The Memorial Tournament in Ohio lived up its name this weekend, as the event provided a very memorable time for the Beast.
For the first time ever in the Spreadsheet Fantasy golf league, a team finished in first and second place, as Steve Stricker and Matt Kuchar were able to bring in some big points for the elder statesman of the league. He hasn’t claimed first yet, but Long John is making a serious charge up the SSF leaderboard, as we see in this week’s wrapup.
At long last I am able to use the phrase ‘age before beauty.’ For just the tenth time in 21 chances, the winner of a PGA tournament was owned by the SSF league, and for just the second time, it was Beast. Since his hole-in-one late Friday afternoon, Steve Stricker never looked back, and although it got a little tense on the back nine on Sunday, he was able to pick up his first win of the season. With 125 pts, Stricker has now averaged 48 per start in his last five events. Meanwhile, not even the more than two-hour rain delay could dampen the spirits of Beast’s leading point getter on the season, as Matt Kuchar shot a dazzling 7 under 65, to finish tied for second, just one shot back. The Beast left a number of points on his bench, but I don’t think we will hear any complaining. At least we better not!
The second most points this week went to Bryce. Now before you go and contact your eye doctor, you should know that for the first time in recent memory, the young scholar’s team actually performed for him. Headlining the unit was Dustin Johnson, who shot a 7 under 65 Sunday to finish alone in fourth and bring in 40 points. Perhaps this will be a turning point for Johnson, who registered only his 3rd top 10 (although they’ve all been top 5’s) in 11 starts. Double B managed another top 10 this week, as Gary Woodland finished alone in sixth. Some sources I spoke with said rumblings were heard of a trade involving Woodland to one of the top 3 teams, but Bryce vehemently denied any rumors, saying he isn’t interested in trading Woodland. No trade talk has been heard of since.
Even though he put up a solid 80 pts, James still could only finish in 3rd on the week, and has now seen his lead drop to just 115 points, and with Beast’s recent blitz, the defending champ may be getting a little worried. Disappointment has to be felt from Phil Mickelson, who although picked up a respectable 20 points, has earned just two top 10’s in his last 8 starts. The leader was able to manage one top 10, as Rory McIlroy finished in fifth, despite being interviewed while he was having a chocolate and peanut butter milkshake during the rain delay. Leave it to David Feherety to find such sweet content.
Another start, and another top ten for Luke Donald. The thirty points he picked give him eight straight top tens, and also move him back ahead of Nick Watney for most points scored by one golfer (Donald has 420). However, this week clearly showed he needs more depth, as the rest of his team could only combine to score 20 points, and with the two squads he has to catch consistently putting up big numbers, Brent must make some changes. He made a start by dropping Tommy Gainey (who scored 0 points in his 5 starts on the team), and picking up Jonathan Byrd.
Masters champion Charl Schwartzel was playing this week, but he came nowhere close to repeating his performance at Augusta National back in April. Schwartzel managed 15 points, not what his enigmatic owner, Dr. Andrew Fuchs, was hoping for. Adding to Fuchs’ woes was Hunter Mahan bogeying the final two holes to finish outside of the top 10. Infact, this was the only team that failed to register at top ten finish this week.
Finally we come to Dave. It’s not usually a good thing when John Senden is your most consistent player, but that’s the case with team yellow. Senden’s second top ten of the year means that he is the only player on Dave’s team to score more than 15 points in the last 5 weeks. And don’t forget, than included a tier 3. With the big week from Bryce, Dave now must be concerned about bringing up the rear, although it would give a much needed high draft pick. There is some good news for Dave, as Lee Westwood will finally return to North America this week for the St. Jude Classic (the same tournament Beast turned down an invitation to play in).
On a side note, the US Open begins in just 10 days.