Fantasy Aces: National treasures

Welcome to’s Fantasy Aces, your weekly source for winning fantasy golf leagues. Such information is less likely to help you understand Ralph Nader, but that’s hopefully not the reason you’re here.

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This week’s event: Honda Classic
Course: PGA National Resort & Spa, Champion Course (7,158 yards, par 70), Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
Purse: $5.5 million. Winner's share: $990,000.
Last year: Mark Wilson won his first PGA Tour title, ousting Jose Coceres with a birdie on the third hole of a Monday playoff, due to darkness. Boo Weekley and Camilo Villegas were eliminated on the second extra hole.

• See below for Golfweek’s Honda Classic rankings.

Rex Hoggard’s best bet: Jonathan Byrd.

He blitzed Ernie Els in Round 1 (6 and 5) and Andres Romero on the second day (6 and 4) at the WGC-Match Play and is healthy and perhaps playing the best golf of his career. He can also keep the ball in play (31st on Tour in driving accuracy), which is big at the beefed-up PGA National layout.

Ace up Hoggard’s sleeve: Kevin Streelman.

A year ago few outside Milton, Fla., knew who Boo Weekley was and even fewer could pick eventual winner Mark Wilson out of a lineup, even with the aid of a PGA Tour Media Guide and a mulligan. The point is we shouldn’t be surprised if another nondescript journeyman uses the Honda as a championship springboard. Kevin Streelman fits that bill – solid ballstriker, unassuming, not far removed from having earned an honest paycheck.

Lance Ringler’s best bet: Justin Leonard.

Justin Rose might be the top-ranked player in the field, but his current form is nowhere near that status. After picking Rose the last couple of weeks, we will politely select one of the hotter players in the game: Justin Leonard. Leonard has made 12 cuts in a row on the PGA Tour and along the way has reeled in seven top 10s. Leonard has missed the cut in his last two starts in this event, but we will stick with momentum and confidence.

Ace up Ringler’s sleeve: Charlie Wi.

This field is loaded with sleepers, and my colleague – Mr. Hoggard – will somehow find a way to select Ernie Els as a sleeper. But, let us dig a little deeper and go with Charlie Wi, who tied for 13th at this event a year ago and rides into this week’s tournament after making the cut in all four starts this year.

Eric Soderstrom’s best bet: Steve Marino.

If I wasn’t so afraid of picking defending champions, I would have went with Mark Wilson this week. Wilson’s showed so far this year all the signs of scoring big fantasy points this week at PGA National; he keeps it in the fairway, hits a lot of greens and, of course, has a decent track record there. But how many guys actually defend their crowns? So I’m going with Marino, a second-place finisher at last week’s Mayakoba Golf Classic. Marino hovers right above the average when it comes to driving accuracy and greens in regulation, but he also finished tied for fourth at the Sony Open, hasn’t finished worse than 34th this year on Tour and is carrying around a lot of hype in “fantasy expert” circles.

Ace up Soderstrom’s sleeve: John Merrick.

I like Merrick this week pretty much for the same reasons I like Marino. He’s played fairly well this year, and despite struggling at Pebble Beach and the Northern Trust, bounced back with a tie for third at Mayakoba. Like Marino, he also seems to fit that “Mark Wilson” mold. I guess what I’m saying is, expect a three-way playoff between Merrick, Wilson and Marino.

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

2. Justin Rose
4. Arron Oberholser
5. Ernie Els
12. Sergio Garcia
14. David Toms
15. Luke Donald
18. Mike Weir
20. Zach Johnson
21. Sean O'Hair
22. Carl Pettersson
25. Camilo Villegas
27. Anthony Kim
29. Boo Weekley
32. Briny Baird
33. Lucas Glover
34. Fredrik Jacobson
35. Justin Leonard
37. Jerry Kelly
38. Tim Herron
39. Woody Austin
42. Tom Pernice, Jr.
44. Ken Duke
45. Angel Cabrera
46. Kenny Perry
47. Heath Slocum
48. Charlie Wi
49. Jason Gore
51. Nathan Green
56. Mathew Goggin
57. John Senden
59. Brian Davis
60. Steve Marino
61. Jonathan Byrd
63. Alex Cejka
64. Jason Day
67. Kevin Sutherland
68. Richard Green
69. Frank Lickliter II
70. Charles Warren
71. Mark Calcavecchia
74. Retief Goosen
75. Jesper Parnevik
76. Vaughn Taylor
77. Mark Wilson
79. Billy Mayfair
81. J.J. Henry
82. Jon Mills
87. Cliff Kresge
89. Kevin Na
90. Trevor Immelman
91. Robert Allenby
92. Bart Bryant
94. Joe Durant
95. Fred Funk
101. Matt Kuchar
104. Michael Allen
106. Chad Campbell
107. Stephen Leaney
108. Rich Beem
109. John Mallinger
119. Rocco Mediate
123. John Riegger
124. Troy Matteson
125. Peter Lonard
128. Jay Williamson
129. George McNeill
136. Joe Ogilvie
137. Chris DiMarco
139. Patrick Sheehan
141. Ben Curtis
142. Will MacKenzie
143. Craig Barlow
145. Bill Haas
147. Steve Flesch
148. John Merrick
149. Roland Thatcher
150. Jeff Maggert
152. Tim Petrovic
154. Davis Love III
155. Shigeki Maruyama
162. J.P. Hayes
163. Jeff Overton
164. Tommy Armour III
167. Shaun Micheel
174. Robert Garrigus
176. Ryan Armour
179. Jose Coceres
182. Tim Wilkinson
183. Billy Andrade
184. Bob Estes
194. Michael Sim
196. Joey Sindelar
202. Alejandro Canizares
209. Brett Quigley
212. Jin Park
215. Chris Stroud
216. Brett Rumford
220. Tag Ridings
222. Mathias Gronberg
223. Chez Reavie
224. Nick Flanagan
230. Kevin Stadler
231. Glen Day
236. Justin Bolli
240. Martin Laird
244. Richard Johnson
251. Nicholas Thompson
261. Paul Goydos
262. Brad Adamonis
268. Carlos Franco
275. Michael Letzig
278. Scott Sterling
287. Chad Collins
288. Olin Browne
295. Jim McGovern
301. Robert Gamez
309. Brian Bateman
315. Richard S. Johnson
332. Marc Turnesa
336. Eric Axley
352. Duffy Waldorf
355. Johnson Wagner
371. Y.E. Yang
396. Kenneth Ferrie
406. James Driscoll
479. Todd Hamilton
534. David Lutterus
551. Henrik Bjornstad
963. Tadd Fujikawa
N/R. Alan Morin
N/R. Ben Crane
N/R. Brandt Jobe
N/R. Cody Freeman
N/R. David Duval
N/R. Dudley Hart
N/R. Dustin Johnson
N/R. Garrett Osborn
N/R. Hank Kuehne
N/R. J.L. Lewis
N/R. Kevin Streelman
N/R. Matt Jones
N/R. Pete Jordan
N/R. Scott Hoch
N/R. Shane Bertsch

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