Almost everyone on the planet has already given Rory McIlroy the Wanamaker Trophy for winning the 2014 PGA Championship and have turned their attention to the Preseason Football Season. There are 155 other players in the field this week who might disagree with this assessment, and then there’s the weather. Here are my Fantasy Picks!
There is a strong weather front moving across the country and should approach the Valhalla Golf Course in Louisville, Kentucky starting today. The forecast is calling for hot, muggy weather with a possibility of rain for the first three days of the tournament, and clearing conditions for Sunday.
The Jack Nicklaus designed golf course is tough enough, but add the possibility of start, and stop play due to rain in the formula, and you can come up with all kinds of possibilities. It could come down to the luck of the draw.
We all know that pop-up thunderstorms can produce wind while they are active, but for the most part, wind shouldn’t be a factor except during thunder showers.
With all that in mind, we still have to make some picks!
I’m not sure if I discouraged you in picking Rory, but after what I saw in his last two starts, I didn’t discourage myself from taking the young Norther Irishman. We haven’t seen Rory come out of the gate strong in his last two wins and he went to the first tee on Sunday at Firestone trailing Sergio Garcia, but he owned the lead after only three holes. He let Sergio back in later on the front nine, but by the time they made the turn, he was able to hang on down the stretch for the win.
We all were witness to the display of confidence Rory McIlroy had in his driver last week at Firestone, and Valhalla is a little longer, but the fairways are a bit more generous. Rory averaged over 330 yards last week with 61% accuracy. If he comes to Valhalla with that part of his game working again, go ahead and give him the trophy.
I was a little disappointed in what I saw from the 2013 US Open Champ on Sunday at Firestone, but hey! Everyone has a bad day. Rose has an excellent golf game, and if the weather becomes a factor we have all seen what Justin can do when the conditions deteriorate. He has two wins on the season, and even though he couldn’t catch Rory at Bridgestone, he did finish T4 and is a proven winner in big events.
Even with his new-found distance off the tee, Rickie can’t overpower a golf course like Rory, but the former Oklahoma State star has played well in big events this year. He’s done everything in 2014 except put a W on the board. I don’t think he can hang with Rory if Rory is on, but if Rory comes out flat and gets behind Rickie has a chance. Rickie has top five finishes in all three majors this year, and top 15’s in his last five starts. He just needs to figure out how to close the deal.
Keegan had a horrible first half of the season, but has had a resurgence since going back to his regular broom-style putter. He probably needs to wait until the off-season to make that kind of change. Bradley needs to win at Valhalla if he wants to play his way into Captain Tom’s Ryder Cup team, and he needs to play well this week if he wants to be a Captain’s Pick. With the departure of Dustin Johnson from the picture, Watson needs the fiery Bradley if he stands any chance at Gleneagles. Keegan has had T4’s in his last six starts, including last week at The Bridgestone.
I have included Henrik Stenson in my fantasy pick for one reason. I picked Henrik Stenson to win a major this year, and this is his last chance. Stenson has the game(when he’s on) and has the distance to play with Rory. After winning the FedEx Cup and Race To Dubai in 2013, I know he didn’t get adequate rest before the 2014 season started, and has been paying the price all year. Stenson has had five top fives in his last five starts, so he’s close. Every time he has gotten on a roll this year, he has hit that errant tee shot, made a couple of double bogeys, and has gotten behind so far he could never get back in contention. All one needs to do, is look at the shot he hit on the 72nd hole at Dubai to see what he can do if he gets on a roll.