Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Zurich Classic of New Orleans - Fantasy Picks

The PGA Tour continually reminds us that, “These guys are good”. We shouldn’t require any more reminders after watching Jordan Spieth make history at the Masters, and Jim Furyk conquer his demons at the RBC Heritage. 

These last two weeks symbolize very nicely the current state of golf on the PGA Tour. We are witnessing greatness in the youth of our game, foreshadowing exciting times to come. At the same time, established veterans are teaching that experience is an invaluable asset to possess when earning a place in the winner’s circle. 

This week’s Zurich Classic is sure to be a shootout, as it is being played at TPC Louisiana, a course which ranks as one of the easiest on the PGA Tour, and is an event that has historically shown favour to first time winners. Whether we see another first-timer get the job done this week, or one with an established presence on Tour, the state of our game is great, and these week should have no shortage of excitement. 
  1. Dustin Johnson - Has finished in the top 6 in five of the seven tournaments he’s played since returning to the game in February. One of the hottest players on the planet in the last couple months. 
  2. Jason Day - The number six ranked golfer in the world and the highest ranking player in this week’s field. One could argue that he has gone through a mini “slump” the past six weeks, but with this said, has still not finished worse than T31 all year. 
  3. Rickie Fowler - Showed signs at the Masters of getting back to being the Rickie we saw in 2014. Took last week off, look for him to come out rested and ready to compete. 
  4. Justin Rose - Has not played particularly well on Tour this year, but it’s very hard not to pick the likeable Englishman after his stellar performance at the Masters two weeks ago. Expect to see his game back in form this week at TPC Louisiana. 
  5. Morgan Hoffmann - Since making a serious run at Bay Hill, Hoffmann’s name continues to surface on leaderboards. Posted a T9 last week at RBC Heritage, further proving that this young man’s game is legit. 
  6. Steve Stricker - Finished T28 at the Masters in his first start since having back surgery. A model of consistency, Stricker appears healthy. Does not carry a heavy competitive schedule, but always a good fantasy pick when he does compete. 
  7. Keegan Bradley - Last year, a final round 75 cost him the tournament. Coming off solid performances in his last two events played (T5 @ Shell Houston Open & T22 @The Masters). 
  8. Robert Streb - Had a stretch of solid play from October to February. Showed signs of getting his game back in shape last week at the RBC Heritage. Finished T2 at this tournament last year. 
  9. Troy Merritt - Played very good golf last week at the RBC Heritage. Ranks 4th on Tour in strokes gained putting, combine this with improved ball-striking of late and you have yourself a solid fantasy pick. 
  10. Sean O’Hair - Has finished in top 30 in five of last six events played. A final round 64 led to 6th place finish last week at Hilton Head. 
  11. Branden Grace - Finished T7 last week at RBC Heritage. A name that has begun to appear on a more regular basis at Tour events lately. 
  12. Brandon de Jonge - Has been making a lot of cuts this year, and has recorded eight top 30’s. Coming off T5 finish at Shell Houston Open, and T18 finish last week. 

Sleeper Picks
  1. Will Wilcox - Playing well this year. Coming off a good week in Mexico where he placed T12 at the Web.com’s Mexico Championship. 
  2. Jim Herman - Ranks third on Tour in GIR. The former assistant pro at Trump National Bedminster in New Jersey is continuing to show signs that his game is taking shape. 
  3. David Toms - The Louisiana native played well here at home last year, finishing T15. One of the shorter hitters in the field this week, averaging just under 270 yards off the tee, David does rank second in fairways hit and has added motivation of the home crowd.

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This article was written by Jonathan Carr (@jonathanwcarr) as part of our weekly #FantasyGolf series. Each week we preview the upcoming PGA Tour event and highlight some of the players we'll be keeping an eye on. As a scratch golfer himself, Jonathan has a keen eye for what it takes to be successful on and off the golf course. His passion for golf is surpassed only by his passion for his faith and his family. Read some of Jonathan's other articles here.