While I'm a fantasy columnist covering numerous angles for several formats, one of my non-writing contributions at PGATOUR.com is as a voice in a weekly podcast.
If you're not already aware, I join "Talk of the TOUR" host John Swantek every Wednesday for a recorded conversation. The audio can be found on multiple platforms and it's often embedded into my preview material, including this One & Done space.
Swanny and I go back to my formative days in 2010, so you'll usually get a sense for our history together. But what he's been so gracious to offer is room to expand on my insight, analysis and opinion of host courses, golfers and so many of the things that go into our decisions as weekly gamers. We'll also toss around unrelated topics for the fun of it, but the discussion always circles back to and focuses heavily on the tournament of the week. So, if you've never checked it out, please look for it.
One of my recurring laments-slash-admissions is that the golfers in my Power Rankings deserve the 1a or 1b treatment from time to time. Let's face it, ignoring actual betting odds for any field, the growing depth of the PGA TOUR contingent makes it impossible (and unfair) to single out a favorite in most fields.
Every now and then, however, the general value of the No. 1 in the Power Rankings should be classified as something like a 2a. This implies multiple favorites, but none of whom knocks my socks off. This was at the foundation of my explanation for OHL Classic at Mayakoba defending champion Pat Perez in this week's "Talk of the TOUR" segment.
In this week's field of 132, there's an uncommon blend of top-tier talent with either zero or little history at El Camaleón and serviceable value with success on site and solid recent form but which presents better in team-based formats. We went into some detail about this in the pod, but it leaves us in a bit of no-man's land in PGA TOUR Fantasy One & Done presented by SERVPRO.
In short, no matter where you sit in your league or overall and regardless of my assessments of all of these guys, it's simply too soon to burn the likes of Rickie Fowler, Patrick Reed, Kevin Chappell and Zach Johnson. This tournament tosses out a terrific opportunity to invest in reliability and experience.
Because I'm always chasing top 10s and because I'm not going him, my pick is Pat Perez, the FedExCup points leader thanks largely to his title at the CIMB Classic four weeks ago. For similar reasons, don't be surprised if PP challenges Chesson Hadley's field-high ownership percentage of 27.0 at the Sanderson Farms Championship. Remember, pushes are fine (and necessary) at various stages of the season.
If you choose to think differently, Hadley actually sets up wonderfully as the hot hand. I expected him to slow down in Vegas, but it didn't happen. Even though he opened with 74, he tied for fourth. Get on the bandwagon already.
If you've burned both guys, consider the timely angles of Jason Kokrak, Chez Reavie, Kevin Streelman and Scott Brown, all of whom also form the short list for two-man gamers. I also wouldn't talk you out of Graeme McDowell, who won this event just two years ago.
SELECTION COMMENT 169th Mark Immelman
On the Mark
Pat Perez I was planning to use Ollie Schneiderjans but his withdrawal forced me to change plans. It basically came down Pat Perez and G-Mac. Both have great upsides at a place they love and after a coin-flip and Perez became my choice. 248th Ben Everill
Pat Perez Staying with the obvious on a week where just too many factors and too much unknown can get in the way. 292nd Sean Martin
Gary Woodland This week’s course is short and tight. Length is his strength but he was runner-up here last year. 349th Rob Bolton
Pat Perez It’s a tough week for us, so the objective is to mitigate the risk. It was odd not to see him in Vegas last week, but that break was needed after hitting all three events in Asia. 424th Jonathan Wall
Luke List Recent form and record at El Camaleón are intriguing. In addition to logging a T7 last season in Mexico, List has recorded three consecutive top 20s in his last four starts. A win wouldn't surprise me. 506th
Gary Woodland Has played fairly well in three events so far this season, and played really well at last year’s OHL Classic at Mayakoba when he finished as runner up.
NOTE: Select golfers committed to the tournament are listed alphabetically. Future tournaments are sorted chronologically and reflect previous success on the courses on which the tournaments will be held in 2017-18. All are pending golfer commitment.
Kevin Chappell … RSM; Valero (defending); St. Jude; WGC-Bridgestone; Dell Technologies
Rickie Fowler … Sentry; Waste Management; Honda (defending); Houston; Masters; Wells Fargo; PLAYERS; WGC-Bridgestone; THE NORTHERN TRUST; Dell Technologies
Charley Hoffman … Genesis; Heritage; Houston; Valero; DEAN & DELUCA; Travelers; Canadian
Charles Howell III … Mayakoba; RSM; Sony; CareerBuilder; Farmers; Valspar; Houston
Zach Johnson … Sentry; Sony; Waste Management; Arnold Palmer; DEAN & DELUCA; John Deere; Open Championship; WGC-Bridgestone; TOUR Championship
Russell Knox … Mayakoba; Sony; Honda; Heritage; PLAYERS; Dell Technologies
Graeme McDowell … Mayakoba; RSM; Pebble Beach; Honda; WGC-Bridgestone
William McGirt … Genesis; Heritage; Memorial
Ryan Moore … Sentry; Waste Management; Genesis; Valspar; Masters; Travelers; John Deere; TOUR Championship
Pat Perez … Mayakoba (defending); Sony; Farmers; Pebble Beach; Houston; Heritage; Valero
Patrick Reed … Sentry; Pebble Beach; Valspar; Travelers; Wyndham; THE NORTHERN TRUST; Dell Technologies
Kevin Streelman … CareerBuilder; Pebble Beach; Wells Fargo; Memorial; Travelers
Gary Woodland … Sony; Farmers; Honda; Wells Fargo; Barracuda; Dell Technologies