Jhonattan Vegas was the victor last weekend at the Bob Hope Classic (potentially the Bill Clinton Classic soon?) for his first PGA Tour win and a jolt up the FedEx Cup Rankings (now sitting at 509 points). This week’s Tour stop is at the Farmer Insurance Open played at Torrey Pines’ South and North Courses, which means Tiger Woods breaks into the 2011 season for the first time. Last week was pretty tough for my leagues, so here’s hoping these picks can turn things around in California.
Starter: Tiger Woods; Bench: Lucas Glover
Tiger is this week’s “no brainer”, having won each of his last 5 appearances on Tour at Torrey Pines including a memorable 2008 US Open battle with Rocco Mediate (more on him later). This is the first time we will get to see a supposed swing overhaul on Tiger since working overtime last few months with new swing coach Sean Foley. Woods is now ranked #3 in the WGR but showed flashes of his old self at the end of 2010 by placing three straight top-ten finishes. Glover has cooled off since winning the US Open a couple years ago, but his decent track record at Torrey Pines makes him a solid bench choice.
Starters: Bill Haas, Bubba Watson; Bench: Rickie Fowler, Ben Crane
Haas played exceptionally well last week at the Bob Hope Classic, finishing second after losing in a playoff to eventual winner Johnattan Vegas. Starting him this week is really nothing more than staying with the hot hand. Watson has also played well thus far in the 2011 season including a Top 25 finish in the season’s inaugural tournament at Kapalua (including an unbelievable approach shot that still makes my jaw drop). Ben Crane has some experience with winning the Farmers Insurance event, which he accomplished last year. Fowler is more of a shot in the dark, having yet to play this season.
Starter: Rocco Mediate; Bench: Jhonattan Vegas
I know, I know; not starting Vegas goes completely against my belief to stick with the hot players as long as you can. But Mediate has always played well at Torrey Pines, including the obvious 2008 Open. The strategy this week is to give Rocco one round to go low, otherwise bring Vegas in to finish the tournament.