Fantasy Golf: Can Phil Mickelson finally win at Bethpage Black?
What's that? Do you hear that? Is that a song? Why yes, it is:
Money, money, money, money. . . MONEY! That's right, the FedEx Cup Playoffs are here! Golf's (Sports') biggest cash grab is back and a $10 million(!) bonus awaits the winner of the four-event series. This year it starts with a trip to one of golf's toughest tests, Bethpage Black, which will host the Barclays for just the second time. Who will win this week? Who will win that big paycheck? We don't know, but we are pretty certain the winning score won't be 19 under like it was at Plainfield last year. Anyway, here's who we like in Long Island this week.
Phil Mickelson: No one has more high finishes (six top fives) this season without a win than Mickelson. While he didn't play great in 2012 (T-38), Phil seriously contended at both the 2002 and 2009 U.S. Opens at Bethpage Black and no one in the field will have better crowd support from the New York fans.
That's right. The three-year-plus winless drought ends here.
Henrik Stenson: The man who kept Phil from winning a sixth major at Royal Troon has kept up his hot play in the past month with close calls at the PGA Championship and the Olympics. A ninth-place finisher at Bethpage in 2009 and the 2013 FedEx Cup champ, Stenson has a chance to add to his season of firsts. With another strong playoff push, he could take home the PGA Tour Player of the Year Award for the first time.
Dustin Johnson: We're not sure what happened down the road at Baltusrol where DJ missed the cut at the PGA Championship. He's played incredibly well everywhere else this summer and really all season with 12 top 10s in 18 starts. And the last time he teed it up at Bethpage, he finished T-3.
Hideki Matsuyama: A T-4 at the PGA Championship. A T-3 at the Wyndham Championship. And now the putting-challenged Matsuyama arrives at Bethpage's flat greens. It's a favorable situation for one of the tour's best ball-strikers.
__ Bench:__ Jason Day and Patrick Reed. We know Day can take on any course with his length, but did you see the brute strength displayed by Reed at the New York Stock Exchange's closing bell ceremony on Tuesday?!
And for those of you playing other fantasy golf formats:
Yahoo! lineup: Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson, Hideki Matsuyama, Matt Kuchar (starters); Dustin Johnson, Patrick Reed, Jimmy Walker, Matt Kuchar (bench).
Knockout/One-and-done pick: Phil Mickelson.
Previously used: Kevin Chappell (Quicken Loans), Jason Day (PGA Championship), Bryson DeChambeau (Valero), Luke Donald (Valspar), Jason Dufner (RBC), Matt Every (Bay Hill), Tony Finau (Frys.com), Rickie Fowler (Wyndham), Jim Furyk (Canadian), Sergio Garcia (Riviera), Bill Haas (Farmers), J.B. Holmes (Wells Fargo), Dustin Johnson (U.S. Open -- winner!), Kevin Kisner (RSM -- winner!), Russell Knox (Honda), Brooks Koepka (St. Jude), Matt Kuchar (Colonial), Anirban Lahiri (CIMB), Graeme McDowell (Hyundai), Ryan Moore (Travelers), Kevin Na (Phoenix), Ryan Palmer (CareerBuilders), Scott Piercy (Byron Nelson), Patrick Reed (HSBC), Patrick Rodgers (Shriners), Adam Scott (British Open), Brandt Snedeker (Pebble), Brendan Steele (OHL), Henrik Stenson (Players), Steve Stricker (John Deere), Justin Thomas (Sony), Bubba Watson (Masters).