It’s like Bubba Watson once acknowledged: “Golf is hard.” Actually, I think every living, breathing human being who has ever picked up a crooked stick and whacked the little white pill around has acknowledged that, but I digress.
Masters Week 2017 is in the books and it was one for the ages. The epic final round battle between Justin Rose and eventual champion Sergio Garcia is one golf fans won’t soon forget.
What many would like to forget, however, are their fantasy performances from the past week. After all, the real, “tradition unlike any other” is really second-guess your fantasy picks.
Here’s a look at what we got right (and what we didn’t) last week at Augusta.
Sergio Garcia — I woke up Monday living in a world where Sergio Garcia is a major champion. I’m not sure I’ve fully wrapped my head around that one. Honestly, it’s kind of like watching the Cubs when the World Series. I was happy, but sort of had this overwhelming feeling like the world might end in the next hour or two. Garcia always seemed to be in contention at Augusta, and this week all that knowledge — and new, positive head space — catapulted the talented Spaniard to his first major title.
Justin Rose — Rosie is one of the most stand-up guys on Tour and his grace in defeat on Sunday was not overlooked. I firmly believe the Englishman will don the green jacket someday. With two second place finishes under his belt, it seems like he could almost play the course in his sleep. And even though Rose didn’t win, hopefully his valiant efforts at Augusta helped you do so.
Thomas Pieters — Pieters is one of my favorite, young players on the European Tour and a guy who will win majors in the future. I speculated early last week that he might have what it takes to end the rookie winless drought at Augusta — and he nearly did! Pieters loves the big stage and I wouldn’t shocked if he parlay’s last week’s success to a run at the U.S. Open or Open Championship this summer.
Jordan Spieth — I have a hard time calling Jordan Spieth’s performance here a “bogey,” but when you consider the record he had here coming into the week, I feel like I (everyone) needed to take a chance on him this week until he proved us wrong. Last week, he did. Well, kind of. Heading into the weekend, Spieth had fought all the way back from his 9 at 15 on Thursday to be in the hunt, just a couple strokes off the lead. Unfortunately, Spieth struggled late on Sunday, making double at the dreaded 12th hole and essentially sealing his fate. Spieth finished T-11.
Charl Schwartzel — Last Tuesday I said that Charl Schwartzel came into Augusta, “riding molasses spill of momentum.” Oops.
Charley Hoffman — For a very, very long time it appeared I had hit the nail on the head with Charley Hoffman. But, as they say, the Masters doesn’t start until the back nine on Sunday. Hoffman, who held at least a share of the lead after the first two rounds, played his first 58 holes at Augusta National in 5-under par. His last 14? A crippling 7-over. But, that’s the Masters for ya.
Dustin Johnson — Now, there’s no one on the planet that could’ve seen DJ’s fall coming on Wednesday night — except, probably, Dustin Johnson. For fantasy owners, it was a nightmare finding out their horse was going to be on the shelf for the biggest week of the year. Hopefully for you, your league/pool allowed for some type of mulligan. A WD is never good, but when it’s the world No. 1 at arguably the biggest tourney of the year, it’s downright devastating. I can’t imagine what Johnson is actually experiencing.
Zach Johnson — I admit it — this was a big, Adam Dunn-style wiff on my part. The 2007 champion played terribly in even worse conditions on Thursday and Friday and was sent home early at +7. I really believed his experience here would pay off but, as was previously stated, golf is hard. Handicapping it can be even harder. Ultimately, I figured a “plodder” would have a good week — I just picked the wrong one.
Patrick Reed — When Patrick Reed won Doral in 2014 and proclaimed himself to be a “top-5” player in the world, we laughed. When he won five times by the age of 26, we kind of shut up. However, for all his success in normal Tour events and the Ryder Cup, Reed has been nearly non-existent in 13 career major starts. He’s missed the cut four times and has never finished better than a tie for 12th. Why I expected better this week is beyond me.