Kapalua, Hawaii - The 2015-2016 PGA Tour season, fresh off a six-week break, resumes this weekend in Hawaii with the 64th playing of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. It's the 18th time the event has been played in the Aloha state. In addition to being the first tour event of 2016, it also signals the start of many fantasy golf leagues, who use the calendar year, rather than the PGA Tour's wrap-around schedule to run their competitions. With a field that includes the top two players in the Official World Golf Ranking , and six of the top 10, the Tournament of Champions this year promises to be one of the most interesting and entertaining season openers in years. To help all of you get 2016 off to a quick start, here are our Razzball.com Fantasy Golf Hyundai Tournament of Champions Picks.
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Kapalua, Hawaii - After an extended break of almost a month and a half, the 2015-2016 PGA Tour season resumes this week at the Plantation Course at Kapalua, Hawaii, with the playing of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. The strong field includes six of the Top 10 players in the World, including the number one player in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), Jordan Spieth and world number two, Jason Day. Defending champion Patrick Reed, the current number one player in the Razzball.com Fantasy Golf Rankings, is also in the field. At the other end of the spectrum, Americans Peter Malnati, ranked 176th in the World and J.J. Henry, at # 223 are also in the select field of a tournament that rewards one week of relative greatness, rather than a consistently excellent season. Perhaps shockingly, only nine players who competed in the event in 2015 return in 2016, a testament to the difficulty of winning on the PGA Tour in the modern era. Among those not in the field are World #3 Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Jim Furyk, Phil Mickelson, Adam Scott and Tiger Woods.
With the resumption of the 2015-2016 PGA Tour season less than a week away, here are three things to watch as the PGA Tour 2016 begins in Hawaii.
1) The Race for Number OneAs 2016 begins, we are entering a golden age of golf as three gifted, generational type players wage a close battle for the position of number one player in the World in the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR). Masters' and U.S. Open champion Jordan Spieth, PGA Champion Jason Day and multiple major champion Rory McIlroy, all spent time as World #1 in 2015 and the race for the #1 position should be a year-long battle during PGA Tour 2016. And there's other players who think it's more than a three horse race including Players' Champion Rickie Fowler, American Dustin Johnson and Sweden's Henrik Stenson, Expect frequent changes and lots of drama as the best players in the world chase golf's holy grail.
It's the holiday season, and time for all the good little PGA Tour players to tuck themselves in their cozy little beds, hang up their stockings by the shag bag with care and dream about birdies, eagles, trophies and majors. The 2016 PGA Tour season is fast approaching and players are taking stock and figuring out what they want, and need, to make this season one to remember. Almost every player on Tour wants something under their Christmas tree heading into the new year. So, as a public service to the players who give us so much joy and excitement during the year, we've put together this Christmas list. We will forward it to the North Pole, and hopefully it will be there in time to catch the Jolly Old Elf before he plays his final round of the holiday season. In addition to the normal requests for new clubs, new shoes and a new golf duds, some of our more notable players have gotten a little more creative this year with their requests to Santa. There's a good possibility that Some of these items might not be available at his local Walmart. Letters keep pouring in from PGA Tour players around the globe and here's what we have so far.
In this three part series, Razzball.com's golf editor, Joe MacDonald, will give you his selections of the Top 30 players at the end of the 2015-2016 FedEx Cup season. In installment number one on Sunday, we looked at the guys who will rank in the Top 10 at the end of the year. On Tuesday, the erstwhile editor made his selections for positions 11 through 20. Today, in the final article in the series, MacDonald chooses the players who will round out the field at the 2016 Tour Championship. The whole process of picking the Top 30 in the 2015-2016 FedEx Cup is a challenge, but this final article, is without doubt, the most difficult piece in the series. The top 10 was easy, and barring injury or other natural disaster, all of the players listed in our Top 10 should be at East Lake for the Tour finale. Positions 11-20 was a little more challenging, and we did go out on the limb on a couple of players, but again, we are pretty confident that most of the players we chose for the middle ten will at least have a spot in the field for the Tour Championship. But now it gets hard. We considered more than 60 players in trying to determine our final ten. Major champions were snubbed. Players with a history of playoff success were completely ignored. So for better, or worse, here are our picks for positions 21 through 30 in the 2015-2016 FedEx Cup final standings. As in the first two installments in the series, OWGR indicates a player's current placing in the Official World Golf Rankings and FEC indicates where he finished in the final 2014-2015 FedEx Cup Standings.
In this three part series, Razzball.com's golf editor, Joe MacDonald, will give you his selections of the Top 30 players at the end of the 2016 FedEx Cup season. In installment number one on Sunday, we looked at the guys who will rank in the Top 10 at the end of the year. Today, MacDonald will select players 11-20 and the series will conclude on Saturday with positions 21-30. Okay, I'm the first to admit it. Picking the Top 10 was the easy part. Even someone with a passing interest in the PGA Tour, probably could have picked most of the guys in our first installment of predictions. To refresh your memory, our Top 10 was Jordan Spieth, Bubba Watson, Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Dustin Johnson, Henrik Stenson, Jason Day, Patrick Reed, Justin Rose and Kevin Kisner, in that order. Now we look at player 11-20, a little more challenging, but still lots of predictable names. OWGR indicates a player's current placing in the Official World Golf Rankings and FEC indicates where he finished in the final 2014-2015 FedEx Cup Standings.
In this three part series, Razzball.com's golf editor, Joe MacDonald, will give you his selections of the Top 30 players at the end of the 2016 FedEx Cup season. In installment number one, we look at the guys who will rank in the Top 10 at the end of the year. On Tuesday, MacDonald will select players 11-20 and the series will conclude on Saturday with players 21-30. 2015 was a great year for the FedEx Cup (FEC). We saw a great battle between Jason Day and Jordan Spieth , that saw Spieth ultimately win his first Fed Ex Cup with a victory at the Tour Championship. Going into the final event, Spieth and Day, as well as Henrik Stenson, Bubba Watson and Rickie Fowler, had destiny in their own hands, meaning a win would secure the title. That meant you had five of the top six players in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) battling for the Cup, a dream scenario for the tour and all golf fans. We expect all five of those players to be in contention for the 2016 FedEx Cup, as well, but they will face challenges from some familiar faces, and maybe a newcomer or two, as the 2016 season reaches it's climax.
He didn't win this fall, but there's no doubt that Patrick Reed is one of the hottest players in golf, since the end of the 2015-2016 PGA Tour season. Six straight top tens, including a couple of runner-up finishes and a third place showing, may not have resulted in the 25-year old posing with any trophies, but it does move him to the top of Razzball.com's Fantasy Golf Rankings, as the 2015 calendar year comes to a close. Reed, after play last weekend, leads the rankings with 2,592 points, overtaking last week's #1, Rory McIlroy, after a second place finish at the Hero World Challenge. McIlroy remains in second place.
As the 2015 year quickly fades away, here's our weekly look at things we noticed in the world of fantasy golf, for the week ending December 6, 2015. It was highlighted by tour de force performances by Marc Leishman and Bubba Watson, the continuation of one great run and the end of another and a new rising force in the golfing world.
1) Marc Leishman Wins at NedbankIn a dominating performance, Australia's Marc Leishman beat a select, but high quality field at the Nedbank Golf Challenge. The 32-year old had rounds of 68-68-66-67 to beat Sweden's Henrik Stenson by six shots and third place finisher Chris Wood by 10. It was Leishman's first top 10 since he lost in a playoff to Zach Johnson at the 144th Open Championship at St. Andrews in July, and continues a trend of playing well on quality golf courses and in big events. His other top finishes last year included Top 10's at the Memorial and at the WGC-Cadillac Match Play event. The one thing lacking in Leishman's career to this point has been consistency and hopefully this win will be a springboard for a very successful 2016. He has to be considered a favorite to be the next Australian to win a major.
New Providence, Bahamas - With a new venue, and a host with an uncertain golfing future, the 17th Hero World Challenge begins Wednesday at the Albany Resort in the Bahamas. Tiger Woods, the tournament host and a five-time champion of the event, is on the shelf after back surgery and it doesn't look like he'll be back any time soon. Defending champion and World Number One, Jordan Spieth, is back after his dominating, tournament record -26 total last year, albeit on a different layout. The new course adds a little bit of uncertainty to the event, but, undaunted, here is our projected order of finish for the 18-player field. Players are listed with their position on the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) and their assigned salary on Draft Kings (DK), a leading daily fantasy sports site.