Fantasy Golf Picks: The Open Championship
Starter: Padraig Harrington; Bench: Luke Donald
The PGA TOUR and European PGA make their way to the season's third major championship this week: The Open Championship (aka The British Open) at Royal St. George's in Sandwich, England. Defending champion Louis Oostheuizen will once again be in the field, however as will overnight-phenom Rory McIlory (more on him later). This week's fanatsy golf picks begin with one man who has plenty of experiencing winning the Open, and another who continues his quest for the elusive first major victory: Paddy Harrington and Luke Donald, respectively. Both men have similar games in terms of talent - with Donald having the much stronger year - and both have what it takes to win the Open this week. I'm going with Harrington to start based primarily on his experience in the event, but I wouldn't be surprised if Donald breaks through and captures his first major.
Starters: Angel Cabrera, Charl Schwartzel; Bench: Webb Simpson, Steve Stricker
Angel Cabrera has always been somewhat of a mystery to me. The man is hardly ever seen on any TOUR during the season (mainly due to health problems), but then always seems to be in contention at almost every major he plays. He's won two already, and he was in the final group at this year's Masters in April. Schwartzel evetually escaped Augusta with that title, of course, and he again made some noise at the US Open earlier last month. In terms of fantasy golf points, Schwartzel remains strong in 2011 with a 40.50 points average, making his biggest moves on Sunday. Steve Stricker is the hot-hand this week having won his third-consecutive John Deere Classic title, and in impressive fashion. While he hasn't necessarily featured a game that would traditionally make him a favorite in the Open Championship conditions, he is likely to find his place on many fantasy rosters this week (especially since he has yet to miss a cut in 2011). Webb Simpson is a complete guess, however his strong play during 2011 makes him a solid reserve this week.
Starter: Rory McIlroy; Bench: Sergio Garcia
Talk about a story of two careers, eh? One player has nothing but opportunity in his future while the other is trying to recapture the fire of youth and what seemed like the beginning of a fruitfull career. Rory McIlroy is playing golf the way Sergio Garcia should have back in the day. McIlroy is the obvious favorite this week in the Open, however a question of conditioning may be in the minds of some due to a three-week playing hiatus for the young superstar. Garcia has been playing strong golf this year, and even place in the top 10 at this season's US Open.