By BRYCE R. BERGMAN
Well, Dave did indeed call it: Bubba Watson has been having a year to remember, claiming his second win of the year last weekend at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. The big hitting Bubba overcame a three-stroke deficit over the final eight holes in regulation to overtake Webb Simpson in a playoff late on Sunday. It took two playoff holes to determine a champion as Watson birdied the par 5 eighteenth twice, and watched as his “good friend” Webb failed to make birdie on his second try. Watsons’ win moves him from no. 16 to no. 10 in the world, and also gives him the lead in the Fedex cup standings, surpassing Mark Wilson, who has had nothing going for him since his two wins earlier this season. Though it was merely a tier one tournament, by my calculations there were some serious fantasy implications even though no huge numbers were posted. Let’s see how the teams fared…
I’m going to start with my team, Team Bryce, because it’s so awful that it will probably never again be first in any type of ranking or standing. Having only two players coming into the tournament, nothing was really expected to come out of it. I was pleasantly surprised, however, to find Howell III (not to be confused with Howell II, or even Howell I) in the running for the win after Saturday’s third round play. Two shots off the lead heading into the final round, Howell posted a one over 73 to drop out of contention. He still earned me a tie for thirteenth, good for twenty points. Allenby played average golf all weekend, posting par twice and shooting two under for the other rounds. Though playing it safe is sometimes smart, it doesn’t help me at all at the bottom of the rankings, and neither do the five points that he managed to earn me.
James was the other team with a mere two players making an appearance at our latest tournament. His though, on paper, had more potential, but in the end, potential doesn’t always transfer into fantasy points (which are, of course, all that matter). Neither players, Watney or Fowler, were ever really in contention, as both of them shot mediocre rounds throughout the weekend. Watney failed to move up the leader board Sunday shooting par, as Fowler posted a one-over for the day. Fowler, tied in 26, just missed out on getting top 25 honors, but honestly, James’ team doesn’t really need the help as he comfortably sits atop of the leader board. Watney and Fowler combined for 20 points for James.
Though the Beast had some big names playing some of them decided not to show up. With Sabbatini missing the cut, and Gay failing to crack the top 50, he had to rely on Stricker and Palmer, who, like Allenby and Howell for Bryce, earned him a combined 25 points. Stricker was set up beautifully to make a run on Sunday, but ended up posting a plus one on the day, dropping him away from the lead. Tied for 13th is where he ended up, not what he was expecting Saturday night. Palmer also failed to shoot a round below 70, which never really had him in the running either. He was consistent though, and did do more for the Beasts’ fantasy team than Gay and Sabbatini combined. Still, with four players in the tournament, more was to be expected from this star studded team.
Speaking of ‘more was to be expected’, Fuchs’ four players gave him nothing to be excited about as they failed to give him more than 5 points. Singh and Overton shot 6 and 5 over par respectively on Sunday, giving them no hope in helping out this fantasy team. Take away Hoffman’s second round of two over, and he would have been in the running to do some damage down the stretch, but alas, words can only do so much. Snedeker shot a five over on Thursday, and even his valiant effort which included an eagle on Friday couldn’t help him make the cut, as he failed to help Fuchs gain any ground in the standings. It was a sad week for a lot of fantasy teams, including this one here.
Totaling the second highest fantasy points of the week, Brent’s team all chipped in to contribute some points except Points himself, who just missed a spot in the top 50. A top ten from K.J. and Donald was the highlight of Brent’s week, more specifically a third place finish by Choi, as Crane, and Villegas chipped in 15, and 5 points respectively. An impressive showing this week led by two top tens means Brent will gain a bit of ground on the second place Beast and current leader, James. With the few next tournaments all being above tier one, he’s in a good position to make some serious moves up the leader board.
And then comes the real winner of the week, team Dave. With the highest point total of the week, he pulled even more away from the league’s bottom dwellers, passing Fuchs. Despite two missed cuts by McDowell and Rose, Watson fired up this team for the 100 point victory. Adding more to this successful week were Senden and de Jonge. Senden was in position to gain more points over the weekend, but failed to shoot a round better than minus one during the weekend. In order to move more up the rankings, however, this team is going to need more top tens. Then this team will be dynamite.
That’s all I got. Have a good week, gentlemen…