So we picked the wrong former World No. 1 with a bad back to focus on last week. It happens. Tiger Woods’ T-23 was pretty impressive, but Jason Day left Torrey Pines as the big winner. It’s crazy to think the Aussie had fallen all the way to No. 14, but his Farmers Insurance Open victory proved he has what it takes to get back on top. Neither Day nor Tiger will tee it up at the Waste Management Phoenix Open this week, but there’s still plenty to discuss. Steve Hennessey, who predicted a T-22 for Tiger last week, filled in for me on the podcast this week (No truth to the rumor I had to be hospitalized from being too excited about Tiger’s play) and joined Joel Beall to discuss Woods’ return, slow pace in golf, and make their picks for this week’s tournament. 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 TPC Scottsdale:
Hideki Matsuyama: The only reason not to take the two-time defending champ? He’s now officially on Joel and my fantasy team, Masters of None. And who did
we Joel choose him over in the draft with the seventh overall pick? Jason Day. You’re probably going to hear me mention that just a few times this season. . .
Ryan Palmer: The forgotten man in the epic playoff at Torrey Pines between Day and Alex Noren, Palmer has his focus on golf back — and his full PGA Tour exemption — following his wife’s health scare. In addition to coming in with good form and with good vibes, Palmer also has a pair of runner-ups at TPC Scottsdale (2006 and 2015) as well as a solo fifth in 2013.
Cameron Smith: The 24-year-old Aussie has finished in the top 20 in each of his past eight worldwide starts, including five on the PGA Tour. That stretch also included a win at the Australian PGA Championship in December for the man who teamed up with Jonas Blixt to win last year’s Zurich Classic. The guy plays every week. And he plays pretty well every week.
Phil Mickelson: I’m rolling with Phil again even after he tumbled down the leader board at Torrey after a strong start. A three-time winner of this event, Mickelson has played an incredible 100 career competitive rounds at TPC Scottsdale with an overall scoring average of 69.23. Look for Phil to put on a show at the famed 16th hole — both with his golf game and his throwing arm.
After Alex Smith got $70 million guaranteed from the Redskins, Mickelson might use this week as an NFL tryout.
Just missed: Webb Simpson and Bubba Watson.
Knockout/One-and-done pick: Ryan Palmer.
And here’s the podcast link again, if you want to hear Steve and Joel jabber: