What will I remember most from 2016? More than Jordan Spieth dunking two balls into Rae's Creek or Dustin Johnson overcoming another rules controversy, I'll think of Patrick Reed answering Rory McIlroy on the eighth hole Sunday at the Ryder Cup with a birdie. And then a vicious finger wag. Reed was so good that week at Hazeltine it's crazy to think he's never technically earned the top-five status he infamously declared for himself two years before. Even crazier is the fact this brash star has yet to finish in the top 10 at a single major championship. But following his incredible Ryder Cup performance will all of that change in 2017? Joel Beall and I discuss that, this week's SBS Tournament of Champions and our New Year's resolutions in this week's podcast:
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 Kapalua:
Patrick Reed: The +155 odds offered by BookMaker Sportsbook that Reed will post a top-10 finish at a major seem like a lock. Before then, though, Reed, who was second to Dustin Johnson in top 10s on the PGA Tour last season, will have plenty other high finishes. And the Plantation Course seems like a pretty safe bet for one of those. In 2015, Reed won with a 21-under total. He shot 22 under last year and finished runner-up.
Hideki Matsuyama: We don't care about a player's track record on a course when he's won four of the past five times he's teed it up. But the red-hot Matsuyama also happens to have finished T-3 in his only previous trip to Hawaii.
Jimmy Walker: Walker is coming off a year in which he won his first major championship, but as a whole, last season didn't match up to the overall level of play from the previous two. The main reason? Walker finished 183rd on tour in driving accuracy. While he works on that part of his game, the Plantation Course's wide fairways will help mask those wild tee shots.
Brendan Steele: After a solid year, Steele began the new season with a win at the Safeway Open. While his short game has held him back at times, there should be fewer scrambling opportunities at an event where the field hit more than 80 percent of greens in regulation last year. Also, Joel and I just made him one of our keepers in our fantasy league. Since that season doesn't start until next month (Don't ask us why), Steele is bound to keep playing well when it doesn't count for us.
Bench: Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson. You know, just in case.
And for those of you playing other fantasy golf formats:
Yahoo! lineup: Patrick Reed, Hideki Matsuyama, Jimmy Walker, Si Woo Kim (Starters);
Brendan Steele, Jordan Spieth, Ryan Moore, Pat Perez (Bench).
Knockout/One-and-done pick: Jimmy Walker.
And here's the podcast link again, if you want to hear Joel and I jabber: