The Loop

Fantasy Fix: Why we're not taking Tiger Woods to win at Torrey Pines

January 22, 2014

Did you hear the news? Tiger Woods' winter break is over and he's playing at Torrey Pines this week! He's won there, like, 37 times! He wins there EVERY year! Quick, put him in your fantasy golf lineups! OK, so those are slight exaggerations, but that's the general vibe around Woods' 2014 PGA Tour debut. Odds are Woods won't be rusty and will be in contention at the Farmers Insurance Open (actual odds make him an overwhelming 5-to-2 favorite), but odds are you also won't make up any ground in your league by playing him. We'll go against the grain and leave the World No. 1 out of our lineup -- for now.


Starters -- (A-List): Brandt Snedeker. OK, so it's not that much bolder to pick a guy who won here just two years ago and has finished runner-up two other times in his past four tries. But Snedeker is flying a little under the radar this time around thanks to a slow start in his opening three events. But the culprit has been his putter, as he ranks just 45th on tour in strokes gained putting. Something tells us he's not going to stay at that number too long.

(B-List): Bill Haas. We rode him last week at the Humana and he rewarded us with a T-6. For that, and more so for his top-10 finishes the past three years here, Haas stays in the lineup.

(B-List): Graham DeLaet. We're predicting the Canadian Presidents Cup hero will get his first win on the PGA Tour this year. Torrey Pines, where he finished T-9 last year, is as good a place as any.

(C-List): Jimmy Walker. We made a similar prediction to the one we made for DeLaet for Walker last year and he's already won twice this season. No reason to think he'll slow down at a tournament where he has top 10s the past two years, including a T-4 in 2013.

Bench/Backups: Tiger Woods (Hey, just in case), Billy Horschel, Hunter Mahan, Charlie Beljan.

Knockout/One-and-done pick: Bill Haas. We're counting on Haas to turn our luck around in this spot. In fact, we're going to go ahead and predict a sixth career win for him.

Previously used: Tim Clark (Sony), Charles Howell III (Humana), Martin Laird (Kapalua).