It appears as though 2013 will be the year of parity in the Spreadsheet Fantasy community, as Michael Thompson’s win at the Honda Classic makes Lawrence the fifth different manager to take home a trophy so far this season. Despite a stellar field this week, there was a surprisingly small number of league owned players near the top of the leaderboard this week. Many of the bigger names were never in contention this week, and that allowed Michael Thompson to take home his first career victory. Thompson came close to winning a couple of times last year, with a top ten at the Sony Open and a runner up finish at the U.S. Open, where he lost to now-teammate Webb Simpson. Lawrence leapfrogged both Brent and James in the standings this week. Let’s take a look at how he did it.
You have to go back to week 29 of last season to find the last time James put up the dreaded Brad Gilbert Bagel, but that came with just two players teeing it up. This goose egg comes with four of his top five guys in the mix. Rory McIlroy created controversy by withdrawing midway through the second round, and as if that wasn’t enough, Jason Dufner, Martin Kaymer and Chris Kirk all finished tied for 51st. Add in a Louis Oosthuizen missed cut and you’ve got one of the most disappointing weeks of James’ career.
Karma finally caught up with Fuchs this week, as he had just three players taking to the field. Both Kevin Na and Jonas Blixt put up bagels, while Brendan de Jonge managed to score points for the fifth time in his seven starts, cracking the top fifty. Fuchs will have a good lineup back next week, but still lost a little ground to most of the league this week.
This week was not a good follow up to last week’s win for the league’s eldest member. He is averaging just 31 points a tournament when starting both Ben Crane and Tommy Gainey, both of whom put up goose eggs this week. Ryan Palmer put himself back on the map with a top fifty finish, and Russell Henley came up with his second 15 point week in a row to give beast an even 20 on the week. An off week for Beast will definitely be amended when Kuchar will back in in the field. Fun fact: Kuchar is averaging 50 points per World Golf Championship start.
While Dave didn’t get his roster in this week, he did still manage a top five from Justin Rose. It could have been much better had he played Lee Westwood’s top ten, but goose eggs from the Iron Goose, Rory Sabbatini, D.A. Points and Bud Cauley meant Lee Westwood was riding the pine. Next week could be a good one for Dave, as his top players will all be teeing it up and with a small field, none of his lower ranked players will be stealing their thunder.
While Tiger Woods’ final round 74 won’t be inspiring any parties in the Bergman household, the league’s fittest member will certainly be happy with the performance of Graeme McDowell this week. After a quarterfinal appearance last week, the Irishman carded a top ten this week to take away some of the sting from Tiger’s poor finish. While Dustin Johnson scored ten points last week, he got those points just for entering, so his top fifty this week was really the first time he has earned points this year. A poor Saturday round derailed former champion Ernie Els, while Matt Every couldn’t make it to the weekend. All-in-all it was an average week for Bryce, who will look to take back second place from Beast next week.
Brent went to sleep last night with visions of top tens and Martin Crete dancing in his head, but by Sunday afternoon those dreams had all but evaporated. Going into the final round, Rickie Fowler and Charles Howell III were poised to send him flying up the leaderboard, but rounds of 74 and 78 respectively knocked them both out of the top ten. Because of their struggles, Charl Schwartzel was able to back door the most ‘back doory’ of top tens and give Brent a respectable 45 points for the week. Missed cuts by Troy Matteson and Cameron Tringale were certainly disappointing, but Brent will be remembering this week for the top tens that could have been.
Michael Thompson’s struggles this season were no secret (to those of us who had actually heard of him before), but Lawrence stuck with his man and it paid off with his first win of the young season. The win, coupled with Keegan Bradley’s anchor-aided top five catapults Lawrence up the leaderboard into solo fourth, and leaves him just 50 points behind Beast for a podium spot. Harris English, Gary Woodland and Ken Duke all carded goose eggs this week and have all been abysmal so far this season, but so had Michael Thompson until this week, so Lawrence may be counting on the same from them. With four Konkel Explosions and a top five that has proven they can win on tour, look for Lawrence’s second season to be much improved from his first.
That’s the wrap up for this week gentlemen. Next week is the limited field Cadillac Championship. It should prove to be a great event with plenty of movement on the SSF leaderboard!