We discuss a possible last trip to Hilton Head for the PGA Tour, an honorable penalty call and a potentially legendary snack
Where: Hilton Head, S.C.
Course: Harbour Town Golf Links
Defending champion: Jim Furyk defeated Brian Davis in a playoff last year.
This Week's Fix Six
2. Luke Donald
3. Jim Furyk
4. Steve Marino
5. Stewart Cink
6. Brian Davis
Welcome to another edition of Fantasy Fix, where we want to take lessons from whoever Matteo Manassero's instructor is. For all this Rory McIlroy talk, it's amazing that a kid four years his younger has grabbed the title of the next face of golf. Unfortunately, the Italian teen doesn't help much in the fantasy realm, unless you're in a European-Tour-only league. We'll assume (and hope) you're not and instead get back to focusing on what's happening stateside.
The PGA Tour heads to Hilton Head for what might be the last year of the proud event known as the Heritage. Sadly, this could be the end of an era unless the tour finds a new sponsor. In fact, this year's tournament doesn't even have one. Don't worry, though, Verizon didn't take the famous lighthouse on the 18th hole with them.
Random tournament fact: The winner of this tournament gets a tartan jacket. This is infinitely better than those boots Brendan Steele had to put on following his victory at the Valero Texas Open.
Jim Furyk. This is one of those situations where people might remember the loser more. Furyk won in a playoff, but only after Brian Davis essentially called a penalty on himself for nicking a reed in a hazard on his backswing (something that could only be picked up on TV in super slow-mo). The rules violation ended his chances of picking up a first PGA Tour win, but his act of sportsmanship did earn him some fans. As for Furyk, he has an odd track record here himself. In the past six years he's missed the cut twice, but when he has made it to the weekend, he's finished at least fourth the other four times, including last year's victory and two runner-ups. He could use a jump-start to what has been a disappointing season so far.
STUD OF THE WEEK
Aaron Baddeley. No matter what swing he's playing or how he's playing, Baddeley fares well at Harbour Town. Even when he disappeared from the game's list of elite players, he managed top 25s the last two years. Now, with his win earlier in the season at Riviera, he's back to the form that led him to a win here in 2006 and a runner-up in 2008.
IF THERE REALLY ARE GOLF GODS...
...Then Brian Davis is your man. As mentioned, he showed a lot last year by pointing out his possible penalty and then accepting it and another close call with class. Maybe he'll get rewarded for his good deed this time around. If there is no such thing, then he could suffer the same cruel fate as our next subject...
FAN MAIL BREAK
"Hey, Alex. Thanks for guaranteeing I'd win at some point this year. Instead, I wound up having one of the most embarrassing moments in golf history. Yeah, John Daly's 18 may top my sweet 16, but he's John Daly! That doesn't count. Anyway, I'd appreciate it if you stop hexing me. Sincerely, Kevin Na."
Sorry, Kevin, can't do that. You're too good a player and besides, you should be thinking of the positives. That was one of the best 80s of all-time and just showing up to the first tee the next day won you over a lot of fans who before only knew of you as the guy who moves around a golf course slower than certain species of turtle. OK, so Na didn't write me, but I will continue to endorse him as a solid fantasy pick, including this week. Also, please feel free to e-mail me with comments, questions or just to make fun of my picks. And of course, you can follow me on Twitter.
STRUGGLING FORMER CHAMP TO PLAY
Stewart Cink. Last week, the "Tweetfather" seemed on his way back when he held a share of the first round lead in San Antonio. He struggled to make the cut, however, and wound up T-59. Sadly, such finishes have become the norm for the 2009 British Open champ, but he does have five top 10s here in 11 appearances, including wins in 2000 and 2004.