Fantasy Golf: Justin Thomas takes on a new role at the Valspar Championship
I thought I finally had a leg up on my fantasy golf partner and co-worker Joel Beall. Rory McIlroy had the 36-hole lead in his 2017 PGA Tour debut and he looked ready to prove that my pick of him instead of Dustin Johnson with the third pick in the draft was brilliant. Then world order was restored. Johnson won again as McIlroy faded over the weekend. And I was back to kicking myself for that decision. In any event, neither player is in the field this week at the Valspar Championship. In fact, a lot of the world's best golfers aren't entering Innisbrook's Snake Pit. But of the brave souls who are, here's who I'm picking.
Justin Thomas: As BookMaker.eu points out, this is the first time JT has been favored in a PGA Tour event. Thomas (10/1) slightly edges Henrik Stenson -- and for good reason. In addition to his three wins this season and a T-5 in Mexico City, he's finished T-10 and T-18 in two starts at Innisbrook.
Bill Haas: My Wake Forest classmate had this tournament snaked away from him by Charl Schwartzel last year. Haas didn't play terribly with a three-shot lead on Sunday, but the South African made two bombs on the final six holes, including one from 65 feet on 13, and won in a playoff. Haas is coming off an unimpressive T-32 in Mexico City. On the bright side, that's his first non-top 20 of the season.
Luke Donald: The 2012 champ at Innisbrook, Donald once finished in the top six of this tournament in four consecutive starts. After a week off, the former World No. 1 hopes to build on a solid run (T-23, T-17, T-27) since Pebble Beach.
Sean O'Hair: A runner-up at the 2015 Valspar Championship, O'Hair has quietly played himself back into big events like last week's WGC. He only finished T-65 in Mexico City, but already has four top-11 finishes this season. And at 66/1 on BookMaker, he might just be the best value bet out there.
Bench: Graham DeLaet and Gary Woodland.
And for those of you playing other fantasy golf formats:
Yahoo! lineup: Bill Haas, Justin Thomas, Matt Kuchar, Sean O'Hair (Starters); Luke Donald, Ryan Moore, Jim Furyk, Graham DeLaet (Bench).
Knockout/One-and-done pick: Sean O'Hair.