Fantasy Tip Sheet: Hyundai TOC

Scott Piercy during the first round of the Tour Championship.
Scott Piercy during the first round of the Tour Championship. ( Associated Press )

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

We are only three days into the new year, and it's time to fire up the ol' fantasy golf engines yet again.

It's been a few months since our crew offered up their expertise, but we must give credit where credit is due: Veteran PGA Tour senior writer Jim McCabe took home the fantasy title in 2012, by more than a million bucks.

To refresh, we judge our picks by money won during each tournament. We pick one favorite and one player outside the top 50 in the Golfweek/Sagarin Rankings.

This week's event - the Hyundai Tournament of Champions - is a limited-field, 30-man invitational. It features four players in the top 10 of our rankings, including 2012 winner Steve Stricker.

Our panel agreed on little when it came to the overall favorite, but nearly all took Scott Piercy (who won his second career title in 2012) as the underdog.

Here's a look at this week's picks:

• • •

Rank Winner Wild Card
Rude Dustin Johnson

Coming off strong FedEx Cup playoffs, in which he was the only player to have top-10 finishes in all four events. And Kapalua suits his long ball.

Scott Piercy

Finished 2012 with four consecutive top-15 finishes worldwide. Plus, was T-12 in his debut at Kapalua last year.

Martin Matt Kuchar

I always like picking Kuchar because of his consistency (13 top-25s in 22 PGA Tour starts last year). He has a good history at Kapalua, as well (3rd, 2010; T-6, 2011).

Scott Piercy

He closed out 2012 in fine form, finishing T-6 in Vegas, T-10 in Malaysia and T-2 at the WGC-HSBC. He also was T-12 in his Kapalua debut, which came one year ago.

McCabe Brandt Snedeker

For some reason, he's broken quickly from the gates the last few years. In seven January tournaments since 2010 he has a win and six top-10s.

Johnson Wagner

He has broken par in all eight rounds in his two previous visits to the Plantation Course and with a pair of top-10 finishes, he appears very comfortable here.

Miceli Keegan Bradley

His length is a huge benefit and after shooting 65 in the final round last year, he may have the Plantation Course figured out.

Scott Piercy

Sky is the limit for Piercy in 2013. Expect him to come out with all guns firing.

Ringler Steve Stricker

Hard not to pick Stricker, who has four top-10s in last four starts at the Plantation course. Oh yes, and he won last year.

Kyle Stanley

First-timer in this event, but expecting big things from Stanley in 2013.

Masuda Hunter Mahan

Has only two appearances at the TOC (5th in 2008; T-25 in 2011) and didn't make the Ryder Cup despite two 2012 victories. That's formula for a guy with a chip on his shoulder. He finished season with two top-10s (including Tour Championship). He has sneaky distance, which will come in handy at the Plantation Course.

Jonas Blixt

Had three top-20 finishes in final four PGA Tour stops of 2012, including a victory at the Open. Was second on Tour in strokes-gained putting, which will be key on Plantation's very large greens.

• • •

Hyundai Tournament of Champions field according to Golfweek/Sagarin Performance Index

  • 4. Jason Dufner
  • 5. Matt Kuchar
  • 6. Steve Stricker
  • 9. Dustin Johnson
  • 13. Bubba Watson
  • 15. Ian Poulter
  • 16. Zach Johnson
  • 20. Brandt Snedeker
  • 24. Ryan Moore
  • 25. Keegan Bradley
  • 26. Nick Watney
  • 33. Webb Simpson
  • 34. Hunter Mahan
  • 35. Carl Pettersson
  • 36. Rickie Fowler
  • 44. Bill Haas
  • 45. John Huh
  • 60. Scott Piercy
  • 62. Mark Leishman
  • 94. Jonas Blixt
  • 96. Ben Curtis
  • 97. George McNeill
  • 129. Kyle Stanley
  • 143. J.J. Henry
  • 144. Mark Wilson
  • 157. Johnson Wagner
  • 261. Tommy Gainey
  • 303. Scott Stallings
  • 306. Ted Potter Jr.
  • 366. Charlie Beljan readers: We value your input and welcome your comments, but please be respectful in this forum.