Any golf tournament that features performances by Darius Rucker and Kid Rock, attracts north of a half million fans, and coincides with the NFL’s championship game is bound to be entertaining. Throw in the fact that this year, it’s actually happening in the same city as the big game, and all of a sudden Phoenix is the destination city of choice this weekend for, well, everyone.
The best thing about the Winter Golf Classic? If $100 is too rich for your blood, enter the $75K Medium Golf Classic for $20 or the $30K Mini Golf Classic (which has nothing to do with Putt-Putt) for only $2. Or enter all three. A bunch of times. Whatever works for you.
Bubba Watson ($14,300) – He lost here by one stroke last year, which was his third top-10 in the event. He’s not going to be easy to afford, but he’s finished no worse than T-11 so far this season, and you know he’ll be looking avenge himself for last year. You know someone is going to afford him, and that someone might take a victory from Bubba and turn it into a win of his or her own.
Jordan Spieth ($13,400) – He’s actually never played here before, so maybe some owners will overlook him, not having a good history to fall back on as a reason to draft him. If you could manage to get him at a lower ownership than you’d expect, he could pay even better dividends than usual. And that’s despite a win his last time out – pretty good dividends.
Brendan Steele ($8,800) – He ended up at T2 just last weekend, and in the last three years at Scottsdale, he’s got two T6′s and a T5. Apparently he likes it here. Who am I to argue?
Brooks Koepka ($8,300) – Koepka is a young kid who’s last two PGA events were back in October, and he finished T4 and T8. And since then, he’s been playing on the European Tour, and playing pretty well. He is six for six in cuts made, has three finishes of T11 or better, and he got himself a win in Turkey in November. He could be primed to make a bit of a name for himself this season, so you might as well take advantage of the price tag before it rises.
Robert Streb ($7,400) – Streb finished T8 and T17 in the two tournaments he’s played in so far in 2015. In both cases, he did it with solid, steady scoring, which is exactly what you want in a fantasy format. At the Sony Open, his last appearance, he played four rounds under 70, following an opening 63 with three consecutive 69’s. So he flashed his upside, and demonstrated his consistency… consistency with upside. Exactly what you are always looking for.
Rory Sabbatini ($6,400) – He ended up 24th last weekend, following a T6 performance at the Sony Open a week prior. He was playing well last fall as well, so this is not necessarily even out of the blue, and yet his price tag is sticking pretty low. You aren’t drafting him thinking he’s going to win it for you, and realistically, he won’t. But he could be throwing around plenty of birdies come the weekend if he manages to stick around.
In case you didn’t notice, I didn’t write about Phil Mickelson ($11,400) or Tiger Woods ($11,400) – at least not up there. Oh well, now I’ve done it. But you knew about them already, right? Left-handed guy, grew up in Arizona, has won this tourney three different times, will be by far the biggest fan favorite, finished top-25 in his first start of the year last weekend? Yeah, him. He might be a good option too. And Tiger? Well, he’s playing, anyway. That’s always fun.