It took just over four rounds of Major Championship golf for Keegan Bradley to win his first Major, as he beat Jason Dufner in a three-hole playoff to capture the Wanamaker Trophy. The win is already the second of the young rookie’s career, and it
comes in just his 24th professional tournament. Although he put on a stunning exhibition of golf on Sunday afternoon, he still needed some help from ex-SSF superstar Jason Dufner and his PGA Championship worthy soul patch. Dufner walked up to the fifteenth tee with a five stroke lead, but saw it quickly evaporate as he put his tee shot in the drink, then proceeded to bogey sixteen and seventeen before making par on the final hole to force a playoff with Bradley. The playoffs proved to be no different for Dufner though, as he fell behind on the playoff’s first two holes, and Bradley only needed a two-put to secure the tournament on 18. Although the PGA Tour’s flagship names were never really in contention on Sunday, the 2011 PGA Championship still proved entertaining, as some great golf was played on Sunday afternoon. But enough about the real stuff, let’s get to the fantasy breakdown…
It looks like Brent’s team has finally decided to show up. Although there are just five weeks left, Brent’s team has turned it on enough over the last four weeks (including almost 195 points this week at the PGA), to give him a shot at the SSF Championship. Luke Donald and Adam Scott have pulled most of the weight in Brent’s four weak tear, where he is averaging an astronomical 153 points per week. It was Donald and Scott who contributed again this week at the PGA Championship, as Donald’s osicki helped them combine for 150 points. Brent will likely need to Osicki a win in the FedEx Cup Playoffs to have a shot, but stranger things have certainly happened in the world of Spreadsheet Fantasy.
If there was ever a word to describe Beast, it would probably be ‘consistent’. Our league’s very own version of Scott Verplank cashed in another ‘ho hum’ 95 points on the backs of his workhorses Stricker and Kuchar. Up until Sunday afternoon it looked like Stricker was a prime candidate to win his first Major, but poor play in the final round ended his chances and put Beast’s favorite stress-ball in a world of hurt. Kuchar’s top 25 was an encouraging sign, but he will need to improve his play considerably if he wants to defend his title at the Barclay’s in a couple of weeks. But Beast is likely more concerned about the dogfight he’s in with Brent right on his tail.
Bryce finds himself with the third most points this week, despite leaving a whopping 130 points riding the pine. In fact, the newlywed has left a ridiculous 310 points on the bench in the last five weeks alone! If he doesn’t want to end up holding the league record for futility, he’ll need to start capitalizing on the points his team can score. The good news however was that both Sergio and Woodland registered top fifteens, and the aforementioned Degrassi alumni now leads his team with 410 points in his breakout campaign. In other news, the Tiger conundrum continues for Bryce, as it is too late to get anything in return for him, and he is now faced with the tough decision as to whether Tiger will ever be like the Tiger of old. Also, Bryce is now just three weeks away from tying the league’s longest winless streak. Fantasy-wise, it’s not a good time to be the Icemaster.
Like Bryce, Dave’s week was that of missed opportunities. David Toms’ top five found the bench, and the renaissance man leads Dave’s team in points by a sizable margin. Like always, Westwood stepped it up just enough to not win, but the fifty points he earned will likely be greatly appreciated. Since Bubba didn’t win, he registered his standard top 50 and the 15 points that go along with it, to help boost Dave’s total up to 65. Given the inconsistency of Tour players in the recent Majors, 65 is no longer really a bad score, and Dave will be happy to gain on his arch-nemesis who has planted himself in fourth place for quite a few weeks now.
Like many of the rosters this week, Fuchs’ lineup looked more like binary code than fantasy points as eight of his golfers registered the dreaded burgundy bagel. Hunter Mahan slipped into the top 25, giving Fuchs hope that maybe his painful slump is coming to an end, while Schwartzel (who has played a surprising number of events over the past three months) scored another solid week with 35 points. Fuchs will surely be looking forward to next season, as the keepers he carries over should be quite a bit better than the disastrous ones he was stuck with in his rookie season.
This wasn’t quite the way James envisioned this week ending up as he came into it with a stacked roster of hot hands and Major Champions. Like Fuchs however, James’ team decided that 80% was not just the Pass/Fail rate he needs to achieve to earn the raise he deserved a long time ago, but also the percentage of the team that would contribute absolutely nothing to furthering the lead he holds over the rest of the league. Mickelson and Watney were the only two that decided to pitch in this week, but even their efforts didn’t contribute much to the cause. Mickelson was up and down all week and continued to look like he has all year, while Watney scored a top fifteen, but could have had much more than that. James still takes a 350 point lead into the final five weeks of the season, but the big guns will need to start firing again if he wants to capture his second straight SSF Championship and ease some of the pain of whether or not to keep the aging Mickelson.
That’s the wrap-up folks. Just a reminder that the roster freeze has come and gone, so the player’s you’ve got now are the one’s your stuck with for the rest of the year. Looking forward to the FedEx Cup. Until next time….