Adam Scott is not playing this week, giving the rest of the PGA Tour a needed reprieve from the breathtaking ball-striking that came within a single stroke of winning three straight events. A year ago this week, though, another torrid stretch began. Jordan Spieth won the Valspar Championship by draining a 30-footer in a playoff and it seemed like he made every putt he looked at the rest of the year during his historic season that included four more wins and two majors. Who do we like to survive Innisbrook's Snake Pit this week? Here's who we're taking on our PGA Tour Fantasy Golf team:
Jordan Spieth: A few years back, we came up with the Matt Kuchar Rule, which said Kuchar -- then the most consistent player on tour -- never has back-to-back weeks. Well, we might need to make a new rule for Jordan Spieth that says the World No. 1 can't go two months without contending. Yet, that's where we are after his eight-shot victory at Kapalua. But after some uncharacteristic struggles the past few weeks, we're rolling with Spieth who picked up an important top 10 at Innisbrook when he didn't have any status in 2014 and followed it up with that victory last year.
Patrick Reed: The loser to Spieth in that dramatic playoff last year, Reed has cooled off of late -- ever since I drafted him on my fantasy team. Coincidence? Hmm... Still, we're counting on his form that took him into the top 10 of the Official World Golf Ranking to supersede our ability to hex.
Jason Dufner: A T-11 at Doral was the latest part of Dufner's bounceback season. Check out how nicely he's swinging it these days:
Oh, his ball-striking on the course has also been solid, and he's coming off a week of strong putting as evidenced by the career-high 189' 8" worth of putts he made in the first round.
Kevin Na: Quietly tied for the PGA Tour lead with four top-10 finishes, all of which are top threes. Na is coming off a T-35 at Doral and two missed cuts before that, but he was a runner-up at Innisbrook in 2014 and finished T-10 here last year.
__ Bench:__ Webb Simpson and Danny Willett.
And for those of you playing other fantasy golf formats:
Yahoo! lineup: Jordan Spieth, Patrick Reed, Jason Dufner, Kevin Na (starters); Justin Thomas, Webb Simpson, Danny Willett, Luke Donald (bench).
Knockout/One-and-done pick: Luke Donald.
Previously used: Tony Finau (Frys.com), Sergio Garcia (Riviera), Bill Haas (Farmers), Dustin Johnson (Doral), Kevin Kisner (RSM - winner!), Russell Knox (Honda), Anirban Lahiri (CIMB), Graeme McDowell (Hyundai), Kevin Na (Phoenix), Ryan Palmer (CareerBuilders), Patrick Reed (HSBC), Patrick Rodgers (Shriners), Brandt Snedeker (Pebble), Brendan Steele (OHL), Justin Thomas (Sony).