Top 18 Fantasy Golfers for World Challenge
Tournament: World Challenge presented by Northwestern Mutual
Location: Sherwood CC – Thousand Oaks, California
Date: Thursday November 29 – December 2
Past Winners: Tiger Woods (2011), Graeme McDowell (2010), Jim Furyk (2009), Vijay Singh (2008), Tiger Woods (2007), Tiger Woods (2006), Luke Donald (2005), Tiger Woods (2004)
Hole to Watch: Hole # 17 - The course is riddled with giant willow and sycamore trees with seemingly a brutal dogleg on nearly every hole. However, the most difficult hole on the course is easily the 17th hole. It is a deceiving par 3, especially since the green is ironically buried behind what seems to be miles of forest. This hole could crush many World Challenge hopefuls this season and will at least claim a couple victims in the jungle.
The 14th annual World Challenge will be one of the most exciting events in months on the PGA golf circuit. The stacked 18-man field heading to California is an amazing chance for fantasy golf fans to showcase their skills one last time.
The World Challenge will be one of the most competitive WC’s in years. Tiger Woods is back to host the tournament for his own charity. Additionally, the tournament will also feature 2012 Masters Champion Bubba Watson and 2012 U. S. Open Champion Keegan Bradley, both looking to grab the illustrious off-season trophy.
The tournament will host 13 golfers from the 2012 Ryder Cup, including 11 American players, plus Europeans Graeme McDowell and Ian Poulter. It will also serve as one of the final fantasy golf outings of the year. To help you in your fantasy leagues this week, here are my top 18 fantasy golfers at the World Challenge in California:
18. Jason Day
Jason Day – “Jay Day” may be the young gun at the course this year, but he will still have to wait a bit before he can hang with the big dogs.
17. Matt Kuchar
Matt Kuchar – Kuchar has nine top-10 finishes on the year, but has only had one in his last five tournaments. Kuchar also struggles with his driver at times and Sherwood has some of the deepest woods around, so this week could get scary for the veteran if he does not live on the fairway and light rough.
16. Jason Dufner
Jason Dufner – Dufner has eight top-10 finishes on the year, which is all the more impressive considering he has only played in 22 tournaments. “Duffman” also has two wins on the year and can hang with the best of them.
15. Steve Stricker
Steve Stricker – Stricker finished at the event 16th in 2011 and 12th in 2010, so he has not exactly faired well against the field. He will likely struggle against the overwhelmingly strong field at Sherwood this week.
14. Ian Poulter
Ian Poulter – The veteran is one of the 2012 European Ryder Cup Champions to be attending the event. He is a confident golfer and is very strong with his irons, but it won't be enough to overcome the elite field in this week's tournament.
13. Zach Johnson
Zach Johnson – Johnson may be all over the place with his drivers, but no one on the tour can put like ZJ. If he can get to the green in a timely fashion, he has a chance. However, he always has the occasional rough holes, so expect him to fall to the middle of the pack after the second round.
12. Hunter Mahan
Hunter Mahan – Mahan has only finished inside the top-10 once in his last eight PGA tournament appearances, he is the ultimate hit or miss golfer. Plus, it is hard to imagine him getting too hot this week considering he has not played on the circuit since September.
11. Rickie Fowler
Rickie Fowler – Fowler won the Wells Fargo Championship and finished second at the PLAYERS Championship, but after that he only had one top-20 finish over his next nine tournaments. He is not the elite golfer that everyone is claiming him to be, so do not get caught up in the craze this week.
10. Bo Van Pelt
Bo Van Pelt – BVP has three consecutive top-10 finishes, including a second place finish at 21 under at the CIMB Classic. Don’t count him out at Sherwood, because he is the obvious dark horse in the tournament.
9. Webb Simpson
Webb Simpson – The 2012 season has easily been the most impressive season on Simpson’s resume, with accolades including winning the U. S. Open. He has been very fluid with his irons and has been able to sink every putt on the green. Simpson finished 13th last year at the World Challenge, but he will play much stronger with his newfound confidence.
8. Dustin Johnson
Dustin Johnson – Johnson has nine top-10 finishes on the year and is a threat to place in every tournament.
7. Graeme McDowell
Graeme McDowell – McDowell won this event in 2010 and has always had a personal spot in his heart for the Thousands Oak course. He is phenomenal out of the tee box and an even better putter; two things that will give him a distinct advantage this week at Sherwood.
6. Jim Furyk
Jim Furyk - Furyk has cracked the top-13 in each of his last four tournaments and has basically been on fire since the United States’ loss at the Ryder Cup. The “Ferocious Furyk” is always a threat to crack the top-5, so do not sleep on this mad man this week.
5. Nick Watney
Nick Watney – Watney won the CIMB Classic and has a combined score of 47 under in his last three tournaments. He will be one of the heavy favorites this week because his short game will certainly come in handy on this fairly short course.
4. Brandt Snedeker
Brandt Snedeker – Snedeker heads to the west coast as one of the hottest golfers on the circuit. The veteran has finished inside the top-11 in four of his last five tournaments, including winning the FedEx Cup in 2012. Snedeker is a great guy to look for after the big names comes off the board.
3. Keegan Bradley
Keegan Bradley – Bradley has been quiet since his dominating putting performance at the Ryder Cup, but it is nice to know that the kid has those kinds of putts to pull out of his bag of tricks. Bradley has all the skills in the world, so no one is a better sleeper than the 26-year old from Vermont.
2. Bubba Watson
Bubba Watson - Watson shot some masterful rounds of golf this season, including a handful of beautiful rounds that won him the 2012 Masters. Watson has nine top-10 finishes in his 19 events this season and continues to have good value despite his major victory being much earlier in the year.
1. Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods – Woods has won the event five times throughout his illustrious career, including last year with a score of 10 under. Woods also finished second in this event in 2010 and will be looking to win his fourth tournament of the year in Cali this weekend. Woods is continually being questioned, but his pure confidence will carry him this week to his sixth World Challenge Championship.