Fantasy GolfAugust 5, 2015

Fantasy Fix: Is it crazy to trust Sergio Garcia at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational?

Don't we all have trust issues? It might be driving your car defensively, avoiding strangers or, gulp, even in your love life. Whatever it is, we bet there's something you can point to right now as being a serious area of doubting trust.

When you're talking about projecting the winners of a golf tournament, for anybody who does it semi-regularly, putting faith in Sergio Garcia falls into the category of "trust issue."

You've heard all the epithets. One of the most talented players of his generation. A world-class ball-striker in a sport where there's a driving range full of them. An elite player spanning the parts of three decades.

Just not a winner in the clutch. That's the ultimate dagger. And for Sergio, it's what's missing.

He hasn't been able to take the next step into major champion or Hall of Fame player, as guys like Tiger Woods or Ernie Els were able to do. That's why, when I write that Sergio Garcia is going to win the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, it's done while I contort my face as my fingers hit the keyboard.

But consider these facts:

  1. Sergio shot a course-record 61 last year at Firestone's South Course. Let's repeat that: At an event dominated by his nemesis Tiger Woods -- winning the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational eight times in 16 years -- it's not Tiger who holds the Firestone course record. It's Sergio. When you're predicting winners of golf tournaments, you have to look at past record at courses. Obviously, Firestone fits Sergio's eye if he went so low last year.

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  1. Sergio's had one of the most quietly consistent years of any player on tour in 2015. You might've forgotten the Spaniard was in the playoff at the Players before losing to Rickie Fowler. And then he finished T-6 in his last start at St. Andrews. He hasn't missed a cut this season on the PGA Tour.

Both of these reasons are enough for us to put our trust back in Sergio this week. He finished runner-up to Rory last year. And there's no Rory in Akron this week. If you still can't bring yourself to trust Sergio to win this week, he's at least a shoe-in for a top-10, right?

Our other picks for a solid PGA Tour Fantasy Golf lineup this week:

Jason Day

This won't surprise anybody. Day's one of the betting favorites this week. The Aussie is coming off his comeback win at the RBC Canadian Open, where he birdied his final three holes to win for the second time in 2015. Day will be one of the favorites at Whistling Straits next week. No reason not to think the Ohio resident shouldn't contend in the lead-up to the PGA Championship.

Related: Sign up for the PGA Tour's Fantasy Golf game

Marc Leishman

If he had converted a couple more shots down the stretch, Leishman could've been the Champion Golfer of the Year at St. Andrews. Easily. His 64-66 down the stretch equaled the lowest 36-hole major total, just not quite good enough for the claret jug. And Leishman finished third at Firestone last year. The 7,400-yard layout should favor bombers. Leishman hits the ball a ton and is in great form. Gotta like Leishman this week.

David Lingmerth

Under the category of quiet consistency on the PGA Tour, you can find Lingmerth. Since June in five starts, the Swede has a win, a third and a T-6 finish. Lingmerth's victory came, coincidentally, in Ohio at the Memorial Tournament. Those winning vibes from Muirfield Village should translate to another nice finish at Firestone.

And if you play other fantasy golf formats:

Yahoo! lineup: Sergio Garcia, Marc Leishman, Jason Day and David Lingmerth. Bench/backups: Adam Scott, Justin Rose, Rickie Fowler and Louis Oosthuizen.

Follow @S_HennesseyGD


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