The Hawaii swing is in the books and my man Jimmy Walker picked me up some decent points with my fantasy golf picks at the Sony Open last week. The Tour is back on the mainland now in Southern California where Patrick Reed is defending this week and Phil Mickelson is slimmer and ready for a better 2015.
This year I am on a mission to bash Phil Mickelson every time I get, because frankly he pissed me off last year with his habit of quitting in the middle of rounds. Phil Mickelson is no longer a player I root for, but I digress.
The PGA Tour moves to La Quinta, CA this week at the Palmer Course at PGA West. The course is pretty weak if you ask me, playing slightly less than 7,000 yards. This is precisely why Patrick Reed won last year at 28-under par and 17 players shot 20-under or better.
Look for lots of birdies to be made this week and the winning score be i the 20-under par range again this year.
63-63-63-71. What do those numbers represent? If you guessed the winning score last year you’d be right. Patrick Reed shot a 28-under par round last year, with three 63’s mixed in. That’s pretty bad-ass. Hell, the second place guy, Ryan Palmer, shot -26 last year, so he was right there with him.
Reed is once again a favorite this week and I expect him to play well coming off his sudden death playoff win over Jimmy Walker in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions two weeks ago.
PGATour.com Fantasy Golf Rank
Once again this week I will be making my fantasy golf picks to see how I fare in the PGATour.com Expert group. It currently has 676 active players or something like that. I am in 516th place, so I need to make up some ground. My strategy is do-or-die. I cannot pick the same players as everyone else because I won’t make up any ground. So I feel I need to pick a sleeper, maybe two sleepers, and hope they have a good week. This week I will be going with one.
Front9Back9 Fantasy Golf Picks: Humana Challenge
As mentioned above, Ryan Palmer finished in a solo-second here last year, shooting 26-under par. He is streaky and can make a lot of birdies if he gets hot. Watch out for Ryan Palmer to be near the top by Sunday.
Yes, I just had to pick Patrick Reed as the defending champ. He’s coming off the great win in Maui two weeks ago and can also make a lot of birdies, which will be needed at PGA West Palmer.
Rory is currently ranked #34 in the Fed Ex cup and has cashed two top-10’s this year so far. He finished T-6 last week at Sony Open in Hawaii. He’s playing well and can also make a lot of birdies if his game is on. I don’t think too many people will pick Rory. So maybe I can pick up some points.
One of the rookies in the field this week is Justin Thomas, who is off to a great start so far this PGA Tour season. He finished T-6 last week at Honolulu and has already banked $393K this year in his first few starts. I expect Justin Thomas to be one of rookies who wins first on the PGA Tour this year, and why not this week in La Quinta.
New Addition to the Fantasy Picks
Yep, that’s right, a video. It’s a little lame for my first try and I will be making it better over the next week, but I think it’s okay for my first attempt.
I’ll be trying to post a video every week to YouTube with my picks and breakdown as well. Check out the Front9Back9 Golf Blog YouTube Channel, leave us a comment, then tell us what you think on Twitter @Front9Back9.