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Risk and Reward - The Greenbrier Classic

If I could predict everything, there would be no real point in anyone playing fantasy golf, since I'd be in first in every league. But, your humble fantasy golf guru can't, and I don't know if I'd want that power (something about great powers requiring responsibility, and who needs more of that?). Last week, I told you Keegan Bradley was a shoe-in, a bond purchase in a volatile stock market and that Patrick Reed and Hunter Mahan were penny stocks about to go bankrupt. Sure enough, Bradley went bust while Reed and Mahan dramatically increased their value. Clearly, I'm not ready to become a stock broker. 

My Power Rankings and Movers and Losers draw on statistics only, while Risk and Reward draws more on gut feel and intuition about players who missed my Top 15. In this column, you'll find "Lay-Up", "Going For It", and "Hazard". Look for more subjective analysis here, as opposed to the Power Rankings, where I rely strictly on data. Lay-Up may contain players who, barring a Great Flood, will bank you some points. Going For It is where I'll have players that may have missed the Power Rankings or who I feel present an excellent opportunity to pick up a win. Lastly, Hazards, where I often find myself on any given Sunday, should be avoided. I'll be adding each player's Total Aggregate and change since last tournament going forward.


Bubba Watson - TA: 42.4, CHG: +4.833 - Bubba's been exceptional this entire year, but he's been somewhat flat since falling out of the lead with a monstrous hook out of bounds at The Memorial that lead to a T3. Missed the cut at the U.S. Open and pulled a T31 out of The Travelers in a surprisingly unremarkable event for Bubba Golf. While he may have cooled off some, his only missed cut this year (allergies excluded) is at the U.S. Open, so I can't count him out just yet.

Gary Woodland - TA: 42.33, CHG: -5.6 - He's not been playing his best golf of late, but he's not missing any cuts either. Barring the +7 he threw down in the final round at the Quicken Loans National, he was very much in contention. Look for him to make the cut, but he'll only contend if, like Keegan Bradley, he can avoid a big number.


Nick Watney - TA: 53.17, CHG: +14 - He's starting to show signs of life, and despite a spate of missed cuts, he's a known winner who's been in a slump for far too long. With his solid track record here, he's combining recent form with course history at just the right time.

Michael Putnam - TA: 45.6, CHG: +4.2 - 5-for-7 in his last seven starts with a Top-25 and Top-10 in his last two. Putnam hasn't played at the Greenbrier, but he's been finding form for the last couple of months and it's starting to show. Look for him to be an exceptional value in salary leagues.

Tyrone Van Aswegen - TA: 52.6, CHG: +7.9 - This guy is a birdie machine, and though he makes a fair amount of bogeys, he always seems to make some noise if he makes the cut. With a Top-30, Top-25, and Top-20 in his last four starts, he's clearly got a talent for finding the top of the leaderboard, but his lack of consistency in making the weekend makes him a gamble.

Charles Howell III - TA: 55.67, CHG: -5.6 - For the first part of the season, I was certain he'd pick up a win. Since a T3 at the Byron Nelson, he's been relatively quiet, and with a poor history at The Old White, he's not near the top of anyone's Power Rankings, but if he can get through to the weekend, you can count on a decent score from him.


Johnson Wagner - TA: 78.33, CHG: -6.4 - A T2 here last year would likely make him a safe pick, if he was playing solid golf coming into the tournament. Three missed cuts and an MDF in his last 5 starts should be big enough red flags to avoid him.

D.A. Points - TA: 91.67, CHG: 0 - Riding an extended Missed Cut streak that goes back to the Zurich Classic, Points is an easy call (mostly to help avoid my usual folly in this category). He's only made 8 cuts this year with a T28 being his best finish.

Jonas Blixt - TA: 76.2, CHG: -1.67 - I wouldn't normally call a defending champion a hazard, but Blixt has been floundering since a T2 at The Masters. His best finish since then has been a T75, and has three missed cuts and an MDF in his last four starts. 

My Picks

PGA Tour

  • Jimmy Walker
  • Steve Stricker
  • Chris Kirk
  • Marc Leishman

  • Marc Leishman (S), Bubba Watson
  • Steve Stricker (S), Chris Kirk (S), Bill Haas, Brendon de Jonge
  • Jimmy Walker (S), Kevin Na
Golf Channel
  • Jimmy Walker
  • Chris Kirk
  • Billy Hurley III
  • Chad Campbell

Kyle Donovan