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Fantasy Golf

Fantasy Fix: How Jordan Spieth could make (odd) history at the Byron Nelson

You probably didn't realize it, but Jordan Spieth has a chance to make history this week at the AT&T Byron Nelson -- not that he necessarily wants to. The reigning Masters champ has finished runner-up in all three PGA Tour events played in his home state of Texas this season. Should he make it four for four -- the Lone Star Second-Place Slam? Hmm, let's work on this -- it would be an impressive, yet frustrating feat. What's sure to frustrate everyone in the field, fans, and tournament officials, though, is the record amount of rain the Dallas-Fort Worth area continues to get in May. The soggy conditions at TPC Las Colinas will give long hitters a huge advantage both in winning the tournament and for picking up fantasy points. Finding fairways will be easier, but picking up those five-pointers for 300-yard pokes is going to require guys who can carry the ball a long way. Whose brawny arms are we turning to for help? Here's our weekly PGA Tour Fantasy Golf lineup:

Related: Sign up for PGA Tour Fantasy Golf

Jordan Spieth: Not a bomber, but not short by any means, either. Plus, he's Jordan Spieth. Consider that he was in contention at this event in the final round when he was 17. Now he's all of 21 and as we mentioned, his record in Texas is pretty good. We'll use him hear and save his final start of this segment for the U.S. Open.

Jimmy Walker: A Texan by residence and a long hitter, Walker has been mired in a slump since injuring his left wrist at the Masters. It can't be much of a concern with him playing back-to-back weeks, though, and with his recent struggles, this is the rare time you can pick the second-ranked player in the FedEx Cup standings as somewhat of a sleeper.

The Grind: Bubba goes in the dunk tank and Keegan/Jillian go out in NYC

Jason Day: The Aussie has been relatively quiet since his hot start to the season, but he should get back on track at the Byron Nelson. Day won his first PGA Tour event here in 2010 and has two other top 10s at Las Colinas in his three starts since.

UPDATE: Day, along with several other players including Ian Poulter have withdrawn. We'll replace him with arguably the longest hitter in golf, Dustin Johnson.

Marc Leishman: Another long-hitter, the Aussie has finished in the top 12 in five of his six trips to Dallas, including T-3s in two of his past three starts. Since returning to action about a month ago after his wife's health scare, Leishman has finished no worse than T-28 in four events. Oh yeah, and he seems to enjoy himself in the rain.

Bench: Brooks Koepka and Justin Thomas.

And for those of you playing other fantasy golf formats:

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

Yahoo! lineup: Palmer, Day, Spieth, Hoffman.
Bench/backups: Koepka, Leishman, Walker, Thomas.

Knockout/One-and-done pick: Leishman.

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Fantasy Golf

Can Jordan Spieth answer Rory McIlroy at Colonial?

The second Texas two-step of the PGA Tour season begins this week with the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. You can finally take a break from putting Rory McIlroy in your lineup because the World No. 1 has lept across the pond to play in the BMW PGA Championship. Well, unless you're also in a European Tour fantasy golf league. If that's the case, you might need to reevaluate things. . . But back to Colonial, which has as rich a history as any non-major thanks to Ben Hogan winning here five times and getting honored with a statue by the clubhouse. Who will follow in his footsteps this week and take home the plaid jacket? Here's our PGA Tour Fantasy Golf lineup:

Related: Sign up for PGA Tour Fantasy Golf

Jordan Spieth: There's not much to find fault with here. Oddsmakers have Spieth as an overwhelming favorite (5 to 1), he finally rested after a busy stretch of golf, and he's finished in the top 15 in both prior trips to Colonial. We've seen what Rory McIlroy did in response to Spieth winning the Masters. This is a great opportunity for Spieth to reply in his own way. And check out this gray sweater vest he wore recently:

Ben Hogan would approve.

Adam Scott: The defending champ has fallen out of the top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking, but he still makes our list of the game's top-10 ball-strikers. Scott led the field in proximity to the hole by more than six feet during his win last year. Whether he's converting birdie putts or not, that sort of iron play should provide plenty of points.

Related: Behind the camera at the Players Championship

Zach Johnson: No one has played Colonial better in recent years than ZJ, who had a remarkable four-year run from 2010-2013 in which he won twice and added a third and a fourth. Johnson benefits from this being one of the shorter courses on tour and his accuracy off the tee makes him extra valuable this week.

Ryan Palmer: While ZJ has played the Crowne Plaza Invitational the best in recent years, there's probably no golfer who has played Colonial more than Ryan Palmer during that time. The Texas native is a member at the Fort Worth club and that familiarity with the course has paid off the past three years with three top-15 finishes, including a pair of T-5s.

Bench: Boo Weekley and Kevin Kisner.

The Grind: Rory's extra gear and Miss America's golf tan lines

And for those of you playing other fantasy golf formats:

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

Yahoo! lineup: Palmer, Spieth, Senden, Weekley.
Bench/backups: Scott, Kisner, Poulter, Na.

Knockout/One-and-done pick: Zach Johnson.

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Fantasy Golf

Fantasy Fix: Rory McIlroy seems like a safe bet, even when he doesn't have his best stuff

We learned a lot last week. In real golf, Rickie Fowler isn't overrated. And in fantasy golf, the PGA Tour's new contest is pretty cool. Take Day 1 at the Players. Jason Day, Sergio Garcia and Rory McIlroy all shot 69, but Day earned 74 points, Garcia earned 83 and McIlroy a whopping 97 in the first round, thanks in large part to his driving statistics. Fantasy golf isn't all about score anymore and that seems pretty cool. If you missed it last week, read our explainer on how PGA Tour Fantasy Golf works, sign up, and even join our Golf Digest league. On a personal note, I also learned not to forget to remove guys from my lineup the night they miss the cut (thanks, Jason Day). Here's to better success this week with this lineup of four starters and two bench players:

Related: Sign up for PGA Tour Fantasy Golf

Rory McIlroy: I went back and forth on this one, but wound up leaving McIlroy in. He spent much of his week at TPC Sawgrass looking like this:

And yet he still finished T-8 at the Players. At Quail Hollow, he's finished in the top 10 in four of five tries, including his breakthrough PGA Tour win there in 2010. Plus, as we found out last week, having him in the lineup just for his driving stats is pretty fruitful.

Related: Behind the camera at the Players Championship

Bill Haas: Lost in all the Rickie Players hoopla was the fact that this guy should have won the tournament. Haas essentially missed two tap-ins on Sunday and an easy eagle putt on the 16th hole and still lost by one. It's been a bit of a mixed bag for Haas at Quail Hollow, but he has two fourth-place finishes at this event in the city where he was born.

Hideki Matsuyama: The Japanese star and first-round co-leader at TPC Sawgrass seems like a lock to win on the PGA Tour this season. In fact, he's the only player ranked in the top 20 of the FedEx Cup points list who doesn't have a victory. Quail Hollow seems as good of a place as any.

The Grind: Rickie (and Alexis) steal the show and Amanda Dufner resurfaces

Jim Furyk: In the past decade, Furyk has a win and two runner-ups in this event. Arguably the most consistend player on tour, he should provide plenty of points with his scoring and scrambling.

Bench: Kevin Kisner and Justin Thomas. Riding the hot hands here. Both guys, especially "the Kiz," are so close to picking up their first PGA Tour wins.

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And for those of you playing other fantasy golf formats:

Yahoo! lineup: Haas, Matsuyama, Kisner, Thomas.
Bench/backups: McIlroy, Howell III, Woodland, Oosthuizen.

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

Knockout/One-and-done pick: Matsuyama.

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Fantasy Golf

Fantasy Fix: Introducing the PGA Tour's new fantasy game and our picks to win the Players

The Match Play was nice and all, but it's nice to get back to the events that are part of the fantasy golf schedule. You know, the tournaments that really count. Not only does the PGA Tour return to good old stroke play, but it does so at one of the premier events of the season. The Players always has one of the strongest fields in golf and its venue, TPC Sawgrass, produces as much drama as any other course.

Unfortunately for fantasy golfers, that combination makes this perhaps the most unpredictable tournament of the year. Consider that in the 33 years this event has been played at TPC Sawgrass, no one has won it three times and only five players have won it twice. Adding to this year's excitement is the introduction of PGA Tour Fantasy Golf driven by Avis.

Related: Sign up for PGA Tour Fantasy Golf

In this format, you choose any four players. Just keep in mind that you can only use a player three times per segment, with the first segment starting this week and ending the week before the British Open. The real exciting part is that like in other fantasy sports, players can gain and lose points based on their stats (driving, approach shots, short game) as well as their scores/position (Players get a bonus based on how many FedEx Cup points they receive for their finish). Read our explainer on how it works, sign up, and join our Golf Digest league if you like. Got all that? Good. Here's who I'm taking. And yes, my team name is Legends:

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Rory McIlroy: Did you see what he did at TPC Harding Park? McIlroy comes in off a win at the Match Play and a solo fourth at the Masters. He has back-to-back top 10s at TPC Sawgrass, a rarity at this event.

Sergio Garcia: No one has a better track record at the Players the past eight years than Garcia, who won in 2008, was runner-up in 2007 and finished third last year. He also finished T-8 in 2013 despite a disastrous quadruple bogey on a certain island hole. Like Rory, I'm looking for Sergio to earn me a lot of points with his ball-striking, specifically, his driving (300 yards and in the fairway is worth 5 points).

The Grind: Rory KOs the field and Miguel/Keegan nearly come to blows

Henrik Stenson: Getting sick ahead of the Masters stopped the Swede's great run of going T-4 (Doral), solo fourth (Valspar) and runner-up (Bay Hill). Now healthy, he returns to an event where he has three top fives in nine years, including a victory in 2009. Stenson's iron play is a real advantage at this tricky Pete Dye layout. For each approach he hits within 40 feet from more than 200 yards out, he'll earn me at least 3 points.

Jason Day: The Aussie doesn't have a great track record at TPC Sawgrass, but he has four top fives in eight stroke-play events in 2015 and he ranks No. 1 in the PGA Tour's all-around stat. If Day keeps that up, he should produce plenty of points this week.

(Side note: I had a hard time dealing with "the Jordan Spieth quandary." On the one hand, I didn't want to take him because almost everyone -- 77 percent of users, more than 30 percent more than anyone else -- is taking him. On the other, I don't want to get burned for not taking him. I compromised and made Spieth one of my two bench players along with Hideki Matsuyama. That means, I can swap him into my lineup if he's having a great week. And if he's not and I keep him on the bench, it won't count as one of my three times using him this segment.)

And below are who some of our other editors are going with at TPC Sawgrass:

Steve Hennessey: Spieth, Furyk, Mahan, Garcia. Bench: Westwood, Lowry.

Sam Weinman: McIlroy, Hoffman, Spieth, Watson. Bench: Furyk, Fowler.

Ashley Mayo: McIlroy, Day, Spieth, Fowler. Bench: Furyk, Mahan.

Ryan Herrington: Spieth, Furyk, Walker, Rose. Bench: McIlroy, Kuchar.

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

It's interesting to note that no one selected Tiger Woods, who won this event the last time he played in it. . . And for those of you playing other fantasy golf formats:

Yahoo! lineup: McIlroy, Walker, Matsuyama, Oosthuizen.
Bench/backups: Garcia, Rose, Mahan, O'Hair.

Knockout/One-and-done pick: Sergio Garcia.

One last piece of advice: Don't pick our editors if you're in a pool. We are NOT playing in the actual golf tournament. Why am I telling you this? Because at least one reader got confused by our Masters draft and picked all of the Golf Digest staffers who participated. Well, all except for Sam Weinman. At least she knew not to pick him.

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Fantasy Golf

The PGA Tour might have finally figured out fantasy golf

Fantasy golf will never have the popularity of fantasy football or fantasy baseball, but that doesn't mean it can't be done as well as those other two. And thanks to the PGA Tour, that day might finally be here with a new fantasy format that incorporates more than just scoring.

Think about it. In fantasy football/baseball, you are rewarded for a variety of statistics. It's why you watch a meaningless game to see if one of your running backs can squeeze out a few more yards or if one of your pitchers can rack up a couple more strikeouts.

Related: Sign up for PGA Tour Fantasy Golf

But in golf, score, placement and money -- three things that are highly correlated -- have been the standard of how to evaluate a fantasy golf team. If your guys aren't all over the leader board heading into Sunday, there's no reason to pay attention. In PGA Tour Fantasy Golf driven by Avis, though, there are a lot more ways for your team to rack up points. Sure, shooting a good score is still a huge part of the equation (as it should be), but if you pick guys who play well despite their score, there are other ways for your team to have success. Let's explain.

Throughout a tournament, PGA Tour Fantasy Golf uses five categories: score related, driving, approach, short game and penalties (-3 points for hitting into a water hazard and -5 points for going OB). In each of the categories other than penalties there are ways to both gain and lose points. For example, a player gets 5 points for hitting a 300-yard drive in the fairway, but loses 3 points for missing the fairway on a drive that travels less than 240 yards. As he should. Get that weak stuff out of here.

There is also a sixth category that awards a bonus at the end of an event based on how many FedEx Cup points your players earned that week. Hey, now you might actually care about the FedEx Cup race! Here's a look at how the complete scoring system works.

Related: Pictures of PGA Tour wives and girlfriends

You can sign up now for free on PGATour.com. The rest of the 2014-15 season is divided into two segments with the first beginning this week at the Players and ending with the John Deere Classic. The second segment starts with the British Open and wraps up with the Tour Championship. Knowing when these segments run is important since you can only use a golfer three times in a given segment. In other words, you can't play Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth every week.

Prizes range from Titleist drivers to winning a round of golf with your weekend foursome at a TPC golf course. Or, of course, you can set up your own league with your own stakes. Go ahead, we won't tell the Feds.

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Fantasy Golf

Fantasy Fix: Why we're banking on Billy Horschel in the Bayou

Thanks a lot, Jim Furyk. The week before the Masters, we went out on a limb and said your four-and-a-half year winless streak would end in San Antonio. But no, you had to wait until the week after the Masters to win. At least, we tabbed him as a starter at Hilton Head and there's always a next week to make a prophetic prediction on the PGA Tour. Here's a look at who is in our Yahoo! lineup for the Zurich Classic:

(Editor's note: Beginning at the Players, we will be partnering with the PGA Tour's Fantasy Golf League. For more information and to sign up, click here.)

The Grind: A longer drought than Jim Furyk's ends and the best(?) abs in pro golf

Starters -- (A-List): Harris English. English had two top-three finishes in his first four starts of 2015, but he's been relatively quiet since. Still, he's finished out of the top 30 just twice in nine events this year and he was T-6 in his last trip to New Orleans.

Related: The top 25 viral golf videos of 2014

(B-List): Justin Rose. One of three top-10 players in a relatively weak field, Rose is a logical choice, especially after his T-2 at the Masters. We're only staying away from the other two since we've already used them a bunch.

(B-List): Billy Horschel. In his four trips to New Orleans, Horschel has finished T-26, MC, WIN, MC. Obviously, we're focusing on that win and hoping this is the week the defending FedEx Cup champ gets things rolling again. And other than Furyk this past week, he's probably given us the best winning-putt reaction of the past five years.

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(C-List): Keegan Bradley. Similar to Horschel, Bradley has two decent finishes and two missed cuts in this event. We're banking on him playing more like his T-8 here last year based on him coming off solid performances in Houston (T-5) and Augusta (T-22). Wearing those Air Jordans, he's also probably got the best chance of anyone in the field of running (or jumping) away from one of TPC Louisiana's gators.

Bench/Backups: Seung-yul Noh, Jason Day, Nick Watney, Sean O'Hair.

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

Knockout/One-and-done pick: Billy Horschel. Horschel hasn't looked like the guy who won the final two events of the 2013-14 season, but he showed glimpses of that last month with a solo third in San Antonio. Horschel's putting and greens in regulation stats have stayed about the same this year, but his strokes gained tee to green has dropped from 46th to 119th. He has showed substantial improvement in that category in his last two Shot Link-measured events, though, and again, is a former winner of this tournament. A Horschel victory wouldn't be quite as sweet as predicting a Furyk win, but we'd take it.

Previously used: Keegan Bradley (Bay Hill), Paul Casey (Honda), Jason Day (Famers -- WINNER!), Luke Donald (Valspar), Jamie Donaldson (Doral), Jim Furyk (Valero), Bill Haas (Riviera), Charles Howell III (Sony), Dustin Johnson (Pebble), Matt Kuchar (Heritage), Geoff Ogilvy (Hyundai), Louis Oosthuizen (Houston), Ryan Palmer (Humana), Brendan Steele (Phoenix).

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Fantasy Golf

Curse you, DJ! How this guy at home was a couple of Masters miscues away from winning $1 million

Like many people last week, Jim Picarella heard about DraftKings' Masters contest offering a top prize of $1 million and decided to start an account with the online fantasy sports website so he could enter. Sure, the odds were long, but all he needed was $20 and a dream.

And a great team.

Picarella, a self-described golf fanatic who is "always watching the Golf Channel" had no problem fielding just that. DraftKings gives participants a budget of $50,000 in imaginary cash and you choose six players who earn points based on their scores and position. In addition to big names like Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson and Zach Johnson, Picarella's lineup also included lesser-known -- but in form -- players like Hideki Matsuyama, Russell Henley and Charley Hoffman.

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Picarella was glued to his TV throughout the tournament, but not to his computer screen. Once it got to be Saturday afternoon and everyone on his team was playing well, though, the 27-year-old Manhattan resident checked the DraftKings site and saw his name high on a leader board of 125,900 entrants.

Related: 15 revealing moments from the Masters

"From that point on, I literally couldn't move from the couch," said a superstitious Picarella. "There was no looking at the phone, no talking to anybody. Nothing."

Well, except for his girlfriend, who actually helped him pick Spieth and who went out to get food. Picarella didn't want to keep monitoring his status on DraftKings because he knew it would be a "rollercoaster" and he didn't want to get his "hopes up." Late during the final round, however, he checked. And this is what he saw:

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Currently Winning: $1,000,000.00.

"I started freaking out and all the nerves kicked in," Picarella said. "The whole thing was too surreal. I was just sitting there trying not to get too caught up in it. I didn't know how to comprehend winning that much money."

Unfortunately, he never had to. Despite Spieth hanging on for the victory and Matsuyama matching the low round of the day, there was a painful bogey by Zach Johnson on the final hole and a devastating double bogey by Dustin Johnson on No. 16.

"When that ball went into the water, it was a punch to the gut," Picarella said.

After the tournament concluded, Picarella was too nervous to check how his entry had ended up until 8:30 p.m. When he finally got the nerve? Third place. $50,000.

"To be honest, it was a little disheartening, but obviously, I'm very happy to win $50,000," he said.

"The whole thing was grueling. On birdies and eagles, we were getting more pumped up than the players."

The Grind: Jordan Spieth's kiss seen around the world

An entry of Spieth, Hoffman, Henley, Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, and Kevin Na won the top payout of $1 million -- more than what any player not named Jordan Spieth won in the actual tournament. And a team of Spieth, DJ, Matsuyama, Hoffman, Na, and Ian Poulter edged Picarella for second to earn $100K. (Both of those participants declined our interview requests.)

Still, 50 Gs isn't bad for watching golf from your couch all weekend. Picarella says he plans to enter similar big contests, but he "won't go crazy." He's happy with his Masters haul -- and he's a big fan of the golfers who helped him earn it.

"The six of them are all literally my favorite players now," he said.

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Fantasy Golf

Fantasy Fix: Why we're NOT picking Jordan Spieth (gasp!) at Hilton Head

Despite the universe all but telling me to pick Jordan Spieth at the Masters, I ignored it. What a stupid I am. And while the "Young Master" is back in action this week at the RBC Heritage, I'm staying away again. No one is hotter than Spieth, but no golfer is going to be as drained as he will be when he steps to the tee at Harbour Town on Thursday after a wild few days of toting the green jacket around NYC. Frankly, it's just impressive that Spieth kept his commitment to the event after winning the year's first major. If he keeps his streak of four consecutive top-two finishes up this week, it might be even more impressive than his record-tying performance at Augusta National. In any event, here's a look at who we're playing in our Yahoo! weekly lineup instead:

The Grind: Jordan Spieth's kiss seen around the world and a new ping-pong master

Starters -- (A-List): Jim Furyk. We boldly predicted he'd end his winless drought in San Antonio. . . and he let us down. But here's another week where we could see the streak coming to an end. In the last 10 years, Furyk has a win, two runner-ups, a solo fourth and two other top 10s at Harbour Town.

Related: The top 25 viral golf videos of 2014

(B-List): Zach Johnson. It's surprising ZJ hasn't had more success at this Pete Dye/Jack Nicklaus track that's much more about precision than power. Johnson was a runner-up in 2012, but only has one other top 10 in his 10 trips to Hilton Head. We'll ride him based on his pair of recent T-9s at the Masters and Bay Hill.

(B-List): Matt Kuchar. The PGA Tour ATM machine is on as cold of a two-week stretch as we can remember, with a 70th-place finish in Houston and a T-46 at the Masters. We always say Kuchar never has two bad weeks in a row so certainly, he can't have three, right?

(C-List): Charley Hoffman. It wasn't a great Sunday at Augusta National for Hoffman, but he still picked up his best finish ever at a major with a T-9. That came on the heels of back-to-back T-11 performances in Texas, which just added to a terrific season that also includes a win and a runner-up. No reason to not like his chances this week at an event where he has two top 10s in the past three years.

Bench/Backups: Webb Simpson, Brandt Snedeker, Graeme McDowell, Brendon de Jonge.

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

Knockout/One-and-done pick: Matt Kuchar. At the start of the year, we figured we'd save Kuchar for a bigger event, but after not using him at the Masters, it's tough to envision taking him at a major. Plus, he won this event last year (remember that clutch bunker shot?) and there have already been three players defend titles this season. Let's make it a foursome, Matt! And Jordan, please go easy on the rest of the guys this week.

Previously used: Keegan Bradley (Bay Hill), Paul Casey (Honda), Jason Day (Famers -- WINNER!), Luke Donald (Valspar), Jamie Donaldson (Doral), Jim Furyk (Valero), Bill Haas (Riviera), Charles Howell III (Sony), Dustin Johnson (Pebble), Geoff Ogilvy (Hyundai), Louis Oosthuizen (Houston), Ryan Palmer (Humana), Brendan Steele (Phoenix).

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Fantasy Golf

Why Ryan Palmer could be the key to me winning $1 million this week

You may have heard, but DraftKings is offering a Masters fantasy golf contest with a first-place prize of $1 million. And since I'm a total sucker, I decided to plunk $20 down for an entry. Hey, with only 67,000 entries as of Tuesday evening, my odds are much better of winning this than the lottery!

Related: These 12 players can win the Masters

Anyway, here's the lineup of six golfers I selected based off the "$50,000" budget and player prices set by DraftKings:

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As you can see, I broke up my entry into two categories of studs (Henrik Stenson, Jimmy Walker and Patrick Reed) and sleepers (Louis Oosthuizen, Paul Casey and Ryan Palmer). I'm hoping those sleepers hold the key to me getting rich.

Oosthuizen, of course, nearly won a green jacket in 2012. I particularly remember that close call because I had a 90/1 bet on him. Thanks, Bubba. And both he and Paul Casey have quietly been playing well this season.

The Grind: Hello Tiger, goodbye Dufners

Then there's Palmer, who I believe provides the best value of the entire contest. The long-hitting Texan loves shaping it right-to-left off the tee and has finished in the top 25 in seven of his eight events on the PGA Tour this season. He hasn't played in the past two Masters, but he finished 10th in 2011.

A Palmer slipping on a green jacket has a nice ring to it, no? And a million bucks sounds pretty good, too. So don't copy me!

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Fantasy Golf

Fantasy Fix: Matt Kuchar looks to bounce back from his Houston heartbreak

Fantasy golf participants everywhere should thank Jimmy Walker for being the most dependable player on the PGA Tour the past couple years. This week, though, it's his fellow tour pros that should be thanking him. Following his fifth win in 37 starts, Walker withdrew from this week's Shell Houston Open, which means everyone else has a much better chance of winning now. Who are we tabbing to step up in the FedEx Cup leader's absence? Here's a look at our Yahoo! weekly lineup:

The Grind: Jimmy Walker vs. Chuck Norris and Rickie beaches with the Randock sisters

Starters -- (A-List): Sergio Garcia. The Spaniard stumbled a bit over the weekend here last year, but finished solo third. He's coming off a pair of T-31s in his two Florida starts, but at No. 8 in the Official World Golf Ranking, he's still the second-best player in the field this week.

Related: The top 25 viral golf videos of 2014

(B-List): Jordan Spieth. Speaking of the OWGR, the 21-year-old Texan is No. 4 and rising fast. Spieth backed up his Valspar win with a runner up at the Valero.

(B-List): Matt Kuchar. The victim of a sudden-death pitch-in by Matt Jones last year continued his run of good play in Texas. He finished T-8 in each of his prior two trips and he's coming off a T-15 in San Antonio.

(C-List): Louis Oosthuizen. Nearly a Masters champ three years ago, his game also sets up well at the Golf Club of Houston, which will once again have an Augusta-like setup. Oosthuizen has a third, a T-10 and a T-16 in his last four starts here.

Bench/Backups: Bill Haas, Rickie Fowler, Danny Willett, and Patrick Reed.

Related: 15 signs you watch too much golf on TV

Knockout/One-and-done pick: Louis Oosthuizen. Aside from his strong play in this event, the South African has a solo sixth, a T-9 and a T-14 in his four PGA Tour starts this season.

Previously used: Keegan Bradley (Bay Hill), Paul Casey (Honda), Jason Day (Famers -- WINNER!), Luke Donald (Valspar), Jamie Donaldson (Doral), Jim Furyk (Valero), Bill Haas (Riviera), Charles Howell III (Sony), Dustin Johnson (Pebble), Geoff Ogilvy (Hyundai), Ryan Palmer (Humana), Brendan Steele (Phoenix).

... Read
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