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Take a guess who the TOUR Fantasy Insider likes this week
PGATOUR.com's Brett Avery says that even though Tiger Woods has not won a major in 12 months, there's no one TFI likes better at Southern Hills than the world No. 1. On the other hand, who he doesn't like might surprise you.
By Brett Avery, PGATOUR.COM Contributor
Considering the local forecast for temperatures around or above 100 degrees every day this week, The Fantasy Insider could make plenty of hot jokes about fantasy games and the PGA Championship.
There's the one about the competition really heating up in the closing weeks of Salary Cap Cup's third segment.
Or saying that team owners in fourth or fifth place in a League Championship match-play league are sweating out making the playoffs.
But TFI will not stoop to such depths. He's a better columnist than that.
So he's giving such lame remarks the cold shoulder.
What does have TFI concerned is the way a week of brutal temperatures (and don't forget that humidity!) will do to players facing a four-week run in the upcoming FedExCup playoffs.
When TFI did his on-site research a few weeks ago, when the temperatures were only in the low 90s, he went straight from walking the course to a ice cream parlor on South 71st Street and ordered the largest black raspberry milkshake they could make.
[As an assist to his sweltering writer friends in the press center, this public-service announcement: It's about two blocks from the press hotel, turn left out of the property and it'll be on the right-hand side. Can't miss it!]
There just aren't many good answers during a week like this, when the stress of the weather collides with the stress of the season's last major. With the heat index getting up toward 110 degrees, TFI is tempted to load up on a combination of guys who either grew up in the desert or went to college at places like Arizona State, the University of Arizona or Nevada-Las Vegas.
But it could be much worse: the record high in Tulsa for Thursday is 114 degrees, set in 1936. Talk about sweltering!
Even being assigned a starting time before 8 a.m. local time one of the first two days could prove crucial. Keep in mind that after a wet spring and early summer, there's been .49 of an inch of rain since July 13. That's translating to firm, fast conditions and frequent doses of hand watering to keep the greens alive.
Which translates to periodic waits, making long rounds even longer.
For the most part TFI's going to stick with length, patience and guys with a hot history (weather-wise). And he's going to keep a nice, cold drink within arm's reach while watching every minute of television coverage.
He's not going to risk heat prostration even if his players melt into little puddles.
And now, a confession of sorts.
TFI used Hunter Mahan twice last week in Salary Cap Cup. He's not sure how it happened but he elevated Mahan to the top lineup (he tied for 22nd and earned 230 FedExCup points in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational).
Unfortunately, somehow TFI goofed up the submission of his 'Hey, buddy' backup lineup and didn't get Padraig Harrington, K.J. Choi, Carl Pettersson, J.J. Henry and Troy Matteson (who earned 1,358 points). Instead, he mistakenly retained the lineup from the Canadian Open, which made only 587 points thanks to two idled players. Just another reason to flush this season's 'Hey, buddy' squads down the drain.
Three players TFI might pick up/trade for to get onto his roster this week:
-- Tiger Woods. Even though he hasn't won a major in 12 months, he still strikes fear into the hearts of mere mortals. Right?
-- Lucas Glover. That tie for 12th at the Reno-Tahoe Open represented his fourth finish in the top dozen in five starts, dating to the Buick Open. But if you think 2007 will play out like 2003, with four first-time major winners, this could be the guy. He's got a thin pedigree in the majors (this is only his 10th start) but this year he's tied for 20th in the Masters and tied for 27th in the British Open (he missed the cut in the U.S. Open).
Maturing quickly and a worthy candidate among 20-somethings.
-- Tim Clark. Another guy for the first-time majors believers. His runner-up showings in the U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee and John Deere Classic preclude his selection as a sleeper pick by the experts (and Woods precludes his name being uttered as a favorite pick). Three straight tournaments in the top six and in the PGA he's made top 25 in three of his last four starts.
One player TFI might waive/drop/trade away to get off his roster this week:
-- Jim Furyk. Sorry, but an injury at this time of the season don't fill TFI with warmth and happiness. Even if he's only at 50 percent he's better than a lot of players in the world, but the chance that he won't go the distance is too much of a hindrance.
Rotisserie results for Expert League at WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and Reno-Tahoe Open: 29.5 points (sixth, 36.5 points behind T.J. Auclair). Second in sand saves, third in greens in regulation and scoring average. Overall: 60.0 points (second place, 7.5 behind Christian Peterson). Good grief! Talk about going in the tank at the wrong time ? quick, someone light a fire under this squad!
Rotisserie lineup for Expert League at PGA Championship: Paul Casey, K.J. Choi, Geoff Ogilvy, Steve Stricker. Active but not in lineup: Woody Austin, Mark Calcavecchia, Ken Duke, Padraig Harrington, Heath Slocum, David Toms, Bubba Watson. Not in field: Mathew Goggin.
Match-play results for Public League 3359 at WGC-Bridgestone Invitational: TFI 13.0, Da4 Skinz 5.0. Overall: 16-10-2 (first place in West Division by three games over Da4 Skinz). There you go, girls and boys, TFI's first goal is met: A lock on a playoff spot. Now all he needs is one win or a loss by Da4 Skinz in any of the last three weeks of the year and he secures the No. 2 seed, too. How many team owners can say that with a .607 winning percentage?
Match-play lineup for Public League 3359 at PGA Championship: Vijay Singh, Ernie Els, Pat Perez, Zach Johnson, Mark Calcavecchia, Nick O'Hern, Nick Watney, Jonathan Byrd, Bernhard Langer, Joe Ogilvie. Not in field: Briny Baird, Stephen Marino.
Salary Cap Cup results for WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and Reno-Tahoe Open:
The main lineup of Tiger Woods (4,725 FedExCup points, won!), Stewart Cink (59 points, tied 56th), Hunter Mahan (230 points, tied 22nd), Kenny Perry (604 points, tied 11th) and Charley Hoffman (230 points, tied 22nd) earned 5,948 points and placed 4,153rd.
Through Week 31 it totaled 21,173 points and ranked 5,407th in Segment 3. For the season it totaled 79,078 points and ranked 3,495th overall. Could have used another big point total or two to boost the position in the weekly standings but, hey, at least TFI had another winner. A bright spot.
The 'Hey, buddy' backup lineup of Padraig Harrington (433 points, tied 14th), K.J. Choi (604 points, tied 11th), Carl Pettersson (159 points, tied 30th), J.J. Henry (100 points, tied 41st) and Troy Matteson (62 points, tied 51st) would have earned 1,358 points if TFI could have figured out how to submit the lineup. Instead he got the five names from the Canadian Open, who somehow scraped together a measly 587 points and placed an absolutely regrettable 30,802nd. Through Week 31 it totaled 12,037 points and ranked 20,674th in Segment 3. For the season it totaled 64,385 points and ranked 8,695th overall. And for his next trick, TFI will make more than 1,000 points disappear! Sheesh.
Week 31 winner: ballhackers333 12,187 points.
Segment 3 leader: Tiger's Woodz 39,474 points.
Overall: The Big Stick 123,786 points.
Salary Cap Cup lineup for PGA Championship: Main lineup, Tiger Woods $300,000, Steve Stricker $257,750, Tim Clark $205,750, Lucas Glover $157,000, Kenny Perry $79,000. Total: $999,500. 'Hey, buddy' backup lineup, Ernie Els $290,250, Geoff Ogilvy $270,750, K.J. Choi $261,000, Pat Perez $101,750, Bo Van Pelt $75,000. Total: $998,750. Tiebreakers: 273, 1.
Have a question or comment for TFI? Send it to him at email@example.com. Please be sure to include your name, where you're from, the name of your team and, if it relates to League Championship, the name of your league and whether you're competing in the rotisserie or match-play format.