Fantasy Island The Players

By Rex HoggardMay 5, 2009, 4:00 pm
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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 GolfChannel.com 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.
 
STAFF PICKS:

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

 

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    “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.”