Fantasy Golf Picks: Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson & Shell Houston Open Sleepers
Shell Houston Open
Defending Champ: D.A. Points
All you need to know about the Shell Houston Open:
- It’s not The Masters yet.
- This closes the needlessly nicknamed two-event “Texas Swing.”
- It's the first event of the Yahoo! Spring season.
- The field is shockingly deep.
- I’m not picking Graham Delaet, so he’ll probably win.
- George H.W. Bush and/or George W. Bush may be in attendance.
- Lowest score of the week or the Houston Astros win total?
- Oh ya? Baseball started.
- Also, the Med Men Season 7 poster got me fired up.
- The Masters is next week.
HIT THE LINKS
Johnny Miller on Andrew Loupe’s slow play: “If everyone on Tour played like him, I would stop commentating.” Please everyone, start playing as slowly as Andrew Loupe. It's a trade-off I'm willing to make.
Shell Houston Open factoids!!!
St. Andrews and women? Not if the elderly have a say!
Masters injury report: Tiger and Phil edition.
MORE MASTERS, and more Tiger and Phil for that matter: Is it time to start looking beyond them to find an Augusta favorite?
The EurAsia Cup ends in a draw, like soccer. Ties are an enemy of America.
Chesson Hadley & Ryan Palmer were both primed to breach the elusive Top 50 in World Rankings and thus qualify for The Masters, then they fired 80 and 82 respectively. Guess they just need to win this week... or get a head start on Easter, I suppose.
The Official World Golf rankings have been updated with Valero winner Steven Bowditch climbing up to No. 134, with a golden ticket to The Masters in tow. And, ICYMI, which I’m positive you did, Kris Blanks posted a 62 early in the morning on the Web.com Tour, snuck into a playoff, and won! Not often you see a 7-stroke comeback, especially from Kris Blanks.
PGA Lawyers have been put on the clock in the Vijay Singh case.
In classic Bleacher Report fashion, they’re about two months behind a discussion topic and presenting it in headache-inducing slideshow form. Still, as they’re well aware, everyone’s a sucker for a good list.
Three words: Paulina Gretzky bikini.
Hunter Mahan – I’m not one to put a lot of stock in arbitrary patterns - HOWEVA - so far in 2014 Mahan’s gone: bad finish, Top 10, Top 10, bad finish, Top 10, Top 10, bad finish. This trend sets up well for me taking (SPOILER ALERT) Mahan to win The Masters. Strangely enough, Mahan has developed a similar Fibonacci-esque sequence at the SHO as well. After an eighth place finish in 2011 and a giant novelty check in 2012, he missed the cut last year. Meaning - wait for it – another Top 10 this week!!! See, math can assist any argument through frivolous end points. But seriously, take Mahan. Nagging back issues be damned.
Brian Davis – There are an overwhelming amount of big names populating the “A-List” this week: Phil Mickelson, Matt Kuchar, Luke Donald, Lee Westwood, Rickie Fowler; but I’m going with an educated hunch on Davis. The same sort I had with Daniel Summerhayes at the Valero and Matt Every the week before. The Brit’s certainly not a safe bet by any sort of metric, hence the No. 167 World Rank, but he has an affinity for Houston, placing inside the Top 6 each of the past two years. How’d he manage that? Utilizing what he does well: Not giving away strokes. Golf Club of Houston isn’t the most difficult course on Tour, leaving even a relatively mediocre scoring player like Davis with the ability to make the scorecard see red. So, if he doesn't bleed away holes, he’ll be in the mix once again. I’m going all-in on Davis, and will likely be the only one reaping the rewards. Well, and now you too.
Henrik Stenson – After a “disastrous” start to 2014, it seems like the world’s third-ranked golfer has begun to recapture some of his FedEx Cup magic from last season. No, he’s not winning every second tournament – yet – but his past few results have been pointing towards a breakout. After missing the cut at the tough PGA National, the Swede rebounded the next week at Doral, collecting a quality T16 in a field featuring the best the globe has to offer. He then charged late at Bay Hill, settling for a tie for fifth. Not too shabby. Like the past two years, Stenson’s teeing it up in Houston to prep for Augusta, and I expect he churns out another useful result: 21st in 2012; 2nd 2013.
Cameron Tringale – Why Tringale? For starters, he’s a contrarian pick (which I just can’t resist) in a cluttered C-List, but there’s more. He’s made nine consecutive cuts, ranks sixth in total eagles and 10th in total birdies. However, it’s his past success at Golf Club of Houston sucking me in; the last two years Tringale’s finished 16th and 8th - respectable results for a player no one else will have on their rosters.
Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy & Keegan Bradley – The B-List is cluttered with solid options this week, so go with safety. DJ has been the best player on Tour this season, ranking first in GIR%, scoring average and driving efficiency; and did finish fourth here last year... Rory is Rory. Despite slipping to No. 7 in the world, his breakthrough’s been looming for some time. He’s played the weekend in 16 straight events and piled up seven Top 10s in his past 11 starts... Keegan’s sauntered off the 72nd hole with Top 10 paychecks each of the past two years at the SHO and is coming off a second place showing his last time out at Bay Hill.
Louis Oosthuizen – It’s been a struggle for Lucky Louis so far this year in America. While he made it to the final eight at the Match Play in February, outside that, his best finish was a T40 at the Cadillac Championship. But you can’t just look at North American results for international players. While the South African hasn’t sniffed a handsome payday in the U.S.in 2014, he did win the ultra competitive Volvo Golf Champions event on the Euro Tour. He persists as the world’s No. 35 ranked player and, the kicker, he hasn’t carded anything worst than a 16th any of the past three years in Houston. And, if he can get the flat stick working this week, he’s a legit darkhorse for his second Masters.
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