Fantasy Golf: Steve Stricker And The John Deere Are A Perfect Match

The PGA’s stretch from the middle of June to the middle of July is simple foreplay to the general golf fan. Something you tolerate only because you’re waiting for the big pay off.

In Fantasy golf however, it’s imperative to use this malaise to your advantage.

We’ve reached the point of the season where some of your leaguemates occasionally forget to set their lineups every week or have just given up clicking on the site outright. Don’t blame them. If the Greenbrier Classic, Travelers Championship and John Deere Classic can’t excite the actual players, why would an observer get adequately fired up? And even if people are filling their rosters for each event, the same sort of research that goes into Majors or tournaments involving Tiger just isn’t there. This is how you can catch up. As I constantly remind people, Fantasy golf is a socialist haven: No one event is worth more than the next. BOOM, Marx’d! So scouting the field at this week’s John Deere Classic is just as important as next week’s stop at Muirfield.


…sometimes savvy marketing and giant purses lure big names to your event, but other times, convenience is the selling point.

… doesn’t Pat Mayo Dustin Johnson date someone who looks like her?

… all Greame McDowell wants is to sip a pint’s worth of disgusting Guinness from the Claret Jug. And he enters with momentum, lapping the field , claiming the French Open Sunday. At least we know his bunker game will be at peak level next week at Muirfield with so much practice off that pesky clay surface.

… Rickie Fowler better start adding a 40 of Jack to his daily diet if he wants to hit the course in John Daly garb.

… speaking of Daly, he’s done for the season with a wrist injury, meaning he’ll be missing the Open Championship. In actuality, he’s been out for the season since early January.

… Ian Poulter needs a new putter. Sell him yours. Make some cash.

… Steven Ames was involved in the package of prospects shipped off to the Marlins in exchange for Ricky Nolasco earlier this week. At 49-years-old, the imported Canadian – by way of soothing island beats – seems slightly past his prime. Or, maybe I’m just mentally strange. Yes, I’m being spurious, keen observation. But any reason – forced or no – to bring up Ames’ equine-esque smile is a good one. If he and Charl Schwartzel ever get paired up, make sure your contrast is set in the negatives. The glare in HD would be blinding – legitimately. Fortunately, the 555th ranked Ames isn’t normally extended the same invitations as the 2011 Masters champ… anymore.


Steve Stricker & Zach Johnson – Stricker won here three straight years before ZJ knocked him off the podium in 2012. They’re the two best players in the field and absolute must haves.

Jordan Spieth – Spieth’s been taking advantage of every opportunity this season, notching five Top 10s, as a 19-year-old no less. And it would have been six if not for a disappointing Sunday 73 last week at the Greenbrier. When I was 19, I was taking advantage of my parents’ trust by taking advantage of the $2 mid-day draft specials at the campus bar. Shout out Grawood! Although, I still contend my time was better served pounding poles of onion rings than learning that the Volga River was critical to the spread of Byzantine architecture throughout Russia in the 12th century.

Kyle Stanley – Yes, starting Stanley at the Greenbrier made certain I wasn’t going to win the week on Thursday, but I hold no grudges. He’ll be a quality start in Iowa. He’s played this tournament twice in his career and finished with a T19 and solo second. Gotta like those results. Don’t? Then it’s likely you’re warped. Be warned though; keep him reserved until the weekend… just in case.

Brandon de Jonge – De Jonge doesn’t quite comprehend the prisoner’s dilemma. There’s no balance of risk/reward in his mind, simply reward. It’s why he consistently finishes among the leaders in birdies made every season. Now, it’s also why bogeys are a staple of his repertoire as well. Probably the reason the big Zimbabwean struggles so mightily with difficult layouts. All his nightmares feature cameos from Pete Dye. But, at easier courses, where going low is critical, de Jonge has the proper mindset. It’s why he consistently finishes strong at TPC Deere Run, the course doesn’t exactly ooze arduousness. The last three seasons de Jonge’s never failed to crack the Top 20, ending inside the Top 10 twice.

Louis Oosthuizen & Jimmy Walker – Both proved enough to me last week to warrant a recommendation. Lucky Louis showed his injuries are behind him and Walker, with a T2, looked a lot more like the golfer that made 15 consecutive cuts to open the year than the guy went +28 in the eight rounds coming into the event.

Brendon Todd – Here’s a name to watch going forward. Todd’s not a full time member of the PGA Tour, but whenever there’s a particularly dearthy field, he gets the call up the big leagues. And he’s been making the most of those opportunities lately. Since claiming victory on the Nationwide Tour earlier this season, Todd’s soared 300 – well, 298 – spots in the world rankings. Jumping from 568 to 343 with the win, but picking up the other 73 with a T17, T18, and T13 at the Byron Nelson, St. Jude and AT&T National respectively. No reason to think he pumps the breaks now.

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