Every year in college basketball, there's a discussion about whether it's good or bad for a team to enter the NCAA Tournament undefeated. Some have gone as far to say a team should purposely lose a game so it won't have the added pressure of maintaining a perfect season on top of the tough task of winning a championship. Enter Dustin Johnson. Rather, exit Dustin Johnson.
By withdrawing from this week's Shell Houston Open, Johnson will enter the Masters on a three-tournament winning streak. Already the favorite to win at Augusta National, Johnson will also be trying to win a fourth event in a row, something that hasn't been done since Tiger Woods won five straight tournaments in 2007-'08. Of course, had DJ played in Houston, he could have won a fourth consecutive event, and, well, he doesn't seem to be thinking about these things. "How do I like it?" he said when asked about being the Masters favorite. "I don't care."
Good answer, DJ. Let's move on. And to discuss Dustin's remarkable run, our picks to win this final Masters tune-up and a special trip to Pinehurst, Joel Beall joined me for our weekly podcast. Have a listen:
And if you're more old school and would rather just read my normal weekly picks, here's my fab foursome in Houston:
Rickie Fowler: We haven't seen much of Fowler since his Honda Classic win, but the young star should be rested up to begin his pursuit of a first major. And the Shell Houston Open, where he has top-10 finishes in two of the past three years, looks like a pretty good place to start.
Patrick Reed: The new year hasn't gone as well for Reed as many expected following his dominant performance at the Ryder Cup, but the Houston resident gets a home game this week at a track where he's trending in the right direction (T-17, T-10) the past two years.
Peter Uihlein: I pumped this guy up last week, and he came through with a T-5 at the Puerto Rico Open. Uihlein missed the cut in his only appearance in this event in 2014, but he's a decent buy at $6,800 on FanDuel. Also, it looks like he's making a lot better contact with the ball right now:
Retief Goosen: Lost in the match-play madness was the 48-year-old's T-2 in Puerto Rico on the strength of a final-round 64. The Golf Club of Houston's greens will be extra fast this week to get the guys ready for Augusta National, and no one putted better on slick surfaces in his prime than The Goose. Most importantly, Goosen, who finished T-7 in Houston in 2014, is a bargain-basement steal at $5,000 on FanDuel.
Just missed: J.B. Holmes and Jordan Spieth.
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And for those of you playing other fantasy golf formats:
Yahoo! lineup: Patrick Reed, Jordan Spieth, Charles Howell III, J.B. Holmes (Starters); Rickie Fowler, Matt Kuchar, Charley Hoffman, Retief Goosen (Bench). (Note: Peter Uihlein is not listed on Yahoo. Whoops.)
Knockout/One-and-done pick: Patrick Reed.
And here's the podcast link again, if you want to hear Joel and I jabber: