The field this week is amazing; Rory, Tiger, Oosty, Rose, Westwood, Schwartzel, Keegan, Graeme McDowell, DJ, Kaymer, Colsaerts, Manassero.
This is event 1/5 in Month 3. For a refresher on the rules, hit the link — Contest Guidelines and leave your Fantasy Four below (don’t forget your ONE Nike Athlete).
Rory McIlroy – Defending Champion
Rory’s looking to rebound after a missed cut at Abu Dhabi and a first round exit last week. Last time Rory was coming off of a missed cut, he won the event. The time before that? Top 10. He’s got a lot to prove after a slow start to the year.
2nd place here last year in his first appearance here. He lives very close to the course and prior to his first round match play exist, he won the Farmers Insurance Open.
Match play aside, Charl’s finishes prior to that were 3rd, 2nd, 1st, 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Add his history this week at this event; 5th in 2012 and 14th in 2011 and you have a monster.
First time here, but did win at the Sony Open, which is a similarly narrow, windy, Bermuda grass course. I wouldn’t be shocked to see him do well this week.
PC makes his PGA Tour season debut this week to a course he finished 4th at in 2010. His last 4 starts in 2013 were positive; 37th, 37th, 23rd and 18th all on the European Tour. He could be a good pick this week.
Other Nike athletes in the field; Stephen Ames, David Duval, Ross Fisher, Patrick Reed
Recent finishes – 2nd Round Match Play, 16th Qatar, 2nd Abu Dhabi
5th here in 2012 and 3rd in 2010.
Recent finishes – 1st Round Match Play, 12th Dubai, 22nd Qatar, 23rd Abu Dhabi
First time here.
Recent finishes – 2nd Round Match Play, 34th Qatar, 1st Volvo
Played here in 2012 and 2011, making the cut, but WD due to illness both times.
Recent finishes – 1st Northern Trust, 16th Pebble Beach
Cut here last two years, but 27th in ’09, 15th in ’08 and 31st in ’07.
best finishes – 1st in ’09, 2nd in ’11, 30th in ’12
Coming off of 71st and 72nd finishes at Northern Trust and Phoenix.
Best finishes at this event – 5th in ’09, 6th in ’10, 16th in ’12, 29th in ’11
4 straight made cuts here with a 9th at Match Play, 3rd at Northern Trust and 7th at Pebble Beach. Sleeper.
Best finishes at this event – 6th in ’11, 9th in ’12, 31st in ’10
Coming off of 5th at Match Play.
Best finishes at this event – 4th in ’12, 9th in ’10, 29th in ’11
Good record here. 1st round exit at Match Play, but 21st at Norther Trust before that and a 46th at Pebble Beach and 5th in Dubai.
DEFENDING CHAMP –Rory
Alan :: Rory McIlroy, Lee Westwood, Charl Schwartzel, Dustin Johnson
Bob :: Tiger Woods, Russell Henley, Charl Schwartzel and Rory McIlroy
Damian :: Keegan Bradley, Graeme McDowell, Charl Schwartzel and Rory McIlroy
Damian’s Final Four
I like Keegan here for his Top 15 finish here last year and his Top 15 at the Sony Open last year as well. He had a first round exit at the Match Play, but had Top 25s at the Northern Trust and Phoenix Open. He needs a nice Top 10 and he’s hungry. He also lives in Florida.
Graeme is a solid pick making Top 10s at his last 2 events here and played well at Match Play.
Charl and Rory have good records here and are just power houses looking for some redemption. They’re solid bounce-back picks. It’s hard to leave Tiger off of my foursome, but I would even lean towards Westwood or Rose over Tiger here. Maybe even Howell.
Other notables in the field :: Jason Day, Charles Howell III, Martin Kaymer, Nicolas Colsaerts, Ernie Els, Dustin Johnson, Stewart Cink, Lucas Glover
Leave your Fantasy Four in a comment below.
Remember, you have to pick at least ONE Nike Golfer and have your picks in by WEDNESDAY at Midnight (PST).
It is also your responsibility to sub your player if they WD before the deadline
damian [at] ngnation.com