Hello Blue Monster, old friend. Nice to see a loaded field again. Time to load up the fantasy roster for this week.
A-List: To Phil or not to Phil, that is the question. Phil Mickelson erased a long-running history of mediocre Doral showings with last year's trophy hoist, but he hasn't knocked anyone's socks off so far in 2010. I'm feeling safer with Steve Stricker, who's got a respectable form here (13, 6) and has shown more in the early season. Zach Johnson's hit-and-miss resume at Doral might scare some people, but he's got three Top-10 checks in six stops, which makes him a justifiable No. 2.
Who Not to Use: Something has me nervous about Steve Marino these days, can't put my finger on it. He's on my auction team, so I've love to be wrong … Vijay Singh's ball striking was superb last week but he's still searching on the greens. Until that's ironed out – and it might never be – I'm taking a pass … Kenny Perry was ninth here last season but how long can be stick with the elite players into his late 40s? He's going to need to prove something to me first.
B-List: How can you not ride the Camilo Villagas train at this point? I've yet to burn one of his starts so far this year, which is a little embarrassing. At least I took the $16 plunge on him in my 13-team hometowner auction, but being locked out of his electric start is a major gaffe. The University of Florida product is obviously comfortable playing in his adopted state and while his aggressive game gets him in trouble now and then, he's fantastic with his recovery shots.
Geoff Ogilvy gets a spot for his sterling iron game (tops in GIR) and name-brand recognition. He wasn't a factor at the WGC-CA Championship last year, but he won the event in 2008 and ran third in 2007. Jim Furyk also makes for an easy selection, with three Top-4 checks at Doral over the last four seasons. Stewart Cink has a moderate resume here but his iron play (second in GIR) and early-season returns get him in consideration; I'm still mulling between Cink and underrated Oliver Wilson.
Who Not to Use: Maybe I need to trust Rory McIlroy more going forward, but the lack of experience at Doral does concern me. He was a respectable T20 in his Blue Monster debut last year … The crash-landing J.B. Holmes had at the end of the Honda Classic might have a carryover effect into this event. And do something about that pace of play, already.
C-List: Paul Casey is probably the easiest pick of the week. He's already bagged three Top-10s this year and his sterling iron game (sixth in GIR) makes him a perfect fit for the Doral assignment. Even if he were in the A-List, I'd be using him in this spot. Ian Poulter was second at Doral in 2006 and T13 last year, which makes him a nice fallback, but I have a feeling we'll be using Casey for 3-4 rounds.
Who Not to Use: Tim Clark hasn't cracked the Top 10 at Doral and I'm no longer that interested chasing his elusive first PGA Tour victory. Maybe there's a very good reason why it hasn't happened (putting on the weekend, nerves, etc). No shame in his career, but something should have popped by now … I was tempted to use Mike Weir as a backup play after seeing his strong play last week, but his WGC-CA track record (35, 20, 50, 18) left me cold.