The Justin Thomas Era was fun while it lasted, huh? Of course, we kid, but the 23-year-old JT took a couple weeks off and now the 22-year-old Jon Rahm is the PGA Tour's next big thing after his impressive win at Torrey Pines. The good news for all golf fans, though, is that both are in the field at this week's Waste Management Phoenix Open. On this week's podcast, Joel Beall and I discuss these two rising stars, the results of our super important fantasy draft, and make our Super Bowl predictions. Have a listen:
And if you're more old-school and would rather just read my normal weekly picks, here's who I'm taking on my PGA Tour Fantasy Golf team at TPC Scottsdale:
Jon Rahm: Could he experience a letdown after winning his first PGA Tour title? Sure, but my money's on him putting on another show in front of what will be a rowdy Rahm crowd. Keep in mind, he's coming off a decorative four-year career at Arizona State and he finished T-5 at TPC Scottsdale as a junior. Bad news for the rest of the field, Rahm will be collecting a paycheck this week.
Phil Mickelson: Considering we didn't know how long Lefty would be out following two off-season hernia surgeries, a T-21 and a T-14 the past two weeks are very encouraging. Now he returns to a course where he's won three times and owns the 18-hole and tournament scoring records. And he's already in mid-season form when it comes to doing Phil Mickelson things on the course:
Jordan Spieth: With all this talk about Thomas and Rahm, it's easy to forget this two-time major champ is still 23. And after a "disappointing" (not really) 2016, Spieth looks like he's back in top form with a solo third and a T-3 in his two starts in 2017. Yep, his #SB2K16 buddy bested him in both events, but he's the safer bet to win this week.
Brendan Steele: I couldn't end without picking one of the members of Masters of None. Steele was one of our two keepers (we used a fifth-round pick on him and a 10th-round pick on Matthew Fitzpatrick) after seeing what he did during the fall season. With a win and nothing worse than a T-31 in six starts in 2016-17, he's emerged as one of the steadier players on tour. He also posted three consecutive top-six finishes at TPC Scottsdale from 2012-2014.
Bench: Hideki Matsuyama and Ryan Moore.
And for those of you playing other fantasy golf formats:
Yahoo! lineup: Brendan Steele, Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Jon Rahm (Starters); Gary Woodland, Ryan Moore, Hideki Matsuyama, Brooks Koepka (Bench).
Knockout/One-and-done pick: Phil Mickelson.
And here's the podcast link again, if you want to hear Joel and I jabber: