Unowned golfers: 2, Spreadsheet Fantasy:0. Mark Wilson took home the second trophy of the 2012 fantasy season Sunday, birdieing the 18th hole just before dark, to claim a two shot victory over Johnson Wagner, John Mallinger and Robert Garrigus. It looked after the first couple of days like SSF would be getting a win for sure, with Ben Crane, David Toms all vying for the lead. However it was Wilson who put together rounds of 66, 62, 67 and 69 who would eventually capture the trophy. After winning twice in the first few weeks last year, Wilson averaged just 7 points a week over his final 22 starts, which is likely the reason he wasn’t drafted this year. Despite another week without a SSF winner, the league still did fairly well in the fantasy realm this week, with five top tens, and two more in the top fifteen. Let’s take a look.
Fuchs came into the Humana Challenge sporting a very discouraged attitude towards his chances. Seeing their master’s hopelessness, Brandt Snedeker and John Senden rose to the occasion, grinding out two top tens. Ryan Moore also bounced back from a third round 75, shooting three under in the final round to sneak into the top 50. Jeff Overton disappointed for the second straight week, failing to register any points. Hoping to continue the momentum from a great week, Fuchs made the first move of the 2012 season, acquiring free agent Johnson Wagner, and releasing Louis Oosthuizen. The move should help Fuchs’ squad in the tier one and two areas, as Wagner will undoubtedly churn out a lot more starts than the South African Oosthuizen.
After setting a league record for fewest top tens in a single season last year, Dave has off the season with top tens in two straight events. Zach Johnson bounced back from a zero point week at the Sony with a 25 point eighth place finish this week at the Humana. Brendon de Jonge was in position for his second straight top ten, until 18th hole birdies by Snedeker and Johnson pushed him back into a tie for 12th. Throw in a solid top 50 from Cameron Tringale, and Dave has the highest per start average of anyone not named James or Fuchs.
Despite how well Fuchs and Dave performed this week, James continued to strengthen his early season lead, and has now lead Spreadsheet Fantasy golf for 35 straight weeks. Much of James’ 45 point week can be attributed to Brent’s team from last year, as Ben Crane and Camilo Villegas got off to hot starts, before finishing 8th and 19th respectively. Phil Mickelson started off his year by working his way into the top fifty after a dismal first round, while Charles Howell III held on for another 5 points. James is off to a great start to the year, and he’ll be sporting a decent squad next week at the Farmers Insurance as well.
After being denied any points in the lead off week of the season, Bryce bounced back with a solid 40 points, mainly due to David Toms’ confident top ten performance. Toms dissected the course, going 63-65-72-68, and finishing in a tie for eighth. Martin Laird put together four rounds in the sixties, and finished in the top fifteen for Brycer’s other 15 points. It wasn’t all lolipops and sunshine candy bears for Bryce this week though, as Dustin Johnson’s second round withdrawal is a concerning development. Throughout the league’s first three seasons, Dustin has been Bryce’s cornerstone, and him being bothered by the knee surgery he underwent in the off season is concerning to say the least.
He had seven players to choose from this week, but Beast still only managed 25 points. Matt Kuchar started off slow, but worked his way into the top 25, to secure a ten point week. Beast’s other 15 came from the ‘drug that he just can’t quit’, Rory Sabbatini. With a team full of nice guys, Sabbatini provides the edginess, and he’s proven his worth so far in the first two weeks as he’s brought in points both times. Of Beast’s other three starters, only Jhonny Vegas missed the cut. However, Van Pelt and Spencer Levin couldn’t quite make it into the top fifty. Beast held onto his spot in second place…but just barely.
Despite having just two player participating this week, Lawrence still managed to beat Brent, as both Kevin Na and Chez Reavie carded top fifties. However, you’re not going to get very far in the league with just two players starting in a tournament. Lawrence will need to capitalize on a large percentage of his starts, since he may be one or two golfers short on weeks where everyone else can field a full roster. He has a pretty solid group playing next week at the Farmer’s Insurance Open, so we’ll have to see whether he can work his way out of sixth place.
It’s week two of the 2012 season and it already looks like the Anthony Kim experiment may have been a mistake. Brent took a gamble on Kim, taking the inconsistent American over some other more reliable options, despite not having a second round pick. It’s only his first start, but Kim looked the same as he has for much of the past two seasons, putting together two decent rounds, but following that with a disappointing 77. Brendan Steele and Ryan Palmer didn’t provide Kim with much help, both failing to score any points, and Brent ended up with his first goose egg of the young season.
That was the wrap up. Next week is the Farmers Insurance Open. It’s looks like a great field and hopefully we can get ourselves a win!