At first glance, Segment 3 of PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf may seem to be a monster. After all, there are 13 tournaments lined up from THE PLAYERS Championship through the RBC Canadian Open, and there are "only" 10 events in each of the other three Segments. However, Segment 3 presents mostly as a bridge to Segment 4, which will separate the can-dos from the wannabes.
RELATED: Power Rankings
In addition to THE PLAYERS, the first two majors of the season anchor Segment 3. So, if you prefer investing in the most notable in those events, divvy your starts accordingly. Remember that FantasyGolf.PGATOUR.COM allows you to save lineups for every event. Also remember that as a courtesy, it considers saves in future events as counting against your allotment of three per golfer so that you don't overcommit.
The Wells Fargo Championship and the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide also will be contested during Segment 3. Both are positioned nicely to give the elite timely opportunities to stay sharp for the tent-pole stops, and many will, so if you consider them as among the five chances to play the chalk, leverage your bench appropriately in the interim.
The other eight tournaments arguably may be the most valuable because they comprise the majority of Segment 3. If you prepare accordingly for the other five, the beauty is that you likely won't paint yourself into a corner with starts in between.
This three-month exercise will sharpen your strategic skills for the headliner-filled race to the season-long prizes and your league championship in Segment 4.
PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf
My roster for THE PLAYERS Championship (in alphabetical order):
You’ll find my starters in Expert Picks.
Others to consider for each category (in alphabetical order):
Scoring: Daniel Berger; Patrick Cantlay; Hideki Matsuyama; Rory McIlroy; Louis Oosthuizen; Patrick Reed; Adam Scott; Webb Simpson
Driving: Daniel Berger; Sergio Garcia; Tyrrell Hatton; Dustin Johnson; Shane Lowry; Louis Oosthuizen; Xander Schauffele; Webb Simpson; Gary Woodland
RETURNING TO COMPETITION
Jason Day … All I'm going to state is that after withdrawing during last year's API with an annular tear in his lower back, he returned the following week to finish T8 at THE PLAYERS. If you believe in déjà vu, Day is for you.
Patrick Cantlay … Back after a short break to have another procedure to correct his deviated septum. While it doesn't impact his swing, it's understandable if you're not interested in investing at TPC Sawgrass, but align your reasoning with the quirks of what can happen on this golf course. If you're OK with that as a constant for the entire field, he's just as intriguing as any front-liner. Also has two top-25s in three prior trips. This is to say that he's entering the sweet spot of experience to contend.
Francesco Molinari … Couldn't defend his title at Bay Hill due to an injured back. When healthy and in form, he's a natural for TPC Sawgrass, and he has recorded four top-10s here, but even the most hopeful among us can agree that he's presented nothing recently to warrant a turnaround now.
J.B. Holmes … Late scratch at Bay Hill due to an elbow injury. In his last seven appearances at TPC Sawgrass, he has no better than a T41 (2017) among only two cuts made (although he did co-lead that edition entering the final round, and then closed with 84).
Bronson Burgoon … Walked off PGA National during his second round of The Honda Classic with a sore neck. Since missing the cut at The RSM Classic, he's just 1-for-5 with a T43 at The American Express. Qualified for THE PLAYERS when he met the terms of his medical extension. Missed the cut in his debut here last year.
Tiger Woods … Resting his back. Full-season gamers who signed up for the duration knew that extended stretches on the sidelines are part of the deal. Yet, in just three starts this season, he's 28th in the FedExCup with a win at the ZOZO Championship.
Kelly Kraft … Remains on the mend after having surgery on his left hip in late September. He qualified for THE PLAYERS when he finished inside the top 125 of the FedExCup last season. Hasn't played since missing the cut at THE NORTHERN TRUST. Poised for a Major Medical Extension for 2020-21 if he needs it.
Jonas Blixt … Like Kraft, the Swede qualified for reaching the Playoffs in 2018-19. He also went one-and-out and hasn't played since. News detailing why he's been out hasn't surfaced.
Lee Westwood … Hasn't qualified since 2017, but he'd have been a favorite among gamers with five top-10s in the tournament and flashes of brilliance in 2020. The Englishman explained his decision not to play on Twitter.
Shugo Imahira … The 27-year-old from Japan would have been making his tournament debut. He led the Order of Merit on the Japan Golf Tour in each of the last two seasons, but he missed the cut in all four majors in 2019. Hasn't logged a top-25 in 15 career starts on the PGA TOUR.
POWER RANKINGS RECAP – Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard
Power Ranking Golfer Result
1 Rory McIlroy T5
2 Bryson DeChambeau 4th
3 Tommy Fleetwood MC
4 Hideki Matsuyama T56
5 Marc Leishman 2nd
6 Sungjae Im 3rd
7 Adam Scott MC
8 Byeong Hun An T56
9 Tony Finau MC
10 Patrick Reed T15
11 Xander Schauffele T24
12 Jason Day WD
13 Henrik Stenson MC
14 Rafa Cabrera Bello MC
15 Ian Poulter T32
Wild Card Lee Westwood MC
SLEEPERS RECAP – Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard
Kevin Chappell T52
Brian Harman MC
Rob Oppenheim 69th
Carlos Ortiz MC
Doc Redman T62
BIRTHDAYS AMONG ACTIVE GOLFERS ON THE PGA TOUR
March 10 … none
March 11 … none
March 12 … none
March 13 … Austin Cook (29)
March 14 … Vincent Whaley (25)
March 15 … none
March 16 … Bud Cauley (30); Beau Hossler (25)