A year ago, Tiger Woods' back was so bad that he cancelled a press conference. But after a long recovery from back fusion surgery, Woods will finally make his Riviera return this week, and it sure sounds like he's not just visiting L.A. to see the NBA All-Star Game. To discuss Tiger's prospects, Larry Fitzgerald's controversial handicap, and a surprising brush with another celebrity golfer, Joel Beall joined me for our weekly fantasy golf chat. Please have a listen:
And if you're more old school and would rather just read my normal weekly fantasy golf picks, here's my fab foursome at Riviera:
Dustin Johnson: DJ was one of my two picks at Pebble Beach to finish runner-up (Phil Mickelson was the other), so admittedly, there's not much movement in my lineup this week. The defending champ got to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking with his win here last year and he's stayed at the top ever since. Another victory at a place where he's finished in the top four for the past four years would make it hard for anyone else to get to No. 1 before the Masters.
Phil Mickelson: For a fourth straight tournament, I'm picking Phil Mickelson. And after his back-to-back top-five finishes in Phoenix and Pebble, I'm as confident as John Feinstein is about Lefty having plenty left in the tank. Normally, I'd worry about a 47-year-old playing four weeks in a row, but the combination of coming so close to a win, plus the added motivation of wanting to perform well at Tiger's event will be enough to push Phil over the hump.
Paul Casey: After an eighth-place finish at Pebble, Casey has now finished in the top 20 in 12 of his past 13 worldwide starts. It's an incredible run, but not as incredible as the fact that it's been nearly nine years since his lone PGA Tour title. That ends this week at a place where he lost in a playoff just three years ago.
Beau Hossler: If you've watched any golf on Friday this year, this young man's name has been all over the leader board. The weekends, though, have been a big problem for Beau (and my fantasy team on which he was a brilliant late pick). But he's 22 and he sure sounds confident. "I believe I can win on this level," Hossler said at Pebble Beach. I'm a
believer Beauliever as well.
Just missed: Marc Leishman and Ollie Schniederjans.
Knockout/One-and-done pick: Paul Casey.
And here's the podcast link again, if you want to hear Joel and I jabber: