Fantasy Golf Results: Shell Houston Open

Hunter Mahan won the Shell Houston Open.  If you have been reading my posts you know that Mahan is one of the Golf Boys.  This is Mahan’s second win this year so maybe I need to think about him in my fantasy picks more often.  My picks were not horrible this week but I was disappointed that one player missed the cut.

Here are my picks for this week:

(1)  Keegan Bradley — Keegan played well with a tie for 4th.  He shot the same score as the winner on Sunday (71) but his other rounds of 67, 69, and 69 were just not low enough to help him on the last day.

(2)  Kevin Steelman — Steelman missed the cut. This surprised me because I thought he would player better but it was not his week.

(3)  Henrik Stenson — My “what the heck” pick this week had a respectable showing with a tied for 21st place.  I’m happy with this pick.

(4)  James Driscoll — When I picked Driscoll, I stated that I hoped he had learning something from 2011 when he played the Houston Open and missed the cut.  Well, he certainly did learn from his past.  Driscoll played really well in round one and two (67 and 66) but on the weekend he shot 71 and 73.

Fantasy Golf Results: Arnold Palmer Invitational

The big news from the final Florida event is that Tiger Woods won.  Everyone is saying “He’s back” and I think it is great he has won; but I don’t think he rates the statement “He’s back” until he wins a major (which might happen in two weeks at the Masters.)

(1)  Phil Mickelson — Finished Tied for 24th place at one under par.  Now I had said I would not pick Phil until the Masters but I could not help myself because I am such a fan.  However, It is frustrating that every time I pick him, he plays poorly; and when I do not pick him, he plays well.

(2)  Jason Dufner — He played well on Thursday and Friday (66 and 69).  He did not play well on the weekend (77 and 73).  I still really like Dufner and think that once he figures out how to keep the momentum going on the weekend he will win (and win consistently).

(3)  Sean O’Hair — Finished tied for 29th at even par.  He looked great on Thursday with a 69 but then seemed to fall apart on Sunday with a 77.  Now in fairness to O’Hair the course was very hard on Sunday and only two golfers shot in the 60’s.

(4)  Harris English — My “what the heck pick this week.”  Missed the cut.

Well, the only thing I am pondering today is whether to pick Mickelson for The Masters.  If I really want my favorite player to win, it might be better if I pick someone else for Fantasy Golf.

Fantasy Golf Results: Transitions Championship

The Transitions Championship ended with a sudden-death playoff which was won by Luke Donald.  The big payoff for Donald was returning to the #1 position in the world golf ranks.  Rory McIlroy sure had a short run at #1 but I’m sure he will be in that position again.  Actually, I think the world number one position will change hands quite a few times this year.  There are just too many outstanding players within reach of number one.

My picks did not do well this week. Here are the results:

(1) Charl Schwartzel  — Schwartzel missed the cut.  I can’t believe he played so poorly (shot a 76 on the Thursday and 73 on Friday)  Just goes to show how difficult it is to maintain a consistent level of golf week after week.

(2) John Senden — Senden finished tied for 38th.  He had a great first round score of 66 but then shot 70,70, and 73. You can’t shoot three rounds in the 70’s and be in contention.

(3) Padraig Harrington — On Thursday, as bad as Schwartzel played, I was thrilled with Patty’s play.  Harrington shot a 61 (10 under par).  He shot a new course record!  Then day two came and the “luck of the Irish” left him — he shot a 73.  When all was said and done on Sunday, Harrington was tied for 20th.

(4) J. J. Henry — My “what the heck pick this week.”  I had hoped for a top 20 finish (because Henry tied for 20th at the Transitions Championship last year); but no such luck. Henry finished with an overall score of 285 (Tied 66th).

So one common theme for all my guys — they all had one round when they shot a 73.  Not a good thing to have in common.

Fantasy Golf Results: WGC Cadillac at Doral and Puerto Rico Open

This week I decided to show the results for all four rounds for each player because I wanted to point out that one bad (or good) round can really make a difference.

WGC Cadillac Championship at Doral

Image of My Leaderboard for Fantasy Golf

(1)  Rory McIlroy — They say you cannot lose the tournament in the first day but I think Rory McIlroy’s results show you can lose the first day.  He shot a 73 (or one over par) in the first round.  In round one, the leaders shot 66 (or 6 under par).  The overall winner, Justin Rose, did not shoot a 66 in round one but he stayed close to the leaders with a 69 and when the leaders fell apart in round four (R4), Justin Rose was close enough to only needed a 70 (on the final day) to win.

The good news is that McIlroy is still the number one player in the world and the pay for third place is not too shabby (at $516,000.)

(2)  Keegan Bradley — Bradley started round 4 in great shape (with 69, 67, and 66 in the first three rounds) but fell apart on the 17th and 18th holes (bogey and double bogey) for a painful 75 by the end of the day.  This means he started round four in 2nd place and dropped to a tie for 8th place.  His take home pay was $165,000 (compared to the 2nd place payout of $845,000).  Don’t feel too bad for Bradley, he has already won $1,316,642 in the eight tournaments he has played in 2012.

(3) Rickie Fowler — Well, Fowler tied for 45th along with 4 other players and each player took home $52,000.

(4)  Charles Howell III — At least “Chucky Three Sticks” finished with a top 20.  He tied for 17th with three other players and took home $92,000.

Given what my picks earned this week, I wondered what the person in last place won.  The player was Simon Dyson and his check was for $37,500.  Wow, I know a lot of folks that would like that kind of pay for a week of work.

Puerto Rico Open

The prize money was much less for the players at the Puerto Rico Open.  The winner was George McNeil and he won $630,000.  I’m sure he is very happy with the win and the compensation.

Here is the round by round for my fantasy picks this week.

Image of My Leaderboard for Fantasy Picks Puerto Rico Open

(1)  Ryo Ishikawa  — I thought Ishikawa would win but second place was a great showing. His take of the total prize money was $378,000.

(2)  Erik Compton – My sentimental pick did not fair as well.  Compton tied for 42nd which resulted in only $11,900 for his pocket-book.  Did I really just use the word “only” — OMG!

(3)  James Driscoll — He made the cut and that made me happy. He also did better than Compton (which surprised me).  Tied for 32nd (and $17,780.)

(4) Graham Delaet — My Canadian “what the heck” pick came through for me this week.  His tie for 9th and the $94,500 payout he banked certainly helped my fantasy rank.

Final Thoughts

In business you often set a “stretch goal” (something beyond what you really think you can do).  Little did I know how big a stretch goal I set for myself back in January.  I’m still nowhere near my goal to actually win one week of Fantasy golf or be in the top 10; but I am ranked 1,551 this week (after 10 weeks of play).  I’m still an optimist and will consider this a good sign — that I am trending in the right direction.

Fantasy Golf Results: The Honda Classic

The Honda Classic did not disappoint the viewing golf public last weekend.  It was an exciting Sunday!  Tiger Woods played almost flawlessly (shooting a 62), Lee Westwood kept pace with a 63, but no one could catch Rory McIlroy.

I’m a bit late posting my results this week but here are how my picks finished:

(1) Rory McIlroy — Won the tournament and became the #1 Player in the world.

(2) Sang-Moon Bae — Tied for 47th.  Did not play as well as I had expected

(3) Jimmy Walker — Tied for 67th.  Was playing well until Sunday when he shot an 81 (ouch!)

(4) Graham Delaet — Missed the cut but I did not have any expectations for him.  I still think he might do well so I will pick him next week.

Fantasy Golf Results: Match Play and Mayakoba

Most of my players did not do well this week but the one heartbreak was when Rory McIlroy lost in the final round of match play against Hunter Mahan.  Mahan is an excellent golfer, but up until now he is probably better known as one of the “golf boys,” so it was fun to see him win.

WGC Accenture Match Play Championship

(1) Luke Donald — Number one player in the world taken out in the first day by Ernie Els (a player that only got into the tournament because Phil Mickelson went on vacation with his family).

(2) Ben Crane — So much for being the number one putter on tour (based on PGA Stats.)  He was taken out by Bubba Watson on day one.

(3) Rory McIlroy — My favorite European player.  If he had won in the final match he would have been the new number one player in the world but it did not happen.

(4) Tiger Woods –Tiger did not have his “A-game” this weekend and lost in the second round to Nick Watney.

Mayakoba Golf Classic

You have to love the name of the winner of the Mayakoba — John Huh.  Fans are already wearing T-shirts with Huh? on the back.  Not only is his name a good “story” but his year so far is a good story.  He qualified for the tour via Q-School and he has made every cut in the 5 tournaments he has played — culminating with a win this weekend.  It was not an easy win — he won in an eight-hole playoff against Robert Allenby.  My picks, on the other hand, ended the weekend very far down on the leaderboard.

(1) Johnson Wagner  — Tied for 30th with a final of four under par.

(2) Brian Gay – Tied for 54th place with one over par.

(3) Jerrod Lyle — Tied for 37th with two under par.

(4) Cameron Beckman  — Tied for 63rd place shooting a 4 over par.

These are awful scores given the leader was at thirteen under par.   I had good reasons for these picks but you never can tell how players will perform from week to week.

Fantasy Golf Results: Northern Trust Open

The final round of the Northern Trust Open was so exciting. The leaders going into the final round were Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley.  No one really took control of the round and by the time they hit the 18th hole both of them needed to shoot a birdie to get in a playoff with Bill Hass (who had already finished his round).  It was amazing that both Mickelson and Bradley got their birdies and they went into a sudden-death playoff with Hass.

It was Hass who got a birdie on the 2nd playoff hole to win.  Great drama!  By the way, Bradley had his own drama with criticism of his slow play and spitting on the course.  You can read my opinion in the post “Why Spit on a Golf Course?”

Now on to my results — Each week at least one of my player picks really surprises me (and it is not always a happy surprise.)

This time I was shocked that Jason Day  missed the cut.  Jeff Maggert also missed the cut but it wasn’t as big a surprise to me.  Kevin Na was also a major disappointment with a 6 over par and ranked 76.

My only shining star was Jimmy Walker and he was my “what the heck pick” and he tied for 4th at 5 under par.

Maybe the “golf gods” are teaching me a lesson for not staying with my favorite player, Mickelson, whenever he is playing.  If I had picked Lefty in his last two outings I’d be much higher in my fantasy golf rank.  But he was playing horribly and so I felt I had to bench him.

Of course the thing I like about Mickelson is you never know what he will do.  Actually his risk taking on the course is what makes him exciting to watch but it also makes him inconsistent.  Even if I don’t have him as a pick I will always be happy when he plays well because that means he is “putting on a show” for all of his fans.

Fantasy Golf Results: Pebble Beach Pro-Am and Dubai Desert Classic

The big news from the Pebble Beach Pro-Am is that Phil Mickelson, my favorite player, won.  It was a big deal for Mickelson because it marks his 40th win. Only eight other PGA players have won 40 or more times in their careers.  Plus this was the 4th time he won at this tournament.  And he won “in style” with a great come from behind victory (i.e. he was eight shots behind the leader when he started his day.)

Yet, did I have him as a pick this week?  No, because he was playing so poorly.  But I don’t care if my fantasy results suffered because it was so much fun to see Lefty playing great shots.  I’m just hoping he plays as well at the Masters (which is when I planned to consider him again for fantasy golf).  I’m now hoping “four” is Lefty’s lucky number (at least this year) because he has won the Masters three times. If he wins this year, it would be his 4th Masters.

How did my picks do?  Well, Tiger Woods did not have a good Sunday shooting a 75 (which was a shame since he was under par for the rest of the tournament).  It was a double whammy for Tiger because he was playing with Mickelson who shot a 64 (11 shots better than Tiger).   Tiger ended tied for 15th which was better than D. A. Points (tied for 67).  Both Bud Cauley and James Driscoll missed the cut and did not play on the weekend.

My Omega Dubai Desert Classic picks did much better.  Stephen Gallacher tied for 2nd (which surprised me), Rory McIlroy tied for 5th at 14 under par (a disappointment since I was sure he would win), Branden Grace tied for 51st, and Ricardo Gonzalez tied for 66th (at least Grace and Gonzalez made the cut).

Not a great week for my predictions but watching the “Phil and Tiger” show was great!

Fantasy Golf Results – Farmers Insurance and Abu Dhabi HSBC

I did much better with my fantasy golf picks this week.  In fact the winner for the Farmers Insurance Open was Brandt Snedeker, my pick for group two.  But his win was not the big news.  The big story was the melt down of Kyle Stanley who lost to Snedeker in a playoff.

Kyle Stanley had a three shot lead and on the final hole could shoot a seven (or two over par) and still win. It should have been a “piece of cake” but his shot into the green rolled into the water and that was the beginning of the end.  He shot an eight — unbelievable!  I get eights (or as we call it in golf, a “snowman”) on my scorecard. Pros rarely get eights. The best way to describe it is that it is like watching a kicker missing a field goal that would win the game.  Stanley’s fate was all on him and in the end his miss forced a playoff which Snedeker won.

As much as I am happy that my pick won this week’s tournament, it’s hard not to feel bad for Stanley.  Here are how my picks did overall this week:

Farmers Open: Brandt Snedeker won, D. A. Points T8 (-10), Bud Cauley T13 (-9), and Phil Mickelson missed the cut.

Abu Dhabi HSBC: Rory McIlroy came in second, Darren Clarke, Branden Grace, and Colin Montgomerie all missed the cut.

My final thoughts this week are about Rory McIlroy.  He actually could have been the winner but on Friday he brushed sand off the fringe of the 9th hole (just off the putting green) which resulted in a two-stroke penalty. He lost by one stroke so if he had not had the penalty, he would have won. The rule is that you can move “loose impediments” but “sand and loose soil are loose impediments on the putting green, but not elsewhere.” So McIlroy could brush the sand that was on the green but not on the fringe.   McIlroy said he knew the rule but just wasn’t thinking. That’s a tough penalty for a lapse in concentration; but that’s golf.

Fantasy Golf Results – Humana

Week three and I’m going down hill fast. This week my picks did worse than the last two weeks.  But it is a long season and I can still figure this out and rebound.  I have a new strategy — no more only being “sentimental gal” picking my favorites or picking based on personal stories. Of course, I don’t know all the players so I will still have my “what the heck” pick each week.

I knew that two of my picks were wild cards but my expectations for Mickelson and Howell (or Lefty and Chucky Three Sticks) where much higher and they did not deliver. Here are the results:

(1) Phil Mickelson — Tied for 49 at 10 under par.  The first round he shot a 74 (the leaders had a round of 63 or 9 under par.)  He shot under par the next three days but he could not make up the gap between his score and the leaders.  Mark Wilson won with a final score of 24 under par.

(2) Charles Howell III — Tied for 49 at 10 under par. He just did not play as well as he had in the Sony Open.

(3) Kyle Stanley — Missed the Cut. What can I say he was my “what the heck” pick.  However, I did base my pick on a golf commentator’s review.  Clearly I picked the wrong commentator to follow.

(4) Erik Compton — Tied for 42 at 11 under par.  Well, I was cheering for him given his amazing personal story — being a double heart transplant.  He started off well with a 67, 69 in the first two rounds but needed to go low on the weekend to compete and just didn’t have it.

My biggest disappointment was Mickelson because he had won this event twice before and was the all time money leader for this event so I thought he would be (at a minimum) in the top 10.  In an interview he said it was a long season and he likes to “assess his game” in this tournament.  Wow, if I had known that assessing his game was his goal I would not have picked him.   Attitude is everything and I’m glad he is optimistic about the year but I wish he had more of a fire in him to win this tournament.