This is hilarious. There's no other way to describe what arguably is the most obvious choice of any golfer in any tournament.
No matter your philosophy, which tournaments you include or your current ranking, the only reason you don't burn Hideki Matsuyama at the Waste Management Phoenix Open is because you already did in one of his four previous starts this season.
OK, there are two reasons. The other is that you'll forget to submit your pick. But that wouldn't be funny at all.
As of late Tuesday night, Matsuyama was chosen by 29 percent of all gamers in PGA TOUR One & Done. He's projected to be selected almost twice as many times as the second-most chosen, three-time tournament champion, all-time earnings leader at TPC Scottsdale and World Golf Hall of Famer, Phil Mickelson. How do you say, "No big deal," in Japanese?
Truth be told, I went into this column with the intent to go against the grain. Short of the preposterousness of all pivots, it was going to be an exercise. Alas, after reviewing all of the options and angles, only four words are necessary.
Hideki Matsuyama. The End.
It's a bedtime story that Sean Martin will read to his kids for years. If it puts smiles on their faces like Matsuyama initiates adoration from their devout daddy, sweet dreams and restless nights are guaranteed.
Matsuyama at TPC Scottsdale is like Tiger Woods and Torrey Pines, Bay Hill or Firestone during his prime but minus the three-way coin flip. Look up "don’t overthink it" in any fantasy guide and you'll see Sean pointing at the Japanese star inside The Coliseum.
Now, because it's my duty to connect with the 71 percent who can't or won't execute the obvious, there are eight legitimate short-listers who deserve a thought (or less).
• For One & Doners who have already burned Matsuyama, Mickelson is the ideal alternative. The only reason you wouldn't is because he loves Quail Hollow Club, host of the Wells Fargo Championship on the first weekend of May. The caution to consider is that he's committed this week and there's no guarantee that he'll appear in Charlotte.
• If Matsuyama and Mickelson are off-limits, Jon Rahm. The Spaniard checks all of the boxes.
• Gary Woodland didn't crack the top 30 in the tournament in the prior four editions before emerging from a playoff with Chez Reavie last year. The defending champion's Future Possibilities are thin to none, but he's been so consistently strong that the absence of more on the horizon transitions his value into that of a wild card. Think Lucas Glover, Tyrrell Hatton and Kyle Stanley in various forms.
• Rickie Fowler is No. 9 in my Power Rankings out of respect for his capability and course history, but let's see him connect for something special with the new golf ball first.
• Matt Kuchar is humming along. I could have forced an argument on you, but Matsuyama is available to me and I wanted to respect myself in the morning.
• Even I'm a little surprised that the WMPO slots second in Webb Simpson's Future Possibilities, and most of his success at TPC Scottsdale occurred either when he could still anchor or before he became one with his putter.
• Bubba Watson deserves a mention for his allegiance to and success at the tournament, but c'mon, the Travelers Championship is his quality jam.
• Martin Laird presents best as a tail of the tandem in two-man games, but you're going to miss him in Reno.
Other two-man options include Reavie, Byeong Hun An, Sam Ryder and Vaughn Taylor.
RANK PANELIST PICK COMMENT 258th
Rickie Fowler I don’t like to be predictable. 298th
Hideki Matsuyama This is like fantasy fantasy for Sean. Gonna let him have his moment. 325th
On the Mark
Hideki Matsuyama I considered picking somebody else, with a view to potentially closing the gap on the leaders... it’s still early in the season though. No need to deviate from the plan. 383rd
Hideki Matsuyama Last season only 53 percent of gamers used Hideki Matsuyama in One & Done before WD in Round 2. I will be shocked if that number doesn't grow this week after his T3 last week at Torrey Pines. He's won twice and never finished outside of T4 in the four events he's completed 72 holes at TPC Scottsdale. 672nd
Hideki Matsuyama Doesn’t even need an explanation other than 4,2,1,1. 689th
Rickie Fowler He’s finished among the Top 11 in each of the last 3 years, and that doesn’t include another runner-up finish. He’ll get his overdue win at TPC Scottsdale this year.
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 2018-19. 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.
Byeong Hun An … Waste Management (2); Honda (3); Memorial (1)
Daniel Berger … Waste Management (2); WGC-Mexico (3); Travelers (1)
Keegan Bradley … Memorial (5); Travelers (4)
Tony Finau … Valero (5); Memorial (2)
Rickie Fowler … Waste Management (1); Honda (3); Arnold Palmer (8); Masters (2); Wells Fargo (6); PGA Championship (9); Memorial (5); U.S. Open (10)
Branden Grace … Heritage (1); Valero (3); Byron Nelson (5); U.S. Open (4)
Emiliano Grillo … Arnold Palmer (2); Charles Schwab (3)
Bill Haas … Genesis (3); WGC-Match Play (8); Heritage (4); Charles Schwab (2); Wyndham (6)
Adam Hadwin … Waste Management (4); Genesis (3); Valspar (2); John Deere (5)
Brian Harman … Arnold Palmer (7); Charles Schwab (1); Travelers (5); John Deere (4)
Russell Henley … Honda (4); Masters (3)
Charley Hoffman … Genesis (5); Arnold Palmer (2); Masters (4); Heritage (7); Valero (3); Charles Schwab (6); Travelers (1)
J.B. Holmes … Waste Management (3); Pebble Beach (2); Genesis (4); Wells Fargo (5)
Billy Horschel … Honda (4); Arnold Palmer (7); Valero (2); New Orleans (3; defending); Wyndham (6); TOUR Championship (1)
Zach Johnson … Waste Management (6); Arnold Palmer (7); Valero (4); Charles Schwab (5); John Deere (1); Open Championship (2); TOUR Championship (8)
Si Woo Kim … PLAYERS (3); Heritage (1)
Chris Kirk … Valero (3); PLAYERS (5); Charles Schwab (2)
Kevin Kisner … Heritage (3); New Orleans (5); Charles Schwab (2); Memorial (6)
Russell Knox … Heritage (2)
Matt Kuchar … Waste Management (4); PLAYERS (5); Valspar (9); Masters (6); Heritage (2); Charles Schwab (7); Memorial (1); Open Championship (8)
Martin Laird … Waste Management (1); Genesis (3); Valero (5); Reno-Tahoe (2)
Hideki Matsuyama … Waste Management (1); Genesis (10); Arnold Palmer (11); PLAYERS (9); Masters (4); PGA Championship (13); Memorial (8); U.S. Open (14); Wyndham (7); TOUR Championship (5)
Phil Mickelson … Waste Management (4); Pebble Beach (5); Genesis (6); WGC-Mexico (1; defending); Masters (9); Wells Fargo (2); Open Championship (8); WGC-St. Jude (3)
Ryan Moore … Waste Management (12); Genesis (5); Valspar (3); Valero (7); Masters (13); Memorial (11); Travelers (6); John Deere (8); Wyndham (2); TOUR Championship (9)
Kevin Na … Genesis (2); Valspar (6); Charles Schwab (3); Wyndham (5)
Ryan Palmer … Valero (2); Charles Schwab (4)
Scott Piercy … New Orleans (1; co-defending); Canadian (7; last winner at Hamilton in 2012)
Jon Rahm … Waste Management (4); Masters (5); Charles Schwab (1); TOUR Championship (7)
Xander Schauffele … Genesis (6); PLAYERS (5); U.S. Open (3); Open Championship (4); TOUR Championship (1)
Webb Simpson … Waste Management (2); Honda (10); PLAYERS (5; defending); Heritage (6); Wells Fargo (7); Charles Schwab (8); Travelers (9); Wyndham (1)
Cameron Smith … Wyndham (3)
Brandt Snedeker … Waste Management (8); Pebble Beach (2); Masters (10); Heritage (6); Charles Schwab (7); U.S. Open (5); Travelers (9); Wyndham (1; defending)
Brendan Steele … Waste Management (2); Honda (7); Valero (8); Wells Fargo (9); Travelers (4); Reno-Tahoe (3)
Kevin Streelman … Pebble Beach (1); Valero (9); Heritage (5); Memorial (4); Travelers (7)
Justin Thomas … WGC-Mexico (2); Honda (7; defending); PLAYERS (11); PGA Championship (9); Memorial (8); TOUR Championship (3)
Jimmy Walker … Pebble Beach (1); Valero (2); Byron Nelson (6)
Bubba Watson … Waste Management (4); Genesis (1; defending); WGC-Match Play (6; defending); Masters (5); Memorial (7); Travelers (2; defending); TOUR Championship (8)
Gary Woodland … Waste Management (3; defending); Memorial (4)