Fantasy Aces: Verizon Heritage

Welcome to’s Fantasy Aces, your weekly source for winning fantasy golf leagues. Such information is less likely to help you repair cartilage in your left knee, but that’s hopefully not the reason you’re here.

The Fantasy Aces appear every Wednesday on

• • •

Event: Verizon Heritage
Course: Harbour Town Golf Links (6,973 yards, par 71),
Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Purse: $5.5 million. Winner's share: $990,000.
Last year: Boo Weekley won his first PGA Tour title, chipping in on the final two holes to hold off Ernie Els by a stroke.

• See below for Golfweek’s Masters rankings.

Eric Soderstrom’s best bet: Stewart Cink.

Finally, this is Cink’s week. After getting torched by Tiger Woods a couple times earlier this season, Cink played a respectable final round at the Masters alongside Woods and his bum knee, shooting the same Sunday number (72) as the World No. 1 and sneaking into a tie for third place.

He was also the only player other than Woods to shoot no worse than even par in each of the four rounds at the Augusta National, which should be the most attractive statistic to fantasy owners this week. Harbour Town Golf Links is narrow (which doesn’t necessarily set up wonderfully off the tee for Cink), but the greens are small and scrambling is paramount. Cink is 33rd on Tour in scrambling, and said he made a putting adjustment midway through last week that helped him to his top3 finish.

That Cink won here in 2000 and 2004, when he defeated Ted Purdy on the fifth extra hole after overcoming a nine-stroke deficit with a 64, also helps.

Ace up Soderstrom’s sleeve: Ben Crane.

Since we’re at Harbour Town, I’m sticking with the guys who have a knack for getting up and down. Crane, who is playing on a Major Medical Extension due to his back injury that limited him to seven starts in 2007, is ninth in scrambling and has only finished outside the top 20 once this year in five events. Despite making only 12 starts over the last 52 weeks, he’s also worked his way to No. 9 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index, which means he’s kept his consistency post-injury.

Also look for Oklahoma State’s Rickie Fowler, the No. 1 player in college golf, to make the cut this week. Fowler earned a sponsor exemption after winning the Players Amateur last year.

Rex Hoggard’s best bet: Stewart Cink.

Of all the reasons to like Cink at Harbour Town, including his two Heritage titles and his tie for third last week at Augusta National, the only stat you need to know about Cink is the company he’s been keeping. Last week marked the third time this year Cink was paired with Tiger Woods on a Sunday, always a sign of success.

Ace up Hoggard’s sleeve: Joe Durant.

Although he hasn’t had a lot of success at Hilton Head (his tie for 21st in ’01 is his best finish), Durant is again leading the Tour in ballstriking, always a key stat at tree-lined Harbour Town, and is rested since he didn’t get into the Masters.

Lance Ringler’s best bet: Ben Crane.

Post-Masters on the PGA Tour… How many golf fans will actually be watching or even paying attention? Which makes this a great week to find a good play for your fantasy league. There are 10 players in the field that are ranked inside the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index top 25, and the winner will likely come from that grouping.

And if you are in a league where you can only use a player once, pick Ben Crane. Crane has made just two starts at Harbour Town and both have been top 25s. Crane is quietly one of the best nobody talks much about and this week he could turn a few heads.

Ace up Ringler’s sleeve: Rickie Fowler.

There has not been a college player to win on the PGA Tour since Phil Mickelson. In the field this week is the top player in college golf – Oklahoma State's Rickie Fowler. If that does not work for you, try Corey Pavin, who is second in scambling on the PGA Tour behind only Tiger Woods.

Posted field in order of Golfweek/Sagarin Ranking (which is based on performance over the last 52 weeks):

3. Justin Rose
9. Ben Crane
12. Ernie Els
13. Stewart Cink
14. Jim Furyk
17. Sean O'Hair
18. Carl Pettersson
19. Aaron Baddeley
23. Justin Leonard
25. Camilo Villegas
27. Stephen Ames
28. Zach Johnson
29. Briny Baird
30. Rod Pampling
31. Lucas Glover
32. Fredrik Jacobson
34. Nathan Green
36. Woody Austin
37. Brandt Snedeker
38. Richard Sterne
39. Bart Bryant
40. Boo Weekley
41. Scott Verplank
43. Niclas Fasth
44. Heath Slocum
46. Jerry Kelly
47. David Toms
50. Nick Dougherty
51. Chad Campbell
53. Anthony Kim
54. Billy Mayfair
55. Mathew Goggin
60. Frank Lickliter II
62. John Mallinger
64. John Senden
65. Tim Clark
67. Tom Pernice, Jr.
68. Brian Davis
69. Tim Herron
70. Ken Duke
71. Ryuji Imada
73. Jason Gore
74. Cliff Kresge
75. Mark Calcavecchia
78. Joe Durant
79. Robert Allenby
83. Jonathan Byrd
85. Ryan Moore
87. Bo Van Pelt
88. Tim Petrovic
89. Corey Pavin
90. Dean Wilson
92. J.B. Holmes
93. Nick O'Hern
95. Kevin Na
100. Jesper Parnevik
102. Cameron Beckman
103. Jon Mills
104. John Rollins
105. Matt Kuchar
106. Fred Funk
110. D.J. Trahan
114. Jason Day
118. Jay Williamson
119. Michael Allen
121. Charles Warren
122. Daniel Chopra
123. Jeff Maggert
124. Steve Flesch
126. Mark Wilson
128. Charles Howell III
132. Patrick Sheehan
135. George McNeill
140. Shane Bertsch
141. Brian Gay
142. Craig Barlow
144. Tim Wilkinson
148. Peter Lonard
149. Jeff Overton
150. Bill Haas
152. Will MacKenzie
153. John Riegger
156. Ben Curtis
160. Roland Thatcher
163. Jeff Quinney
170. Vaughn Taylor
171. Stephen Leaney
172. Tom Lehman
173. Rocco Mediate
174. Robert Garrigus
175. Bob Estes
179. Jason Bohn
182. Davis Love III
185. Kevin Streelman
186. Dustin Johnson
189. Chris DiMarco
190. Ryan Armour
192. Bob Tway
194. Nicholas Thompson
196. Billy Andrade
199. Chez Reavie
213. Parker McLachlin
216. Robert Gamez
219. Brett Quigley
222. Michael Letzig
223. Chris Stroud
225. Mathias Gronberg
229. Jin Park
239. Mark Hensby
256. J.P. Hayes
257. Brian Bateman
270. Nick Flanagan
275. Jose Coceres
313. Marc Turnesa
318. Y.E. Yang
321. Todd Hamilton
329. James Driscoll
347. Glen Day
356. Tommy Gainey
371. Eric Axley
376. Kyle Thompson
382. Lee Janzen
411. Greg Kraft
496. Mark Brooks
N/R. Paul Azinger
N/R. Rickie Fowler
N/R. Dudley Hart
N/R. Brandt Jobe
N/R. Matt Jones
N/R. J.L. Lewis
N/R. Jonathan Moore
N/R. Curt Sanders

Show Hide