As the PGA Tour looks forward to the second Major of the year next week at Pinehurst No. 2 where the US Open will happen this season, there is still one more stop for the pros this week as they battle it out at TPC Southwind in Memphis, Tennessee where they’ll be looking to tune-up their game on this difficult par-70 before taking on the annual challenge that is the US Open.
Last week, my picks post took a week off due to other business obligations, but the PGA Tour rolled right along without me in an exciting week at the Memorial including a playoff and a big win for Hideki Matsuyama. It was a low-scoring week overall (which isn’t good in fantasy golf), but “Lee Carvallo’s Fantasy Golf” put up 159 points which was good enough to win the week in our ultra-competetive 50-person fantasy golf group (details to join here). Overall, Harbour Dogs leads the overall standings and the Spring segment of the competition.
This week, the field is a little bit shallower, but there are some fairly proven commodities at TPC Southwind that should definitely be on your roster. Here’s how mine looks:
Lee Westwood: Westwood has been playing well lately including a trio of top-ten’s in his last five starts. He won this event back in 2010 and followed that with a t11 the next year which was the last time he played the St. Jude. He hasn’t played on Tour since THE PLAYERS where he finished tied for sixth.
Charles Howell III: Matt Kuchar was in late and then opted out of the St. Jude, so make sure you don’t still have him rostered. He left the A-list even thinner than it already was, but there are still some intriguing options including Phil Mickelson, Patrick Reed, and Rickie Fowler. I’m going with CHIII, though, since he’s shown flashes of solid form lately and could be in contention if he can put together good rounds. Two tournaments ago, he finished t3 at the Nelson which was his third top-20 finish in the last few months. Last week, he had two good rounds and two bad rounds going 69-75-71-74 on his way to a t57. He needs to be more consistent but has made the cut in each of the last four years at TPC Southwind highlighted by a t3 in 2011.
Dustin Johnson: DJ is one of the few big names in the B-List pool this week, but he’s too good here to overlook him to go with more unconventional options. He won the St. Jude two years ago and last year finished in the top ten once again. His current form also indicates he’s in for a good week since he’s coming off a t14 at Colonial and has six top-15 finishes this season.
Billy Horschel: Known for his emotion on the course, the streaky Horschel is trending the right way and is coming off a top-15 last week at the Memorial. He finished in the top ten at this event last season and his putter is showing signs of life which could put him right in the thick of things on Sunday.
Martin Flores: Flores has been quietly putting together a nice run having made seven straight cuts and ten of his last 11. In that timespan, he has six top 20′s including last week’s t19 thanks to finishing with a 71 on Sunday. He’s made the cut at TPC Southwind the last two seasons with a t47 last year after a t13 in 2012.
Fredrik Jacobson: Jacobson has made the cut in nine of his last ten events with six top 20′s during that run. The Swede missed the cut at last year’s St. Jude but had played and made the cut at the event every year since 2007 prior to that slip-up. He’s a consistent option who rounds out by B-List options counteracting some risk with Horschel and Flores.
Ryan Palmer: Palmer is the top C-List option that is in the field this week with five top-1o’s in his 11 starts during this fantasy season. When you add to that the fact that he’s coming off back-to-back top 5 finishes at the St. Jude, he’s a no-brainer to have on your roster this week in Memphis.
Thorbjorn Olesen: Since I’m going with Palmer who is extremely safe, I’m going way down the list for my second C-list choice and taking a flier on Olesen. The young Dane was on the rise before an injury derailed him, but last week he exploded back onto the scene with a t8 at the Memorial. He has huge long-term potential and is one of my favorite emerging internationals. It’s a roll of the dice to roster him this week, but it’s one I think I can afford with Palmer as a steady option as my other pick at this spot.