Fantasy Island The Players

By Rex HoggardMay 5, 2009, 4:00 pm
Bookmark and Share

Whether The Players is the games fifth major, a debate that is best left up to the players themselves, will not soon be answered, but there is no debating the quality of the field assembled this week at TPC Sawgrass and any potential champion will be pulled from a familiar cast of Grand Slam characters.
The Players

Pick a Foursome: Forget Tiger Woods prosaic 1-for-11 Players record or that pedestrian ballstriking week at Quail Hollow, the world No. 1 says hes close and thats good enough for us. As for Furyk, a hard and fast TPC favors the veteran and if he can avoid another final-round fold (hes broken par just four times in 13 Players starts) the Ponte Vedra Beach resident could end his TPC drought.
Picks: Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk, Nick Watney, Tim Clark
Note: One player from four categories based on the World Golf Ranking (1-10, A; 11-20, B; 21-30, C; 31-40, D). Points awarded on money earned ($1 = 1 point).

Salary Cap: We went with a new strategy this week. TW and Furyk will eat up more than 75 percent of your cap ($9.23 million) and with the spare change pick up a couple newcomers from across the pond who could surprise at bargain prices.
Picks: Tiger Woods, Jim Furyk, Rory McIlroy, Ross Fisher, Oliver Wilson (Total: $9.98 million)
Note: Five players with a $10 million cap based on 2008 earnings. Rookies without 2008 earnings will be priced at $250,000. Standings based on overall team earnings.

Pick One: Sergio Garcia. Not sure we would have picked the Spaniard after his week filled with poor putting and poor judgment at Augusta National, but the Stadium layout is a ballstriking dream-come-true for Garcia and a return to The Players may spark some good-putting memories.
Note: Players must be picked before the start of the season and used only once. Standings based on total earnings.
In addition to my PGA Tour Pick One, the staff will be offering up their picks to win. A player can be picked a maximum of five times. We will be keeping a running tally of the monies earned each week. The participants include: Jay Coffin, Editorial Director; Mercer Baggs, Editorial Manager; Brian Koressel, Senior Producer; Dena Davis, Assistant Editor; Erik Peterson, Travel Editor; Jerry Foltz, special contributor.

NamePlayer PickReasonMoney
Rex HoggardZach JohnsonAlthough his record at TPC has gotten progressively worse (T-8 in 2005, T-58 in 06, T-16 in 07, MC in 08) and his Sunday fade at Quail Hollow doesnt scream champion, Johnson is a clutch putter who is hitting nearly 70 percent of his fairways and greens in regulation. $2,177,187
Jay CoffinPhil MickelsonAfter three consecutive missed cuts, Im an absolute mess right now. So, well go with a guy who has 5 career top-15 finishes here, including that victory in 2007. Come on Lefty, dont let me down.$3,579,565
Mercer BaggsAnthony KimThis would be big for his resume. Hes not yet ready to win a major, but this would prove hes getting closer.$3,562,324
Erik PetersonKenny PerryWinners at Sawgrass are proven ball-strikers that can roll their rock. Perry fits that bill. Plus, he's out to prove he really has gotten over the Masters. $2,801,407
Brian KoresselPhil MickelsonHes really close to putting it all together and he can draw on good memories from his win two years ago at Sawgrass.$3,184,636
Dena DavisZach JohnsonZ-man didn't finish how he would've liked to at Quail Hollow, but his game is still in great form. Though he missed the cut at Sawgrass in 2008, he'll have success this year.$2,663,740
Jerry FoltzTiger WoodsGotta go with Tiger for my first time this year. I don't think he likes the course all that much, but he hates losing even more.$2,050,159


Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - The Players Championship
  • Golf Channel Airtimes
  • Getty Images

    Watch: Moore does impressions of Tiger, Poults, Bubba

    By Grill Room TeamJuly 16, 2018, 10:36 pm
    Getty Images

    Johnson begins Open week as 12/1 betting favorite

    By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 5:15 pm

    Dustin Johnson heads into The Open as the top-ranked player in the world, and he's also an understandable betting favorite as he looks to win a second career major.

    Johnson has not played since the U.S. Open, where he led by four shots at the halfway point and eventually finished third. He has three top-10 finishes in nine Open appearances, notably a T-2 finish at Royal St. George's in 2011.

    Johnson opened as a 12/1 favorite when the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook first published odds for Carnoustie after the U.S. Open, and he remains at that number with the first round just three days away.

    Here's a look at the latest odds on some of the other top contenders, according to the Westgate:

    12/1: Dustin Johnson

    16/1: Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose

    20/1: Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Tommy Fleetwood, Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm

    25/1: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, Tiger Woods

    30/1: Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari, Paul Casey, Alex Noren, Patrick Reed

    40/1: Hideki Matsuyama, Marc Leishman, Branden Grace, Tyrrell Hatton

    50/1: Phil Mickelson, Ian Poulter, Matthew Fitzpatrick

    60/1: Russell Knox, Louis Oosthuizen, Matt Kuchar, Bryson DeChambeau, Zach Johnson, Tony Finau, Bubba Watson

    80/1: Lee Westwood, Adam Scott, Patrick Cantlay, Rafael Cabrera-Bello, Thomas Pieters, Xander Schauffele

    100/1: Shane Lowry, Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Ryan Fox, Thorbjorn Olesen

    Getty Images

    Woods needs top-10 at Open to qualify for WGC

    By Will GrayJuly 16, 2018, 4:34 pm

    If Tiger Woods is going to qualify for the final WGC-Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club, he'll need to do something he hasn't done in five years this week at The Open.

    Woods has won eight times at Firestone, including his most recent PGA Tour victory in 2013, and has openly stated that he would like to qualify for the no-cut event in Akron before it shifts to Memphis next year. But in order to do so, Woods will need to move into the top 50 in the Official World Golf Ranking after this week's event at Carnoustie.

    Woods is currently ranked No. 71 in the world, down two spots from last week, and based on projections it means that he'll need to finish no worse than a tie for eighth to have a chance of cracking the top 50. Woods' last top-10 finish at a major came at the 2013 Open at Muirfield, where he tied for sixth.

    Updated Official World Golf Ranking

    There are actually two OWGR cutoffs for the Bridgestone, July 23 and July 30. That means that Woods could theoretically still add a start at next week's RBC Canadian Open to chase a spot in the top 50, but he has said on multiple occasions that this week will be his last start of the month. The WGC-Bridgestone Invitational will be played Aug. 2-5.

    There wasn't much movement in the world rankings last week, with the top 10 staying the same heading into the season's third major. Dustin Johnson remains world No. 1, followed by Justin Thomas, Justin Rose, Brooks Koepka and Jon Rahm. Defending Open champ Jordan Spieth is ranked sixth, with Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Jason Day and Tommy Fleetwood rounding out the top 10.

    Despite taking the week off, Sweden's Alex Noren moved up three spots from No. 14 to No. 11, passing Patrick Reed, Bubba Watson and Paul Casey.

    John Deere Classic champ Michael Kim went from No. 473 to No. 215 in the latest rankings, while South African Brandon Stone jumped from 371st to 110th with his win at the Scottish Open.

    Getty Images

    Spieth takes familiar break ahead of Open defense

    By Rex HoggardJuly 16, 2018, 3:50 pm

    CARNOUSTIE, Scotland – As his title chances seemed to be slipping away during the final round of last year’s Open Championship, Jordan Spieth’s caddie took a moment to remind him who he was.

    Following a bogey at No. 13, Michael Greller referenced a recent vacation he’d taken to Mexico where he’d spent time with Michael Phelps and Michael Jordan and why he deserved to be among that group of singular athletes.

    Spieth, who won last year’s Open, decided to continue the tradition, spending time in Cabo again before this week’s championship.

    Full coverage of the 147th Open Championship

    “I kind of went through the same schedule,” Spieth said on Monday at Carnoustie. “It was nice to have a little vacation.”

    Spieth hasn’t played since the Travelers Championship; instead he attended the Special Olympics USA Games earlier this month in Seattle with his sister. It was Spieth’s first time back to the Pacific Northwest since he won the 2015 U.S. Open.

    “I went out to Chambers Bay with [Greller],” Spieth said. “We kind of walked down the 18th hole. It was cool reliving those memories.”

    But most of all Spieth said he needed a break after a particularly tough season.

    “I had the itch to get back to it after a couple weeks of not really working,” he said. “It was nice to kind of have that itch to get back.”