Fantasy Golf Preview: RBC Heritage & Spanish Open

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The world of golf may still be coming to terms with Danny Willett’s dramatic victory last night, but what does it all mean for your Fantasy Golf team? The final round chucked up plenty of surprises along the way and it’s hard not to feel rueful if you had Jordan Spieth in your team, let alone as captain. The big three still amassed plenty of points, but those who thought former Major winners would represent a low-risk option were left with egg on their face. The less said about the performances of Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els the better.

Instead, managers were rewarded for basing their selections on a mix of patriotism and youth. The performance of Bryson DeChambeau illustrated the importance of keeping a close eye on the amateur game, while Lee Westwood’s late surge was a timely reminder that form counts for very little when course familiarity plays such a big role.

Attention now turns to the Spanish Open and RBC Heritage, which instigates a run of two tournaments every week in the lead up to the U.S. Open in June. World number one Jason Day is back in action on the PGA Tour this week and will be battling it out alongside the likes of Brandt Snedeker, Matt Kuchar and former Open champion Zach Johnson.

Elsewhere, Sergio Garcia will resume playing duties at Valderrama in front of his home crowd and will be juggling the role of tournament host at the Spanish Open. The world number 16 has finished inside the top 20 in five of his last six European Tour starts and enters as favourite ahead of Martin Kaymer and defending champion James Morrison.

Of course, Willett will remain the name on everyone’s lips for the next few weeks, but he’s not actually scheduled to compete again until the Players Championship in May. Between now and then, there are four gameweeks to prepare for and plenty of points up for grabs. Here are five players who could help catapult your team up the leaderboard come Sunday.    

 

Jason Day (RBC Heritage)

The world number one stormed out of the blocks at Augusta and looked set to rival the course record at one stage after a five-under-par front nine. A calamitous inward nine ultimately shunted him down the leaderboard and the Australian never fully recovered. A top-ten finish was by no means a disaster, however, and he will head to Harbour Town seeking his third win in a five-week span. He is the standout name in a field which includes only eight other players in the world’s top 30 and with Rory McIlroy and Spieth absent, the stage is set for Day to justify his top billing and his £15 price tag. 

Paul Casey (RBC Heritage)

The rejuvenated Englishman has finished in the top ten in three of his last four starts and is beginning to recapture the form that took him to world number three in 2009. The 38-year-old matched Willett’s score of 67 on Sunday and admitted afterwards that he has now got his sights set on representing Britain at the Olympics. Four missed cuts since the start of 2015 suggest consistency is his greatest asset and in Fantasy Golf, that’s a big pulling factor. He may struggle to convert strong performances into victories on the PGA Tour, as his seven-year winless streak would testify, but he’s very much a low-risk option at £12.5m.

 

Bryson DeChambeau (RBC Heritage)

The U.S. Amateur champion has made quite the impression during his five month “internship” on Tour and will finally make his professional debut this week. The 22-year-old strolled to the lowest amateur title at Augusta and had it not been for that triple bogey on 18, he would have been in Saturday’s final group. As it was, his challenge faded over the weekend, but DeChambeau showed enough to suggest he could be a major threat at the Harbour Town links course. He has previous, too, when it comes to upstaging the game’s biggest names. He finished second at the Australian Masters in November and memorably shot a 66 in the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational when paired with Rory McIlroy last month. At £6m, it’s a no brainer to include him in your side.

Fantasy Golf Preview: RBC Heritage & Spanish Open

Søren Kjeldsen (Spanish Open)

The omens look good for the Dane this week and there’s about £11m reasons why he should be in your team. The 40-year-old is coming off the back of his best-ever performance at a Major and will be teeing it up at Valderrama where he has finished second, first, second in his last three outings. He has yet to miss a cut this season and if you still need convincing, he will be defending his Irish Open crown next month as well. Critics will point to just two top-20 finishes since the turn of the year, but a tied seventh place at Augusta could reignite a strong run of form for a player who is notoriously streaky. In his final eight tournaments last year, Kjeldsen finished inside the top 15 six times.

 

Paul Dunne (Spanish Open)

The Irish sensation has almost dropped off the radar since contending at the Open last year but initial signs suggest he’s dealing with the transition from amateur to pro rather well. He kicked off 2016 with a ninth-place finish at the Joburg Open in January and followed that up with a share of 13th at the Farmers Insurance Open. Since then, it’s been a bit of a mixed bag in truth, so much so that he was tied 20th at the Indian Open after the third round, before a closing 78 plummeted him down the leaderboard. His appeal this week is boosted by the fact that Valderrama is notorious for testing your short game, which is one of Dunne’s biggest strengths. He’s also well rested, unlike many of his peers who will be battling jetlag, and if you’re looking for a quick fix, Dunne is certainly worth a punt at £7m.

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