 starts to collect 360.253 FedExCup points and retain status. On May 2, he underwent surgery to remove a disc in his neck. The 42-year-old is not an advisable own in any format.
Power Rankings Recap – TOUR Championship
Power Ranking Golfer Result
1 Justin Thomas T3
2 Jon Rahm T12
3 Rory McIlroy Win
4 Brooks Koepka T3
5 Patrick Cantlay T21
6 Adam Scott 6th
7 Brandt Snedeker T24
8 Hideki Matsuyama T9
9 Xander Schauffele 2nd
10 Webb Simpson T16
11 Justin Rose T26
12 Paul Casey 5th
13 Tony Finau 7th
14 Kevin Kisner T9
15 Rickie Fowler T19
16 Patrick Reed T9
17 Tommy Fleetwood T16
18 Lucas Glover T29
19 Louis Oosthuizen T21
20 Gary Woodland 15th
21 Dustin Johnson T29
22 Jason Kokrak 14th
23 Abraham Ancer T21
24 Marc Leishman T24
25 Matt Kuchar T16
26 Sungjae Im T19
27 Bryson DeChambeau T12
28 Corey Conners T26
29 Charles Howell III 28th
30 Chez Reavie 8th
Power Rankings Recap – FedExCup Playoffs
Power Ranking Golfer Result
1 Brooks Koepka T3
2 Rory McIlroy 1st
3 Jon Rahm T12
4 Justin Rose T26
5 Justin Thomas T3
6 Dustin Johnson T29
7 Webb Simpson T16
8 Tommy Fleetwood T16
9 Xander Schauffele 2nd
10 Patrick Cantlay T21
11 Rickie Fowler T19
12 Francesco Molinari 40th
13 Adam Scott 6th
14 Tony Finau 7th
15 Billy Horschel 43rd
16 Marc Leishman T24
17 Gary Woodland 15th
18 Matt Kuchar T16
19 Hideki Matsuyama T9
20 Jason Day 54th
21 Ryan Palmer 35th
22 Bryson DeChambeau T12
23 Charles Howell III 28th
24 Paul Casey 5th
25 Lucas Glover T29
26 Scott Piercy 39th
27 Sungjae Im T19
28 Shane Lowry 33rd
29 Chez Reavie 8th
30 Kevin Kisner T9
Birthdays among active golfers on the PGA TOUR
September 10 … none
September 11 … Satoshi Kodaira (30)
September 12 … Ángel Cabrera (50)
September 13 … none
September 14 … Tony Finau (30); Emiliano Grillo (27)
September 15 … Kevin Na (36)
September 16 … Bryson DeChambeau (26)