What. A. Finish.
Remember a couple years ago when the PGA Tour had their “these guys are good” television campaign? Well, what happened on Sunday in North Carolina is exactly what they were talking about. Needing to make a bunch of birdies late, Brian Harman did just that and claimed his second career win on Tour. In the process, he outlasted names like Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson.
While Harman was out there making bombs, there were more than a few players who were bomb-ing. As you all know by now, it’s not always feast in the world of fantasy golf. There’s always plenty of famine to go around.
Here’s a look at those who made good on expectations and those who are looking for a mulligan:
Brian Harman — Don’t count out the little guy! Brian Harman — all 5′ 7″, 144 lbs of him — went all Steph Curry on everyone at the Wells Fargo on Sunday, dropping bombs and making birdies all over Eagle Point Golf Club en route to PGA Tour win No. 2. His 28-foot birdie on 18 sealed the deal, besting Dustin Johnson and Pat Perez by one. While Harman was a wild card for many (and probably resided on your bench all week), I’m sure he’ll be on everyone’s radar at the PLAYERS.
Pat Perez — All year long, I’ve championed Pat Perez as a fantasy stud with the caveat that he be more consistent. Now that he’s finally found some serious consistency, you need to take note. Perez has always been a guy with the game to get it done on Tour, but he’s always been extremely streaky. This season, he has a win, a second, a third and a fourth; has made the cut in 13 of 14 starts (WD at WM Phoenix Open) and has only finished worse than T-38 twice. You’d be crazy not to round out your lineup with Perez every week until further notice.
John Daly — I know, I know — John Daly played on the PGA Tour Champions so there were no rosters baring his name this week. That being said, who doesn’t have all the love for Daly and isn’t excited for him to win on the senior circuit? If you’re raising your hand, please move to Siberia or something. We don’t need you and your negativity here. Daly, who hasn’t won anything since the 2004 Buick Invitational, claimed the first senior title of his career, winning the Insperity Invitational. Hopefully, it’s a sign of things to come. After all, something just seems right about being able to bet on John Daly and win.
Francesco Molinari — The younger of the Molinari brothers found himself atop the leader board on Thursday at the Wells Fargo after a sparkling round of 66. Unfortunately, that form was fleeting and he wouldn’t break 70 the rest of the week. Fantasy owners know that Molinari is a solid pick wherever he’s player, but he’s certainly cooled a bit from his hot start to the season that saw him make 8/9 cuts and finish no worse than T-20 in those events.
Graeme McDowell — Another one of my guys, Graeme McDowell, made a run on Sunday to put himself in contention and get my heart going. Unfortunately, 7-under with five to play was as close as G-Mac would get to collecting his fourth PGA Tour win. Bogeys on three of his final five holes dropped him to 4-under for the week and a tie for 18th. Not exactly a collapse, but enough to do the bad kind of damage for a fantasy squad. That being said, he’s been right around the T-14 to T-30 range each of the last seven weeks and could be trending in the right direction.
Patrick Reed — Coming into the week at Eagle Point, Patrick Reed was definitely heading in the right direction. Through 54-holes, he was almost there — but by Sunday night, he was merely an also-ran. Final-round 75’s have a tendency to do that. It’s not like it’s all bad for the 5-time winner on Tour. He’s long proven he doesn’t need to be playing well to get hot all of a sudden. Don’t shy away from Reed in the coming weeks.
Chesson Hadley — I’ve always liked Chesson Hadley and last week I took him as a wild card. He and I will always share a bond over our Bojangles chicken biscuits, however, in a golf sense, we’re through. It’s like Pauly told Henry Hill — “Now I gotta turn my back.” Hadley has made just four starts on Tour this year and has earned a whopping $21,000 for his troubles. With no finish better than T-45, he is fantasy kryptonite.
Webb Simpson — Another guy I took an absolute bath on at the Wells Fargo was Webb Simpson. The 2012 U.S. Open champion came into Eagle Point Golf Club with all the good feels. Solid play in recent weeks, more experience at the new venue than any one else — but instead of turning in a home town hero-like performance, he essentially threw up on his shoes. Rounds of 73 and 75 on Thursday and Friday left me (and many others) feeling empty all weekend.
Carl Pettersson — I’ve said it before in these here pages and I’ll say it again: recent form is far more important than past success. While having some local knowledge is always preferable, it doesn’t necessarily lead to success. Just ask Carl Pettersson. The course record holder at Eagle Point and a former winner on Tour shot 79 on Thursday and never fully recovered. His Friday 69 was encouraging — but the damage had been done. Like Hadley, Pettersson needs to be avoided for the foreseeable future.