Welcome to Golfweek.com’s Fantasy Aces, your weekly source for winning fantasy golf leagues. Such information is less likely to help you earn a sponsor exemption into a Fall Series event, but that’s hopefully not the reason you’re here.
The Fantasy Aces appear every Wednesday on Golfweek.com.
• • •
This week’s event: Turning Stone Resort Championship
Site: Atunyote Golf Club at Turning Stone Resort (7,482 yards, par 72), Verona, N.Y.
Purse: $6 million. Winner's share: $1.08 million.
Last year: Steve Flesch won the inaugural Fall Series event for his second 2007 title. Michael Allen finished second, two strokes back.
Rex Hoggard’s best bet: Davis Love III.
He bristled at the notion he could be the next U.S. Ryder Cup captain last week in Atlanta. DLIII may be an aging war-horse, but he’s a war-horse nonetheless. Besides, Love is looking at the Fall Finish as a chance to kick-start 2009 (see Justin Leonard and Mike Weir).
Ace up Hoggard’s sleeve: Carl Pettersson.
Turning Stone is a casino so there are no shortage of aces, but we would expect either Carl Pettersson or Dudley Hart, two players that flourish in the fall, to find their way atop an off-Broadaway leaderboard.
Soderstrom’s best bet: Dudley Hart.
Hart is one of five guys in the field this week who also played in the FedExCup Playoffs, which I think adds up to a distinct advantage. Competitive rust will pollute the air this week in an expectedly rainy and cloudy upstate New York, and Hart and the others are coming off a testy week in Atlanta. Hart, of course, is playing better than any of them, coming off a runner-up finish at the BMW and a tie for 10th at the Tour Championship.
Ace up Soderstrom’s sleeve: David Duval.
I know I’m climbing out on a hickory shaft here, but Duval’s tie for 22nd at the Viking Classic has me interested. If you don’t feel like taking the risk, wait to see if he can back things up this week. If something can keep us interested in the Fall Series, it’s the Return of Duval. And as we saw with Kenny Perry this year, fairytales do pop up every once in a while.
Martin’s best bet: Dudley Hart.
Yes, this is probably the first time Hart’s name has appeared in this space, which is usually reserved for the likes of Tiger, Phil and Vijay. But Hart, at No. 25 on the money list, is one of just four players at Turning Stone inside the top 30 in earnings.
Hart has nine top 25s in 21 events this year and six top 10s, including his past two starts (second at the BMW, T-10 at the Tour Championship). It shouldn’t hurt that Hart was born in Rochester, N.Y., about two hours from Turning Stone.
Ace up Martin’s sleeve: Will MacKenzie.
It’s no surprise that our extreme-sports loving friend plays his best at courses that allow you to be agressive and make birdies by bunches. His two top-10s this year were at the John Deere (where he shot 15 under to finish T-4) and his last start at the Viking Classic (where 19 under was good for a playoff victory).
Last year, Steve Flesch shot 18 under to win the Turning Stone by two shots. Sixty-two players broke par.