We discuss Sergio's bad timing, give some good advice for playing Bethpage Black, and make our picks for this week's PGA Tour stop
Where: Farmingdale, N.Y.
Course: Bethpage Black
Defending champion: Dustin Johnson topped Matt Kuchar by two shots at Plainfield CC in an event that was shortened to 54 holes.
This Week's Fix Six
2. Rory McIlroy
3. Keegan Bradley
4. Tiger Woods
5. Graeme McDowell
6. Hunter Mahan
Welcome to another edition of Fantasy Fix, where we're happy for Sergio Garcia even if Sergio Garcia never appears to be happy for Sergio Garcia. And cheer up El Nino, even with Augusta National's big announcement stealing your spotlight, plenty of people saw you win to end your four-year drought on the PGA Tour. OK, so by "plenty" we mean fellow employees of golf publications who also happen to have huge TVs above their desks. . . . But as long as Bethpage Black can avoid a Monday finish -- something it wasn't able to do the last time it hosted the PGA Tour -- there will be plenty more people tuning in to see who wins this week. Here are our thoughts on what will transpire.
The top 125 on the FedEx Cup points list head to Bethpage for the Barclays, the first of four events in the FedEx Cup Playoffs, aka the most exciting postseason in all of sports*. It's the first time a non-major will be held at the famed Long Island course, which hosted the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Opens.
*-Commissioner Finchem, you can send that check to Golf Digest's headquarters.
Random tournament fact: Bethpage Black will be the fifth different course this event has used in the past six years. The only big-time event with a less stable venue is the annual Golf Digest vs. Golf World inter-office tournament.
Dustin Johnson. DJ won last year when the tournament was shortened to 54 holes thanks to Hurricane Irene. I remember it well, as the same storm caused me to have to live in a hotel for the next two months -- just like the nomad lifestyle of the world's best golfers. Maybe I'm closer to being a PGA Tour player than I thought. If only I'd stayed at a Holiday Inn Express. . . (Potential new Fantasy Fix sponsor?)
STUD OF THE WEEK
See above. Picking DJ at the PGA may have backfired, but we're going back to the well. Why? Simply put, he's too talented to keep winning just once a year. Also, Bethpage is a big ballpark and Johnson is one of the biggest hitters around, no matter what color driver he uses. (Side note: My advice to the pros as someone who has played this course a few times? Don't play a 230-ish yard fade/slice off the tee.)
MANDATORY TIGER TALK
I see Tiger Woods' season ending in one of two ways. Either he simply plays out the string knowing there isn't an individual event that people will really care about him winning for another eight months or he treats these playoffs like the major title he wasn't able to get during the regular season. We're going with option B. Woods will win his third FedEx Cup trophy and it will start with a good performance on a course where he's played very well (Win at the 2002 U.S. Open and T-6 in 2009). Whether that will be enough to add to his record 10 PGA Tour Player of the Year Awards remains to be seen.
LONG PUTTER OF THE WEEK
Keegan Bradley. He's long, he's playing well, and last time I checked, his belly putter is still legal. Bradley backed up his Bridgestone win with a T-3 at the PGA Championship. Now, the St. John's product will head back to New York as a crowd favorite. He just might want to keep his love of the Boston Red Sox to himself for a few days. . .
WEEKLY YAHOO! ROSTER SELECTIONS
Starters: Keegan Bradley, Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, and Graeme McDowell
Bench: Matt Kuchar, Tiger Woods, Hunter Mahan, and Padraig Harrington
Care to make a guest pick? Be bold and email me at Alex.Myers@GolfDigest.com or tweet at me (@AlexMyers3) for a chance to appear in next week's column. Or if you just feel like making fun of my picks or sharing your advice for fixing my weak tee shots.