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(Courtesy: Golf Digest)

As the PGA Tour turns down the home stretch of its season and enters arguably the most exciting portion of the schedule, the world’s best head to Akron for the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

Once again, the World Golf Championships offer the best players on Tour the chance for a cut-free week. It also provides one of the year’s deepest fields. With the likes of Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler teeing it up in Ohio, there’s plenty to dive into from a fantasy standpoint.

Here’s a look at those who will be making moves — and those just looking forward to move on:

Players:

Brooks Koepka — It’s not too often that recent form and past pedigree come together for a player on a particular week — but when it does, you have to make a move. That’s why this week’s  top fantasy choice is Brooks Koepka. In his last two starts, Koekpa has collected a win in the U.S. Open and a T-6 at the Open Championship. That’s pretty darn good. And now, he tees it up at Firestone Country Club, a course where he picked up a T-6 finish in his first trip around the property. There’s no reason not to start Koepka, so don’t talk yourself out of it.

Jordan Spieth — I mean, why wouldn’t you take a guy who has won the last two times he’s teed it up? Passing on Jordan Spieth this week just seems dumb, right? That’s rhetorical. Make room for Spieth no matter what.

Charley Hoffman — Charley Hoffman will win in the next three weeks. Book it. On the heels of last week’s tough playoff loss to Jhonattan Vegas at the RBC Canadian Open, Hoffman looks to bounce back at Firestone. Hoffman has three top-10 finishes in his last five starts, including a third at the Travelers Championship and a career-best major finish with a T-8 at the U.S. Open. To say you’d be foolish to pass on Hoffman this week — or next for that matter — would be an understatement. As I’ve said before — in the world of fantasy golf, recent form supersedes everything else. Hoffman is a must at the Bridgestone.

Marc Leishman — Despite the fact that Marc Leishman didn’t win the Open Championship as I predicted, I’m still very high on the Aussie who is amidst a career year. Coming into the Bridgestone, Leishman has connected finishes of T-17, T-6 and T-5 in his last three starts. Since winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Leishman has been one of the most consistent players on Tour, missing just one cut and finishing no worse than T-44 in the other 12 starts. You’ve got to keep riding the hot hand and, like Hoffman, Leishman has as good a chance as anyone to pick up the win at Firestone this week.

Justin Thomas — If there’s ever been a roller coaster season on the PGA Tour, Justin Thomas is living it. Heck, this guy has had some roller coaster weeks! With that said, there’s no reason not to take him this week. Thomas will make a ton of birdies and should be able to avoid the pitfalls that come with one bad round since he’s playing a tournament with no cut. A guaranteed paycheck is enough to get any player taking aggressive lines and making shots they might not make with a cut looming. There’s no reason to expect anything short of magic from Thomas this week with the pressure somewhat off and the season’s final major on the horizon.

Posers:

Phil Mickelson — Ah, Phil Mickelson — the ultimate wild card. While the Bones-Mickelson era has been over for a few weeks and the sample size is not large enough to fairly judge the Mickelson-Mickelson era, this week at Akron is going to be a real test. Mickelson missed the cut at the Open in his last start and is looking to bounce back and find some form ahead of the PGA Championship. While you’d be dumb to count Lefty out, I also think there are plenty of more solid choices in what amounts to an all-star tournament this week in Ohio.

Danny Willett — As a big fan of Danny Willett, it’s been tough to watch him struggle through the dismal 2017 season he’s had. The closest he’s come to glory this calendar year was draping the green jacket over Sergio’s shoulders. It’s not all been on Willett, though, as the Englishman has been battling back trouble all season. With the thee WDs in his last six starts world wide, it’s a craps shoot as to whether or not he actually makes it through 72 holes let alone plays well.

Brian Harman — While Brian Harman has been one of the best stories on tour this year, I’m not feeling him this week in Akron. There’s no real reason for alarm and he hasn’t exactly cooled down, but Harman is making his first career start at the Bridgestone Invitational. With a track as tough as Firestone, it’s almost always an event that sees experience pay off. With Harman having none of that and squaring off against a field that has it in spades, I just think there are enough better choices this week.

Louis Oosthuizen — Coming into Firestone on the heels of a missed cut at the Open Championship, it’s hard for me to do anything but pass on Shrek this week. Oosthuizen hasn’t been anything spectacular in 2017, and he doesn’t show any real signs of snapping out of it. Many will point to Oosthuizen’s success at Firestone as a reason he’s worth a start this week, but I’m not sold — six top-25 finishes isn’t enough for me to go against current form.

 

 

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