Fantasy Aces: SBS Championship

(From left to right) Steve Stricker, Geoff Ogilvy and Nick Watney.

(From left to right) Steve Stricker, Geoff Ogilvy and Nick Watney.

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Golfweek.com’s Fantasy Aces are back. Here’s what to expect in 2010:

Same experts: Golfweek editor Jeff Babineau, senior writer Jim McCabe, staff writer Sean Martin and rankings guru Lance Ringler will pick a favorite and a sleeper for every event on the PGA Tour schedule.

More strategy: You won’t see Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson listed here every week. Each of the four Aces can only pick a player five times throughout the year.

More at stake: Like last year, we’ll keep track of how much money each Aces’ picks make, and update the standings each week so you know who to listen to. But this year we’re also adding a match-play component (Highest total money that week wins) to the mix to keep our guys competitive.

New video: Alex Miceli will also be checking in from the road each week with his fantasy tips.

• • •

WEEK 1, MATCH 1: Jim McCabe (0-0-0) vs. Lance Ringler (0-0-0)

JIM MCCABE

Best bet: Steve Stricker. With what’s his name on a leave of absence, here’s a nod to the second most consistent player in the game.

SBS Championship

Site: Kapalua, Hawaii.

Course: Kapalua Resort, The Plantation Course (7,411 yards, par 73).

Purse: $5.6 million.

Winner's share: $1,008,000.

Ace up my sleeve: Stephen Ames. Even when he doesn’t win he’s in Hawaii this time of year (on vacation), so here's a nod to good comfort zone.

• • • 

LANCE RINGLER

Best bet: Steve Stricker. Tough call here between Steve Stricker, Kenny Perry and Geoff Ogilvy, so I will side with Stricker because he is the top player in the field according to the Performance Index and the best putter in the field. That usually matters.

Ace up my sleeve: Mark Wilson. Most could not pick him out of a lineup, but Wilson will turn a few heads this week. Wilson, who won the Mayakoba Golf Classic to get a spot in this week’s winner’s-only field, finished the 2009 season making 15 of 17 cuts.


WEEK 1, MATCH 2: Jeff Babineau (0-0-0) vs. Sean Martin (0-0-0)

JEFF BABINEAU (2009 Champion)

Best bet: Nick Watney. Kapalua’s Plantation Course is a haven for power, and this guy has plenty of it. Plus, he kept his game in shape late in the season in Asia, competing in the World Cup.

Ace up my sleeve: Rory Sabbatini. Has plenty of length, and knows the golf course better than most. Also, needs to get off to a decent start to erase what was a pretty forgettable season in ’09.

• • • 

SEAN MARTIN

Best bet: Geoff Ogilvy. I’m betting on Ogilvy to replace Stuart Appleby as this tournament’s perennial Australian champ. Ogilvy won here by six shots in 2009, and there’s no reason he can’t repeat. He’s finished in the top 10 in three of his past five starts – T-10 at HSBC Champions, T-4 at Dubai World Championship and T-7 at Australian PGA.

Ace up my sleeve: Ryan Moore. Moore is making his Kapalua debut after winning last year’s Wyndham Championship. He also closed the PGA Tour season with three consecutive top-10s, including a tie for third at the HSBC Champions. Moore is dangerous when he gets on a hot streak. Just look at 2004, when he put together one of the best amateur seasons in history.

He also has the kind of active mind that should thrive at Kapalua, a Coore-Crenshaw design that gives players the room off the tee to be creative in their approach.


SBS Championship field based on the Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index:

  • 4. Steve Stricker
  • 5. Kenny Perry
  • 8. Zach Johnson
  • 11. Retief Goosen
  • 13. Paul Casey
  • 16. Geoff Ogilvy
  • 18. Nick Watney
  • 20. Sean O'Hair
  • 30. Lucas Glover
  • 33. Y.E. Yang
  • 37. Dustin Johnson
  • 45. Brian Gay
  • 46. Matt Kuchar
  • 55. Jerry Kelly
  • 57. Stephen Ames
  • 60. Stewart Cink
  • 64. Mark Wilson
  • 78. Angel Cabrera
  • 79. Pat Perez
  • 100. Rory Sabbatini
  • 107. Ryan Moore
  • 116. Bo Van Pelt
  • 149. John Rollins
  • 164. Troy Matteson
  • 180. Nathan Green
  • 196. Heath Slocum
  • 251. Martin Laird
  • 419. Michael Bradley
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