As predicted, Australia's Adam Scott maintains his big lead in the Razzball Fantasy Golf Rankings, March 16, 2016 edition. Despite being idle last week, Scott leads his rivals by a considerable margin after consecutive wins at the Honda Classic and Cadillac Championships. The sixth ranked player in the Official World Golf Ranking has a 1,000 point lead over American Bubba Watson, who also maintains his position for the second consecutive week. The big story of the week, though, is a pair of South African major champions who find themselves in the Top 5 of the rankings, just four weeks before the first major of 2016. 2011 Masters' champion Charl Schwartzel moves from 13 to 4 in the weekly survey, after his playoff victory at the Valspar Championship. His countryman, Louis Oosthuizen is one place better, jumping two spots to number three, after a T7 at the Copperhead course. Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open Champion, also has a solid record at Augusta, including a second place finish in 2012. Reigning Players Champion, Rickie Fowler, completes the Top five, falling two spots to number five.
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Here are our Tuesday Fantasy Golf Notes, March 15, 2016 edition. In this week's report, we have a Masters' contender picking up his first PGA Tour victory in almost five years, more struggles for the number one player in the Official World Golf Ranking, an an Aussie winner in Thailand.
Charl Schwartzel Joins List of Early Masters' FavoritesBased on his strong play on the European Tour so far this year, and his history at Augusta National, South Africa's Charl Schwartzel was already on most observers' list of players to watch heading into the first major of 2016. And he didn't do anything to change that on the weekend. The 2011 winner of the Green Jacket fired a final round, 4-under par, 67 on Sunday to win the Valspar Championship in a playoff, over American Bill Haas. The score was the best of the day in difficult conditions and allowed the 31-year old to erase a five-shot deficit and force extra holes. Schwartzel has been red-hot this year, with three wins in his last six starts, and in a year when many of the Top 10 are struggling with consistency, has to be a Masters' favorite.
Palm Harbor, Florida - It was a year ago that an underachieving Jordan Spieth, ranked in 10th in the Official World Golf Ranking at the time, jump-started an historic season with a victory at the Valspar Championship. The now number one player in the world is hoping that pattern repeats itself, as the tour returns to Innisbrook resort for the 2016 Valspar Championship. Like last season, the reigning Masters and U.S. Open champion is struggling a bit after an early season victory at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. He has a T17, a T21 and a missed cut in last three PGA Tour starts, and is hoping a return to a place with happy memories will kick start his season, in the lead-up to Augusta. The 22-year old highlights a predictably weaker field, a week after the first World Golf Championship event of the season and a week before Arnold Palmer's event at Bay Hill. Only six of the Top 20 players in the field are entered to challenge the famed Copperhead course. The list of elite talent includes Sweden's Henrik Stenson (currently 7th in the Official World Golf Ranking); last year's Valspar runner-up, Patrick Reed (10th); Englishman Danny Willet, who finished T3 at last week's WGC event (11th); and South Africans Branden Grace (12th) and Louis Oosthuizen (18th).
Australia's Adam Scott overcame near disaster, at the World Golf Championships Cadillac Championship on Sunday, to win his second consecutive PGA Tour event and maintain his hold on top of the Razzball Fantasy Golf Rankings, March 8, 2016 edition. Scott was near the lead on the front nine when double bogies on three and five dropped him six shots behind leader Rory McIlroy with 13 holes to play. The 2013 Masters champion responded by going six-under par on that final stretch to edge American Bubba Watson for the title. It was the second consecutive week Scott had overcame major adversity to post a victory. At last week's Honda Classic, Scott was in the lead on Saturday only to make a quadruple bogey seven on the par 3 15th hole. He rallied to beat Sergio Garcia by a single stroke for his first tournament win since May, 2014. Scott holds a lead of more than a thousand points over the second ranked Watson, and looks poised to stay on top for the next few weeks. In addition to success in our fantasy rankings, the Cadillac triumph also moved Scott back to #6 in the Official World Golf Ranking, his highest position in nearly a year.
Here are our Razzball.com Tuesday Fantasy Golf Notes, March 8, 2016 edition.
Resilient Scott Wins AgainYou can admire a lot of things about Adam Scott, but first on the list, after the last two weeks, has to be his resilience in the face of potential catastrophe. Last week, Scott picked up his first win in almost two years at the Honda Classic, overcoming a quadruple bogey seven on the Par 3 15th hole on Saturday and going on to edge Sergio Garcia by a shot. On Sunday he did it again, responding to double bogeys on holes three and five in the opening nine, by going six under par for the next 13 holes. His 3-under par 69 gave him a one shot victory over Bubba Watson. The ability to battle back from adversity, and post wins in back-to-back weeks, bodes well for Scott's chances in the four majors this season. Scott and his many fans probably think he deserves to have more majors than his 2013 Masters victory. Rightly or wrongly (and definitely wrongly in my opinion), the Australian has been viewed as a marvelous technical player, who didn't have the heart or the guts to win when the pressure was the highest. The last two weeks has definitely gone a long way to dispel that feeling among fans, media and Scott's fellow competitors. Now up to number six in the Official World Golf Ranking, he'll be one to watch at Augusta.
Miami, Fla - The Best players in the world are in Miami this week for the first World Golf Championships event of the season. So that means it's time for our 2016 Cadillac Championship picks. This will be the first time this season that all the world's best will be assembled at one event, and it will no doubt go along way towards determining the favorite for the year's first major. Hard to believe that Augusta is only five weeks away. But picking a winner in this wacky 2015-2016 season won't be easy. Dustin Johnson is the defending champion, but like many of the Top 10 players in the Official World Golf Ranking this season, his play has been anything but consistent. Even the so-called "Big Four" of Jordan Spieth, Jason Day, Rory McIlroy and Rickie Fowler, have had their share of highs and lows so far in 2016. Among the top five in the world, Bubba Watson, winner of his last start in Los Angeles, is probably in the best form, and that, coupled with his stellar record at Doral, probably makes him the early-line favorite.
Australia's Adam Scott ended a long victory drought on Sunday with victory at the Honda Classic and the win moved him into top spot in Razzball.com's Fantasy Golf Rankings, March 1, 2016 edition. Scott, who moved back in into the Top 10 (9th) in the Official World Golf Ranking this week, has been red-hot lately with three runner-up finishes and six total top tens in his last eight worldwide starts. The 2013 Masters champion is 160 points up on American Rickie Fowler, who holds at #2 in the rankings for a fourth straight week, maintaining his position with a T6 at PGA National. Another former major champion bursts into the Top 5 at number three. South Africa's Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, jumps 43 places this week after his win at the ISPS Handa Perth International on the European Tour. Oosthuizen edged France's Alexander Levy, who makes the weeks biggest jump from #185 to 17, by a single stroke. It was his first win since January, 2014. Last week's rankings leader, Bubba Watson, drops three places to number four, while Australian Marcus Fraser, a winner a week ago at the Maybank Classic, hits the Top five for the first time after a T15 at the Perth event.
It's a new month, and with the year's first major just five weeks away, it's time for our weekly Razzball.com's Tuesday Fantasy Golf Notes, March 1, 2016 edition. The past weekend featured a return to the winner's circle for a pair of major champions, more unpredictable play from some of the top names in golf and some top finishes by some of golf's up and coming players and one undeniable veteran.
Scott Returns to Winner's CircleAfter enduring his first winless season since 2000 in 2015, Australia's Adam Scott won his 12th PGA Tour title on Sunday, at the Honda Classic, a one-shot victory over Spain's Sergio Garcia. The win broke the longest winless streak of Scott's illustrious career, with his last win coming at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial in May, 2014, and moved him back into the Top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking, at number nine. The triumph also should put to rest any lingering controversy about the 2013 Masters champion's forced switch from the broomstick putter to a more conventional putting club, due to the January 1, 2016 anchoring ban. Scott proved once again that when you swing as well as he does, you can putt any which way and win.
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida - The PGA Tour returns to Florida this week, which means it's time for our fearless 2016 Honda Classic Picks. Last year, 3-time major champion Padraig Harrington broke a long slump with a playoff victory over young American Daniel Berger. It was the Irishmen's first win on tour since winning back-to-back majors at the Open Championship and PGA Championship, way back in 2008. It was also Harrington's second victory at the Honda, having won the event for the first time in 2005. Harrington's back to defend his title and once again will be challenged by some of the game's top players lead by the number three player in the Official World Golf Ranking, Rory McIlroy. The former world number one was the winner of this event in 2012, in a classic duel with Tiger Woods.
There's a new number one player in our weekly Razzball Fantasy Golf Rankings, February 23, 2016 edition. Two time Masters Champion Bubba Watson claimed the top spot by winning the Northern Trust Open on Sunday, his second win at Hogan's Alley in the last three years. His total of 1,580 points edged fellow American Rickie Fowler, who holds at #2. Watson jumped all the way from #32 a week, ago to claim the number one position, the biggest move into top spot since we began our rankings in November. The victory also moved Bubba back to fourth in the Official World Golf Ranking, as he swapped spots with his buddy, Fowler. South Africans hold down the next two positions. Branden Grace, who led the ranking the past three weeks, slips to number three, while countryman Charl Schwartzel slips one spot to land at #4. American Brandt Snedeker falls one position to #5, staying in the Top five for the fourth consecutive week.