Bunker Mentality

Fantasy Golf: Yanks, but no Yanks

Bunker Mentality

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The PGA Tour's 'Florida Swing' kicks off this weekend with the Honda Classic at PGA National and we are banking on the field's international players coming to the fore.

Combined with the Bay Hill Invitational and the CA Championship later this month, the Honda Classic provides the perfect lead up to the Augusta Masters just north in Georgia in early April.

All three courses on the Florida Swing were ranked in the top 10 in terms of difficulty last season, with the par 70 Champion Course at PGA National ranked seventh toughest.

Therefore, expect the cream to come to the top this weekend, and there certainly are some big names to choose from, including lots of Europeans to root for.

The A group is actually the weakest of the lot this week, but Ernie Els is a solid man to make your team leader. He won this event back in 2008 and is in decent form after finihsing top 12 in each of his three starts this season. Back him up with Steve Marino who has two top-five placings in his last three starts and who has never missed a cut here.

In B group, you might be tempted to jump straight in and put Europe's two highest-ranked players - Rory McIlroy and Lee Westwood - straight into your starting line-up - we certainly recommend you plug both on to your roster.

However, as they are both playing stroke play in the States for the first time this year, and neither player has played here before, we recommend just starting one of the two and leaving the other on the bench - for at least the first day or two.

We are going to go for Westwood as our starter as his form - 13 top 10s in his last 16 stroke play tournaments - is just too good to ignore.

Our second starting pick in B group goes to Australian Robert Allenby, whose record in this tournament since it moved to PGA National in 2007 is impressive: T5, T4, T5. Added to the fact that he has three top-10 finishes already this season and his selection looks even more of a no-brainer.

Another decent B group option is defending champion Y.E. Yang. The Korean, who famously outdueled Tiger Woods at the PGA Championship last year, roared back into form with a third place finish at last week's Phoenix Open.

In group C, the remarkably consistent Paul Casey jumps off the page as a standout pick, even if he has never played here, with the reasonably in-form South African Tim Clark our back-up.

So out of the eight players we have chosen this week only one of them is American - Steve Marino - and we hope to keep him on the bench too.

We have nothing against Americans though - honest - well not until the Ryder Cup starts anyway.

The current Road to Ireland group leaders are:

Group 1: Sidgolfer - 1,419 points

Group 2: On the Jet2 Ireland - 1,363

Group 3: tigers9iron - 1,444

Group 4: Killarney GC - 1,385

Group 5: FC GYTO Chubsters - 1,417

Group 6: tigersUSdbillionBJ's - 1,435

Remember, the player who tops the Road to Ireland standings for each group at the end of the season will be put in a draw to win our great prize which includes:

- 3 nights bed and breakfast at the Dundrum House Hotel in Tipperary for 2 people
- 2 rounds of golf at Dundrum House Golf Resort for 2 people
- Return flights to Cork from a selection of UK airports

The prize is donated by the fabulous Dundrum House Hotel as part of the new Club Choice Ireland golf alliance! Visit Club Choice Ireland for more details or e-mail for more information.

If you missed the deadline you can still join, and remember all group leaders at the end of the year will be eligible for the overall prize. Just CLICK HERE and enter the Group 6 id: 11786 and password: bunkermentality.

The deadline to select or edit your active round 1 players for this tournament is 10:00 GMT on Thursday.

There are more research tools here to help you pick the right squad, while this week's experts selections are in the table below.

THE EXPERTS A LIST B LIST C LIST

     
Bunker Mentality

Bunker Mentality


Bunker Mentality

Eurosport

  1. Ernie Els
  2. Steve Marino
  1. Lee Westwood
  2. Robert Allenby
  3. Rory McIlroy
  4. Y.E. Yang
  1. Paul Casey
  2. Tim Clark

     
Greg Vara

Greg Vara


Greg Vara

RotoWire.com

  1. Ernie Els
  2. Steve Marino
  1. YE Yang
  2. Sergio Garcia
  3. Padraig Harrington
  4. Rory McIlroy
  1. Chris Couch
  2. Brandt Snedecker

     
Erik Planer

Erik Planer


Erik Planer

Yahoo! Sports

  1. Ernie Els
  2. Anthony Kim
  1. YE Yang

  2. Charles Howell III

  3. Kevin Streelman

  4. Mark Calcavecchia

  1. Brandt Snedecker
  2. Paul Casey

     
Matt Romig

Matt Romig


Matt Romig

Yahoo! Sports

  1. Anthony Kim
  2. Stephen Ames
  1. Camilo Villegas
  2. Robert Allenby
  3. YE Yang
  4. Alex Prugh
  1. Brant Snedecker
  2. Mike Weir

     
Michael Arkush

Michael Arkush


Michael Arkush

Yahoo! Sports

  1. Ernie Els
  2. Justin Leonard
  1. JB Holmes
  2. Robert Allenby
  3. YE Yang
  4. Charles Howell III
  1. Brandt Snedecker
  2. Paul Casey

 

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