Hello golf world! Welcome back to the Fantasy Fairway golf blog, your home for fantasy golf news, analysis and all things fantasy. Today we will continue our fantasy golf analysis series of the 2013 fantasy golf season. As with the previous articles in this series, we are looking back at the season using data from the fantasy fairway golf leagues as a basis of comparison. Today we are going to review the 2013 PGA schedule and take a look at who fantasy players took the most for each tournament, who won the event and how many players took that player and a few notes for each tournament. Remember that FantasyFairway.com fantasy golf game is a one and done format, meaning that each team can only select each PGA player once throughout the season. Please keep this in mind while looking at the analysis.
Starting with the Sony Open in Hawaii we will show the most popular pick with the percentage of players who picked the player in parenthesis. Next, we will also show the number of players who took the winner in parenthesis along with some tournament notes.
Sony Open in Hawaii
Most Popular Pick – Charles Howell III (14% selected)
Winner – Russell Henley (0 selected)
Notes – The fantasy golf season starts off with a great event in Hawaii. Coming off a T2 in 2012 and known as a strong January player, CH3 was the most popular pick to start the season. Henley had a strong 4 rounds, shooting 3 63s and a 67 to win the event by 3 strokes. CH3 ended up with a strong T3 to reward the players that chose him based on his history of strong starts.
Most Popular Pick – Brandt Snedeker (11% selected)
Winner – Brian Gay (2 selected)
Notes – Gay wins a 3-way playoff with CH3 (I told you he starts out hot) and David Lingmerth. Some big names entered the tournament and missed the cut – Tim Clark, Bill Haas, Webb Simpson, and Immelman. While the other big names had mediocre showings, – Kuchar (T16), Snedeker (T23), Mickelson (T37). Makes you wonder about taking big names early in the season, no matter how appealing they may look.
Farmers Insurance Open
Most Popular Pick – Brandt Snedeker (15% selected)
Winner – Tiger Woods (18 selected)
Notes – Defending champ Tiger Woods paid off fantasy golfers that went with the chance to win vs. the big payout as 18 people took home over $1M points by taking Tiger. The most popular pick Snedeker also paid out with a solid T2. Tiger owns this event winning 7 times including 4 in a row from 2005 – 2008. It’s a tough strategy call to take Tiger here with the allure of winning a $1.5+M tournament, but when you have almost a guaranteed $1M points here it is hard to pass up, especially if you took him at the match play, memorial, or the PGA championship.
Waste Management Phoenix Open
Most Popular Pick – Rickie Fowler (13% selected)
Winner – Phil Mickelson (5 selected)
Notes – Phil picks up a wire-to-wire victory here and was a prelude to how he would perform later in the year. Snedeker continued his strong play with back to back 2nd place finishes.
AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am
Most Popular Pick – Dustin Johnson (22% selected)
Winner – Brandt Snedeker (22 selected)
Notes – This was a tough call for fantasy golfers. DJ owned this course since he has come on tour. From 2008-2010 he finished T7, 1, and 1 at Pebble Beach. Later in 2010 he was cruising to a US Open win at Pebble Beach with a 3 stroke lead In the final round before he imploded on the second hole with a triple bogey and then a double bogey on the third ending his round with an 82 and settling for a T8. He finished T55 in 2011 and T5 in 2012, so he appeared to shake off the meltdown but missed the cut in 2013 as the most popular pick on FantasyFairway.com. At the same time, there was no player hotter than Snedeker at the time and he rewarded players with the win. As hot as Snedeker was, sadly this would be the last time we would see him on tour for a month due to rib injury. He may not have been able to sustain the pace, but we’ll never know how special (more so than it already was) for Snedeker without the injury.
Northern Trust Open
Most Popular Pick – Jimmy Walker (18% selected)
Winner – John Merrick (0 selected)
Notes – John Merrick comes out of nowhere to earn his first PGA tour win over a pretty solid field. Bill Haas, Schwartzel, Simpson, Mahan all finished in the Top 10. While other big names like Adam Scott, Els, Furyk, Sergio, Keegan Bradley, and Luke Donald all had strong showings gearing up for the WGC.
World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship
Most Popular Pick – Charl Schwartzel (12% selected)
Winner – Matt Kuchar (9 selected)
Notes – This is by far my favorite event, I love the format and I love that it is its own unique style of golf and pits the golfers one on one. That being said, I think it is one of the more difficult events to pick. The 1 seeds did not fair very well with Rory and Tiger getting bounced in the first round and the other two 1 seeds (Oosthuizen and Donald) were eliminated in Round 2. Watson was the only 1 or 2 seed to make it to Round 3. In the end Kuchar outlasted Mahan for the victory and a big payday for those who selected him. Kuchar’s career match play record is a very impressive 14-3.
The Honda Classic
Most Popular Pick – Graeme McDowell (12% selected)
Winner – Michael Thompson (0 selected)
Notes – Michael Thompson’s first career PGA victory coms at the Honda Classic. Thompson had the lead going into the final day and held off some pretty big names like Bradley, Rose, Schwartzel, and Westwood who all enjoyed top 10 finishes.
World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship
Most Popular Pick – Matt Kuchar (12% selected)
Winner – Tiger Woods (14 selected)
Notes – Looking for back to back WGC victories, Kuchar was the most popular pick. Tiger picks up the win for the $1.5M payday, while Kuchar finished T35. Some familiar names at the top, as you’d expect at a WGC event, with Stricker, Phil, Sergio, McDowell, and Adam Scott all within 5 strokes and T3 or better.
Puerto Rico Open
Most Popular Pick – Luke Guthrie (7% selected)
Winner – Scott Brown (0 selected)
Notes – Scott Brown takes home the victory in Puerto Rico. Notable finishes include Jordan Spieth with a T2 and Boo Weekly T8. This may have been the launching pad for great seasons out of both Spieth and Weekly.
Tampa Bay Championship
Most Popular Pick – Sergio Garcia (13% selected)
Winner – Kevin Streelman (0 selected)
Notes – Kevin Streelman takes home the victory, holding off Boo Weekly and Luke Donald for the win. Donald, Leonard, Sergio, Spieth, and Furyk all have good showings.
Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard
Most Popular Pick – Tiger Woods (18% selected)
Winner – Tiger Woods (51 selected)
Notes – Tiger Woods was the most popular pick and delivered as expected and takes back the #1 world ranking in the process. Justin Rose finishes second.
Valero Texas Open
Most Popular Pick – Fredrik Jacobson (17% selected)
Winner – Martin Laird (0 selected)
Notes – Laird holds off Rory for a win and a trip to Augusta.
Shell Houston Open
Most Popular Pick – Steve Stricker (18% selected)
Winner – D.A. Points (0 selected)
Notes – D.A. Points earns a spot at Augusta with the win.
Most Popular Pick – Tiger Woods (30% selected)
Winner – Adam Scott (15 selected)
Notes – Adam Scott picks up the green jacket in a playoff vs. Angel Cabrera who won his own green jacket in 2009. Jason Day and Tiger finish 2 and 4 strokes back respectively.
Most Popular Pick – Jim Furyk (11% selected)
Winner – Graeme McDowell (2 selected)
Notes – McDowell picks up the win at Harbour Town, defeating Webb Simpson in a playoff. Luke Donald finished 2 strokes back.
Zurich Classic of New Orleans
Most Popular Pick – Justin Rose (13% selected)
Winner – Billy Horschel (22 selected)
Notes – Watched the final round of the Zurich in person, and Billy Horschel put on a putting clinic sealing the victory with a 27 footer on 18.
Wells Fargo Championship
Most Popular Pick – Webb Simpson (18% selected)
Winner – Derek Ernst (0 selected)
Notes – Derek Ernst takes out David Lynn in a playoff to earn the victory and a trip to the Players Championship. Phil finished 1 stroke behind settling for a T3 and Lee Westwood finished T4.
THE PLAYERS Championship
Most Popular Pick – Luke Donald (17% selected)
Winner – Tiger Woods (6 selected)
Notes – Tiger continued his outstanding season with a victory at the Players, the highest paying event on tour. Tiger hasn’t always had a ton of success here, but he appeared on top of his game to cruise to the victory by 2 strokes.
HP Byron Nelson Championship
Most Popular Pick – Jason Day (19% selected)
Winner – Sang-Moon Bae (0 selected)
Notes – Sang-Moon Bae comes out of nowhere to take the Byron Nelson championship over Keegan Bradley and Charl Schwartzel.
Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial
Most Popular Pick – Zach Johnson (18% selected)
Winner – Boo Weekley (1 selected)
Notes – Boo Weekly’s redemption tour continued with an impressive victory at Colonial. He carded a steady 67,67,66,66 to earn the victory over Matt Kuchar and Zach Johnson.
the Memorial Tournament
Most Popular Pick – Matt Kuchar (9% selected)
Winner – Matt Kuchar (27 selected)
Notes – Fresh off a second place at Colonial, Kuchar earned his second victory of the season at the Memorial. The most popular pick of the week delivered with the victory and over $1M points.
FedEx St. Jude Classic
Most Popular Pick – Scott Stallings (9% selected)
Winner – Harris English (0 selected)
Notes – Second year player Harris English picks up his first PGA tour victory at the St. Jude, beating out Phil Mickelson and Scott Stallings by 2 strokes.
Most Popular Pick – Graeme McDowell (18% selected)
Winner – Justin Rose (5 selected)
Notes – Justin Rose takes home the victory in the season’s second major championship to win his first major. Jason Day made another impressive showing with a T2 along with Phil, who lead after the first round but carded a 4 over final round to lose by 2 strokes to Rose.
Most Popular Pick – Bubba Watson (13% selected)
Winner – Ken Duke (0 selected)
Notes – Another first time tour winner, Ken Duke, takes home the victory at the Traveler’s Championship. Watson, the most popular pick, finished with a solo 4th.
Most Popular Pick – Jason Day (10% selected)
Winner – Bill Haas (0 selected)
Notes – Surprisingly, no one took Bill Haas for the event, but he has now won at least one PGA Tour event over the last 4 years. Haas shot a final round of 66 to secure the victory.
The Greenbrier Classic
Most Popular Pick – Graham DeLaet (15% selected)
Winner – Jonas Blixt (0 selected)
Notes – Jonas Blixt picks up the victory at the Greenbrier in a tournament that did not have much fantasy player appeal. Haas followed up his victory inside the top 10.
John Deere Classic
Most Popular Pick – Steve Stricker (24% selected)
Winner – Jordan Spieth (14 selected)
Notes – Fantasy players could see this coming with Jordan Spieth. After posting 4 top 10s already on the season, 14 fantasy players cashed in on Spieth’s first PGA Tour win. The teenager is the youngest PGA tour winner at 19 years old. Zach Johnson finished second.
The Open Championship
Most Popular Pick – Ernie Els (11% selected)
Winner – Phil Mickelson (13 selected)
Notes – Phil Mickelson made the most of this trip across the pond. After finishing first at the Scottish Open, he seemed primed to take home the Open Championship and did just that. Rewarding 13 fantasy players with a big pay day. Phil shot an impressive 5 under 66 to charge up the leaderboard and take the victory. Stenson, Poulter, Scott, and Westwood all finished within 4 shots.
Sanderson Farms Championship
Most Popular Pick – Brendon de Jonge (10% selected)
Winner – Woody Austin (0 selected)
Notes – Woody Austin takes home the victory in the event.
RBC Canadian Open
Most Popular Pick – Graham DeLaet (8% selected)
Winner – Brandt Snedeker (9 selected)
Notes – After the early season injury, Snedeker picks up his second win of the season at the RBC by 3 strokes. It was great to see Snedeker get back to form in the event.
World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational
Most Popular Pick – Dustin Johnson (8% selected)
Winner – Tiger Woods (3 selected)
Notes – Tiger keeps on rolling to pick up another tour win at a WGC by an amazing 7 strokes. Tiger took hold of the event with a 61 in Round 2 and never looked back. Keegan Bradley and Henrick Stenson finished a distant second.
Most Popular Pick – Chad Campbell (5% selected)
Winner – Gary Woodland (2 selected)
Notes – Gary Woodland picks up the win in the modified stableford scoring event that takes place the same week as the WGC. Obviously with the WGC event, the field was a little light on fantasy choices.
Most Popular Pick – Henrik Stenson (15% selected)
Winner – Jason Dufner (13 selected)
Notes – Jason Dufner takes home the season’s final major over Jim Furyk. Adam Scott again finishes with a respectable T5 in a major. Jason Day also had a good showing finishing T8.
Most Popular Pick – Bill Haas (9% selected)
Winner – Patrick Reed (4 selected)
Notes – Patrick Reed takes home the final regular season event and secures his place in the Fed Ex cup.
Next post will include Rankings and pre-season tournament picks.