Players Championship Fantasy Picks and Sleepers
The golf season is really hitting its stride now – the Masters is done and dusted for another year, two World Golf Championship events have been completed and now we head to what is considered to be one of the biggest events of the year in the Players Championship. This is a tournament that keeps you gripped until the very end, as no player can breathe easy until the iconic par 3 17th is out of the way – the water all around the island green being the home for many golf balls over the years.
This week has certainly been made more interesting by the win of Rory McIlroy at the World MatchPlay Championship last week and it’s clear that he and rival Jordan Spieth are the two best players on the planet right now. One look at the sportsbooks tells you that these two are way out ahead when it comes to favoritism with every other player trailing in their wake – however neither have won this event, so these two players domiating is far from a shoe-in.
Players Championship Golfer Picks
Jordan Spieth – In terms of overall salary, having both McIlroy and Spieth in your lineup is almost certainly going to be too expensive, so I’ve picked one of the two. Of the two, its clear Spieth has had the better year so far and when Spieth played here last year he finished one shot better than McIlroy. Last year Spieth entered the weekend just one shot back of eventual winner Martin Kaymer and the 2015 Spieth might well go onto win this year if in a similar position.
Henrik Stenson – Stenson has done everything but win this year and looked primed for a big challenge at the Masters until illness got the better of him a couple of weeks before the event. He struggled at the MatchPlay last week, but Strokeplay and MatchPlay are two very different animals and Stenson will welcome a return to the tournament he won back in 2009.
Tiger Woods – Yes, I have picked Tiger Woods. This is the first time I’ve picked him since I started making picks at this site, but I have good reason. Firstly, Tiger is a two time winner of the event and last won here just two years ago in 2013. Secondly, Tiger over performed at the Masters and certainly has his competitive juices going. For me however, the most important factor was that Woods actually looked fit, with no back problems whatsoever. I don’t think he will necessarily win, but a solid top 20 finish will see Woods being a value pick and top 20 is well within his grasp.
Justin Rose – This year has all been about Jordan Spieth, but if he hadn’t played at all this year, we might all be talking about Justin Rose instead. Rose has won one tour event and was the player who looked most likely to topple Spieth at Augusta. Rose played four solid rounds here last year in finishing 4th and he has to be considered at every big event. Rose is officially the world number six, but I personally have him 3 places higher than that right now.
Billy Horschel – Horschel had something of an agonizing week at the WGC MatchPlay. He won his first two matches and led Rory McIlroy for most of the third match, the winner of the match proceeding to the knockout phase. Unfortunately for Horschel, he couldn’t get the job done – but in some strange way mixing it up with McIlroy might give him a confidence boost. Having watched the Fedex Cup playoffs last year, we all know what a confident Horschel is capable of.
Ryan Palmer (sleeper) – If you want a player with consistency on your roster, you have to consider Palmer this week. In eight strokeplay events so far this year he has missed just one cut, had one 33rd place finish while every other finish has been 25th or better. Add in the fact that Palmer knows how to do well here and we have a player who might be the perfect pick this week.
Kevin Streelman (sleeper) – Streelman is the type of player who can be difficult to gauge at times. Week in, week out he doesn’t actually make a massive impact, with just nine top ten finishes in his last 67 events. However, a win in each of the last two years makes you sit up and take notice. With five straight made cuts and a joint 2nd here two years, Streelman has to be considered.
Marc Leishman (sleeper) – Leishman reached a career high 41st in the world at the end of last year, although a somewhat disappointing start to this year has seen him drop to 57th. However, he will take great confidence from his performance at the MatchPlay last week after coming through the group stage (beating Justin Rose in the process). Leishman also has a solid record at TPC Sawgrass, with finishes of 8th and 23rd in the last two years.
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