If you've been reading regularly, you've been treated to numerous victories among us experts. Well, all but Jonathan and I have picked off a win in the last two months, so the success is not comprehensive.
Ben bagged Brooks Koepka's title defense at the U.S. Open. Both Sean and Tom were on Bubba Watson at the Travelers Championship. Four weeks later, Sean connected again, this time with Francesco Molinari at The Open Championship. Last, and least as it pertains to FedExCup points earned, after a serendipitous pivot from Beau Hossler, who withdrew early in the week of the Barracuda Championship, Mark hoisted hardware with Andrew Putnam as his charge in Reno.
For a little league of six, that's a sporty run, but it's even more gratifying (for them) because all occurred rather deep into the season even if guys like Koepka, Watson and Molinari were planned saves.
The PGA Championship is event No. 43 of 2017-18, so only six remain. Yet, because PGA TOUR Fantasy One & Done presented by SERVPRO uses FedExCup points to measure performance, all gamers are still very much mathematically alive. It's the beauty of this format, whereas gamers way of the pace at this point in an earnings-based model check out. And believe me, I'm relying on the possibilities in the FedExCup Playoffs in which points are quadrupled.
Even if you're front-running, deciding which golfer gets the call at Bellerive Country Club should be incumbent on who you're slotting for the final four events. The stymie could be more valuable than having the winner of the season's final major, so review the available golfers for your nearest pursuers and draw a treasure map.
I'm all-in on Brooks Koepka this week. He's an obvious selection for the PGA, but he also frees me to save the likes of Jason Day for the Dell Technologies Championship and Justin Rose for the TOUR Championship. Others available to me include Patrick Reed, Louis Oosthuizen, Patrick Cantlay, Tommy Fleetwood, Xander Schauffele and Branden Grace. They will help plug the holes in between. Just as I'm the last to use Koepka, I'm the only expert who has yet to burn both Rose and Fleetwood, so the objective is to maximize their starts. Figure out who lines up that way for you.
In a vacuum, defending champion Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy and Tony Finau all make sense in addition to Koepka, Rose and Day this week.
Assuming that you can handle that decision without further endorsement, the focus shifts to notables to avoid for similar reasons. Jordan Spieth is the first to holster for the Playoffs. He'd line up wonderfully for East Lake, but he has to get there first. If he plays well enough to advance, then that will mean contending somewhere else along the way. Consider opening the Playoffs with the 25-year-old at The Ridgewood Country Club, but remember my Fantasy Rule No. 3: Remain fluid.
Rickie Fowler presents strongly almost every time he plays, and this week is no different, so he caters to all philosophies. Start or save, neither trumps the other.
Patrick Reed falls into a similar classification. Meanwhile, he's a former winner of the Wyndham Championship (2013), which is included in his Future Possibilities, but we can't rely on an appearance there for multiple reasons, not the least of which is that the PGA Championship is his fifth straight start worldwide, just like last year when he took a pass on the Wyndham.
Two-man gamers need to stick with the chalk, although you're operating with dust by now. Consider Thorbjørn Olesen, Alex Noren, Cantlay and Grace.
RANK PANELIST PICK COMMENT 65th
I think he’ll make good on his last opportunity of the year to win his first major. 122nd
On the Mark
Just sticking to my plan. It does help that he is rounding into some good (and timely) form. 274th
Joaquin Niemann My strategy of going early on Rory last week did not ultimately pay off leaving me to pivot here. My big-name bombers are bound for the Playoffs, so the kid it is. 383rd
Bellerive is a ball-striker’s golf course. I’ll take No. 4 in Strokes Gained: Tee to Green. 497th
The final round at Firestone worries me a bit, but Rory should feast on a soft Bellerive layout. 642nd
After a forgettable effort in Canada, he rose to a solo fifth at Firestone and showcased rare enthusiasm about his chances at the PGA Championship immediately thereafter. Given how Bellerive is projected to reward his profile, I might finally make some noise.
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. The numerical values in parentheses represent the order of relative confidence of where to use each golfer if multiple sites are listed (e.g. 1 for strongest, 2 for next-strongest and so on). To present weighted confidence in real time, numerical values will not change all season no matter how many tournament remain listed for each golfer. All are pending golfer commitment.
Paul Casey … Dell Technologies (2); TOUR Championship (3)
Kevin Chappell … Dell Technologies (3)
Jason Day … PGA Championship (1); THE NORTHERN TRUST (8); Dell Technologies (5)
Jason Dufner … Wyndham (6); TOUR Championship (7)
Rickie Fowler … THE NORTHERN TRUST (10); Dell Technologies (6)
Sergio Garcia … TOUR Championship (4)
Bill Haas … Wyndham (2)
Billy Horschel … TOUR Championship (4)
Dustin Johnson … PGA Championship (9); Dell Technologies (11); TOUR Championship (6)
Zach Johnson … TOUR Championship (8)
Kevin Kisner … Wyndham (6)
Russell Knox … Dell Technologies (7)
Brooks Koepka … PGA Championship (2)
Matt Kuchar … THE NORTHERN TRUST (9)
Rory McIlroy … Dell Technologies (5); TOUR Championship (3)
Ryan Moore … TOUR Championship (6)
Kevin Na … Wyndham (3); THE NORTHERN TRUST (11)
Louis Oosthuizen … PGA Championship (4); Dell Technologies (3)
Patrick Reed … PGA Championship (8); Wyndham (7); THE NORTHERN TRUST (9); Dell Technologies (2)
Justin Rose … WGC-Bridgestone (7); TOUR Championship (2)
Adam Scott … Dell Technologies (9); TOUR Championship (6)
Webb Simpson … Wyndham (1)
Brandt Snedeker … Wyndham (4)
Jordan Spieth … TOUR Championship (4)
Henrik Stenson … PGA Championship (7); Wyndham (8; defending); Dell Technologies (9); TOUR Championship (2)
Justin Thomas … Dell Technologies (6; defending); TOUR Championship (3)
Jimmy Walker … Dell Technologies (7)
Bubba Watson … TOUR Championship (4)