Well — that wasn’t fun, was it?
Every once in a while on the PGA Tour you have an event that makes absolutely no sense. That was this past week at the PLAYERS Championship.
Just take a look at that leader board. How many of those guys have you seen or heard from in the last 10 weeks? As it was, the winner of the event, Si Woo Kim, was a 500/1 dog coming into the week. Not even our own Golfstradamus saw that coming!
I warned early last week that the PLAYERS and, more specifically, TPC Sawgrass are known for producing odd-looking leader boards. Last week was one of the oddest in recent memory.
Here’s a look at those who managed to tame TPC — and those looking for a mulligan:
Si-Woo Kim — It’s been well-documented that the final leader board at the PLAYERS tends to be one of the wildest of the year but it’s safe to say no one saw the week Si Woo Kim had at TPC Sawgrass coming. Sure, he’s already a PGA Tour winner at the ripe old age of 21, but young dudes without the pedigree of Spieth or McIlroy or Day win that young. Make no mistake – Kim’s win last week was not a fluke. However, from a fantasy standpoint, I wouldn’t put a ton into him until he shows some consistency.
Ian Poulter — Despite his “David Simms” moment on Sunday, Poulter’s week at the PLAYERS was pretty exceptional. Considering a couple weeks ago, Poulter thought his playing privileges on TOUR were gone, this was almost as good as a win. From a fantasy standpoint, Poulter has been a bit of a roller coaster ride and you shouldn’t be swayed by one good week in a row. Wait until there’s a streak forming. Going forward, you ought to proceed with caution.
Louis Oosthuizen — As I just noted, one week does not a trend make – but it was nice to see South African standout Louis Oosthuizen have a good week. To say 2017 has been a down year for the former Open Champion would be an understatement. That said, he’s long been one of the TOUR’s most consistent performers, so it stands to reason this could be the start of strong stretch for him. In the not too distant future, he might be worth a gamble in deeper leagues.
Rickie Fowler — Last year’s champion at TPC Sawgrass, Rickie Fowler, found himself unable to find a groove in 2017, resulting a mid-pack performance. As you’ll see, he wasn’t alone — but coming in as the defending champion made him a popular pick in all fantasy formats. His T-60 finish was pretty terrible –and a let down for all who made Fowler their anchor.
Dustin Johnson — It’s been a long time since Dustin Johnson has looked like anything other than something from out of this world. At the PLAYERS, however, DJ came back down to Earth. After six weeks of golf that saw him beaten by a total of three players and slippery staircase, Johnson plodded around TPC Sawgrass for four days and came home disappointing — but respectable — tie for 12th.
Rory McIlroy — At time of post, Rory McIlroy is preparing to go for an MRI on his back following discomfort during the PLAYERS Championship. That’s not good. With his pedigree at TPC, many — myself included — were banking on a good week by Rors. Unfortunately, you can’t predict injury. That being said, he played OK all week and wound up T-35 after a final round 75.
Matt Kuchar — Headed into the week I was very high on Matt Kuchar. In this case, however, the numbers did lie. Kuchar managed to make the cut, but struggled mightily over the weekend. On Saturday, Kuch stumbled around Sawgrass en route to an 81 and an MDF.
Phil Mickelson — Lefty has always been streaky and tough to bet on in fantasy games. He’s the epitome of feast or famine. Mickelson entered the weekend a two-under and sniffing the lead, but got tripped on a windy Saturday. His 3rd round 78 left him in a hole not even he could climb out of. A final round 71 left him at plus-3 for the week and in a tie for 41st.
John Rahm — I wouldn’t hit the panic button on John Rahm just yet — the PLAYERS and TPC Sawgrass can make even the best in the world look like complete fools. Rahm is still a solid fantasy play in the coming weeks despite his MDF last week. For a PLAYERS rookie, he played well on Thursday and Friday — but Saturday saw Rahm collapse completely, limping to a moving-day 82. Yikes.