It’s another golf Saturday and time again for the Moving Day Fantasy Golf Report, Saturday, January 30, 2016 edition.

Here are the big stories from the world of fantasy golf that we noticed heading into championship weekend.

Dustin in Contention in San Diego

American Gary Woodland and Korea’s K.J. Choi are leading the Farmer’s Insurance Open at -9 after 36 holes, but the player generating the excitement is the eighth ranked player in the Official World Golf Ranking, Dustin Johnson.

Johnson sits one shot back of the leading duo after a six-under par 66 on Friday. The 31-year old hasn’t won since last March at the World Golf Championships Cadillac Championship and is probably due for a win.  A victory this weekend would give him 10 career PGA Tour titles.

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Sunday Fantasy Golf Update, January 24, 2016

With another championship Sunday upon us, it’s time for our weekly Sunday Fantasy Golf Update, January 24, 2016 edition.

Fowler Wins Sunday Shootout in Abu Dhabi

All the pre-tournament hype was about the showdown between the number one player in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), Jordan Spieth and #3 Rory McIlroy. But it was the world’s sixth ranked player who stole the show on Sunday at Abu Dhabi.

American Rickie Fowler shot a final round 69 to emerge on top of a crowded leaderboard and win the European Tour’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. He finished one shot ahead of Germany’s Thomas Pieters. Pieters, himself coming off a break-out season that saw him win twice on the European Tour in 2015, shot a final round 67.

It was Fowler’s first win of the 2015-2016 season after three victories in 2015, and will once again start the discussion of expanding the so-called “Big Three” to a Big Four at the top of the world of golf. To add fuel to the fire, the win moved the Murrieta, California native to 4th in the OWGR, setting up a season long battle between the four twenty-somethings.

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Kapalua, Hawaii – Okay, so maybe his amazing 2015 season won’t be that hard for Jordan Spieth to follow up, afterall.

The reigning FedEx Cup champion is starting the new year firing on all cylinders, after a second round 9-under par 64 gave him a four-shot lead, after 36 holes at the 2016 Hyundai Tournament of Champions.

The number one player in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) went out in 31, going five-under par on the last 5 holes of the opening nine that included three birdies and an eagle on the Par 5 ninth.  He completed the bogey-free round with four more birdies on the backside, including three-in-a-row at holes 13, 14 and 15 and closing birdie on the Par 5 18th.

The hot start surprised even Spieth. “Did I see 16 under? Probably not to start the season,” Spieth said.

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As the 2015 year quickly fades away, here’s our weekly look at things we noticed in the world of fantasy golf, for the week ending December 6, 2015. It was highlighted by tour de force performances by Marc Leishman and Bubba Watson, the continuation of one great run and the end of another and a new rising force in the golfing world.

1) Marc Leishman Wins at Nedbank

In a dominating performance, Australia’s Marc Leishman beat a select, but high quality field at the Nedbank Golf Challenge. The 32-year old had rounds of 68-68-66-67 to beat Sweden’s Henrik Stenson by six shots and third place finisher Chris Wood by 10.

It was Leishman’s first top 10 since he lost in a playoff to Zach Johnson at the 144th Open Championship at St. Andrews in July, and continues a trend of playing well on quality golf courses and in big events. His other top finishes last year included Top 10’s at the Memorial and at the WGC-Cadillac Match Play event.

The one thing lacking in Leishman’s career to this point has been consistency and hopefully this win will be a springboard for a very successful 2016. He has to be considered a favorite to be the next Australian to win a major.

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Matt Jones of Australia survived a near disastrous start, that included a double bogey and a triple bogey on a nervous front nine, to hold off two world number ones and win the 2015 Emirates Australian Open.

The 35-year old Jones finished up with an unlikely two-over par 73 and a one shot victory over the current number one player in the world, Jordan Spieth and former world #1 Adam Scott.

Jones started his final round in the worst possible way, bogeying the first hole and making a double on the par-3 second. The Sydney native recovered with birdies on the fourth and six holes, but gave them back with triple bogey seven on the par-4 ninth, to go out in 4 over par, 39, six-under par for the tournament.

Jones settled himself on the back nine, holing a bunker shot on #12 for par, before making birdies on 14 and 16 to claim his first win on the Australasian Tour and a second worldwide win, to go with his victory in the 2014 Shell Houston Open.

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I wasn’t always pretty, but a late rally by world number one Jordan Spieth has kept him in contention, after three rounds of the Emirates Australian Open.

Spieth made four bogies in a sloppy front side 36 and looked to be fading out of a challenging position heading into Sunday’s final round.  “I made a couple of bad swings and a couple of bad decisions,” Spieth said. “Not many pars.”

But the reigning Masters and U.S. Open champion stormed back with three birdies and an eagle to shoot 31 on the inward nine.  His 4-under par 67 moved him into second place and within three shots of leader Matt Jones of Australia.

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On a quiet Friday, with no action on the PGA Tour, let’s look around and see what’s happening around the world that could impact future fantasy golf decisions, in our Fantasy Golf Notes.

World # 1022 Leads Australian Open

If you haven’t heard of Lincoln Tighe, don’t sweat it.  Even a lot of dedicated golf fans would be unfamiliar with the name.

Currently ranked 1022nd in the Official World Golf Ranking, Tighe’s best finish this year on the Australasian Tour was a T27 at the Coca-Cola Queensland PGA Championship. To be fair, he did have a win last year on the Aussie Tour at the New South Wales PGA Championship, his one and only career win.

That lack of form didn’t deter the 26-year old on Thursday at the Emirates Australian Open, as his opening round 5-under par 66 gave him a one shot lead over fellow Aussie Matthew Jones. Tighe had seven birdies and a pair of bogies over the par-71 on the Australian Golf Club Rosebery layout.

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Sea Island, Georgia – Is this finally his time?

After several well documented, near misses this year, Kevin Kisner is in position again to record his first PGA Tour title.

The 31-year old made seven birdies and a bogey on the tough Seaside layout at Sea Island to shoot 64 and take a three-shot lead heading into Sunday’s final round of the RSM Classic.

“Just another solid day,” Kisner said. “I’ve been striking it nicely all week and continue to give myself a lot of chances for birdie. Today I capitalized on a few of them. Hit it close on two out of the last three and made the nice long one on the last hole. Hopefully I can keep it going.”

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Sea Island, Georgia – In a year that seems to favor first-time winners, Kevin Chappell wants to join the party.

The 29-year old Californian is halfway there, after a 5-under 65, on Sea Island’s Seaside Course, gave him a 36-hole total of 131, 11-under par, and a one-shot lead over Freddie Jacobson of Sweden and first round leader Kevin Kisner.

The UCLA alum had three birdies on the front side, and had a birdie and a bogey on the back before making eagle on the par-5 15th, on the par 70 layout.

Chappell said the key to his success is his feeling of comfort with the venue. ”For me, the sight lines work. The wind tends to blow out of one direction. There are a lot of things that are comforting to me and allow me to play well.”

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Sea Island, Georgia – Maybe this is the time the first win finally happens for Kevin Kisner.

The 31-year old native of Aiken, South Carolina has been a runner-up five times already in 2015, and is still looking for that breakthrough victory.

He took a good first step toward that goal on Thursday, firing a 7-under par 65 on the Plantation Course to take a one shot lead, over a group of eight players, in the opening round of the RSM Classic at the Sea Island Resort.

Kisner had five birdies and an eagle on the 8th hole, his 17th, in his bogey-free round. Despite the disappointment of all the near misses, the University of Georgia grad is happy with his game.

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