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Fantasy

Fantasy Golf Picks: Tiger, Rory, Phil Or Stenson At Honda Classic?


Honda Classic
Defending Champ: Michael Thompson

OKKKKKKKKK… GAME ON!!!!!

Tiger WoodsRory McIloryAdam ScottHenrik StensonSergio GarciaGraeme McDowellCharl Schwartzel,Justin Rose and, ugggggg, Phil Mickelson are all in Florida this week. They’ll also be playing in the Honda Classic if you were wondering, not just relaxing on the beach, taking in some cosmic rays. With the West Coast Swing left rotting in Death Valley until next year, the road to the Masters (un)officially begins now. At the toughest Par 70 on Tour too!

PGA National can really be brutal. And, while the “Bear Trap” (holes 15, 16 & 17) usually decides the winner, that difficult stretch was, somewhat, tamed in 2013. It still played over par, but just bearly. (#LOLALERT) Wouldn’t expect that to happen again, though. The Bear Trap gets its own live feed on PGATour.com all four rounds every year for a reason. It can be excruciating to watch, but also gleeful at the same time. If the players successfully navigate their way through unscathed, that is – much like 13 Dead End Drive. And with the talent in this field, it’s all the more enjoyable.

The fun this week? Getting to fill out an All-Star team for your roster. But I suggest going off the board – just a smidge – somewhere. For me, it’s going to be in the Yahoo! “B-List”, hedge my bets that way. You want to have a flyer somewhere on your squad; so when everyone inevitably takes the under performing “big names,” you’re not just treading water in the standings along with them. It’s important to have some those guys, because they’re the best, but Tiger, Stenson, Scott and Phil have all historically struggled at PGA National.

There are only five tournaments remaining in the Spring Season, and if you’re not in first you need to find a way to gain points on the field any way you can. If it means risking losing ground by veering of course a little (figuratively, literally would likely result in bogeys), so be it. First is all that matters. This isn’t the Olympics; simply giving your best effort won’t be considered a national achievement.

HIT THE LINKS

OK, now that we can all go back to not remembering Sochi exists, let’s find out who’d be on the US Olympic Golfteam for Brazil if it were picked today. Which it won’t be. Not even close.

I had already broken my anti-Français beliefs in order to root for Victor Dubisson and his arrogant visor, but now, after making two of the shots of the year (ON BACK-TO-BACK HOLES!!!!!), I feel like everyone’s going to be on the bandwagon. Translation: I can’t use him every week while no one’s the wiser. Boourns.

Crazy what a win will do. Jason Day’s up to a career best No. 4 in the World Golf Rankings.

Apparently, this VPAR App will make you a lot better at golf. I’m assuming it’s just beer. That makes everyone better.

Imagine if you got this in the mail. That’s as close to a perfect 10 on the ‘Class’ scale as there is, besides having great posture.

ICYMI: Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych was ousted from power in the country’s revolution/coup. Worst Part? They took his super-swanky gold golf clubs. Likely forged from Soviet pillaged Nazi gold!

Here’s Paula Creamer. And here’s her man, Lance Bass Derek Jeter, with a dash of Joe Pesci.

RIP Harold Ramis. Hopefully you’re getting stoned to the bejesus in a better place…

PICKS

Rickie FowlerLee Westwood – Had I known Rickie Fowler clipped his mop top and was now meaning business, I would have had him going a lot deeper in the Match Play than the first round exit I predicted. I’ve learned my lesson. And now for the great news: Fowler’s going to be passed over on the “A-List” with all the tempting top options – Tiger, Scott, Phil and Stenson – sitting there, just begging to be taken. Practice some self control and go with Rickie instead. Fowler enters hot, and has notched a pair of T13s the past two years here, to go along with his 2009 runner up. Stick with the contrarian selections and get Westwood in too. The Brit’s been ultra consistent at PGA National the last four years, posting four Top 10s and never finishing lower than 29th. Forget his recent struggles, side with history.

Rory McIlroy – DUH. I’m not passing on all the top players. Even though Rory’s slipped to No. 8 in the World ranks, rumors of his demise have been, let’s say, misinterpreted. He closed out 2013 with a win at the Australian Open while amassing six Top 10s in his last eight starts, which included two WGC events, two trips to Dubai and a silver medal in Abu Dhabi. I think he’s doing just fine. Oh, and lest we forget, McIlroy dodged a Tiger Sunday 62 (Woods’ best final round ever, btw) here two years ago to hold on for the victory. But no one can seem to recall that. All that’s embedded in peoples’ minds was his petulant malingering 12 months ago.

Charl Schwartzel – Watch out for the South African at this year’s Masters. He’s following basically the same script that propelled him victory at Augusta in 2011. (Yes, it’s really been that long. On an unrelated note, getting old is thee shits). And it all started at the Honda for Charl. Schwartzel’s never placed outside the Top 15 any of his three trips here, and comes in showing little regard for the difficulty of any course, any place, anywhere in the world; finishing fifth in his only PGA start two weeks ago, and collecting six Top 7s in 8 international events before that.

Justin Rose – I’m choosing to spin Rose’s early elimination at Dove Mountain positively. It just means he got to Florida early for some extra practice, not that he needs it. The defending US Open champ has cultivated some impressive results his last three treks to PGA National: 5th, 4th & 3rd.

Geoff Ogilvy – Shall be taking the spot of the injured Rose on my team. You may recall Ogilvy finishing in second spot here last season. And if you didn’t, you do now.

Keegan Bradly & Hideki Matsuyama – Continue trotting out consistent, PGA Tour regulars for safety on your “B-List.” Bradley missed the cut in Phoenix, but has a Top 20 in his five other events this season. Matsuyama quietly has the sixth best scoring average on Tour (69.34), which has produced just a single paycheck outside the Top 25 in seven tournaments. And at a tough course like this, Matsuyama’s wedge precision and stoic demeanor will be a major factor.

Sergio Garcia – Yes, Sergio is probably the most despised name in the golf world, but it doesn’t mean he’s not awesome. In fact, he’s probably on the best run of his career at the moment. He just hasn’t been playing in North America, so no one’s noticed… until his run to the Sweet 16 at the Match Play. Overseas, he’s won twice in his past three events, piling up six Top 11s in his past seven starts.

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