In a lot of ways, it’s disappointing that we didn’t have any DFS contests to up the ante for our viewing pleasure during the Presidents’ Cup, which just wrapped up with a narrow victory for the Americans over the Internationals in South Korea. But luckily the same format that makes it impossible to run a DFS contest also created enough drama on it’s own to almost make up for the lack of a good sweat as the tourney came to a close. Almost.
Bill Haas clinched the victory this past weekend, but a lot of notable golfers played, and knowing what happened this past weekend might very well inform some of your lineup decisions in the coming weeks. Because while the season officially ends with the FedEx Cup playoffs, the only real break of the year comes from December – January. So how players have performed in the last few tournaments isn’t some distant past telling you how they played “last year” – the end of the 14-15 year just happened.
And, for starters, Phil Mickelson killed it. He was holing out from off the green left and right and finished 3-0-1 after a victory over Charl Schwartzel. Jason Day didn’t win a match, Bubba Watson missed a pressure-packed putt when he needed it, and Zach Johnson and Hideki Matsuyama both played very consistent golf. Marc Leishman matched a solid Spieth shot-for-shot and ended up coming out on top. Chris Kirk had a putt drop to secure a huge point late, and watching his teammates jump around and react excitedly, you realize these guys are trying to come through for one another, and that desire has put more pressure on them than any sized purse could. This was already a good day for people who love watching golf, and then Haas didn’t clinch the victory until the final hole of the final match. Like I said, plenty of excitement.
But now that is behind us, and the 2015-2016 PGA Tour season officially tees off on Thursday morning in Napa, CA, at the Silverado CC (North). And there is going to be some talent on hand. Rory McIlroy and Justin Rose might be the headliners, but there are players who made noise throughout the 14-15 year up and down the top ten. Matsuyama is the highest-priced choice who was also active in the Presidents Cup, and if you do take his performance there into consideration, as I mentioned above, it can only help: 2-1-1 with a victory over J.B. Holmes on the 18th green near the end that gave the International team a fighting chance at the time.
But despite the fact that he is the best example of this past weekend helping inform your decision, the FedEx Cup playoffs happened just a few weeks ago as well. And remember – the earlier in the playoffs someone got “cut,” the longer it has been since they’ve played. So the fact that Daniel Berger finished 11th in the final FedEx Cup standings counts for a couple of things: not only did be prove he belongs on the course with anyone, he kept his game sharp and played through pressure-filled situations up until just a couple of weeks ago, really. Other contestants who played deep into the playoffs include McIlroy and Rose, Matsuyama, Koepka, and Justin Thomas. The way that the playoffs are structured, even guys like Tony Finau (no longer a rookie!) and Chris Kirk finishing inside the top 50 in the final standings means they came through when it counted more than once against really good golfers.