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Scott Pianowski

Meet me at the Mayakoba Golf Classic (or not)

Scott Pianowski
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To be frank, I've never really understood the idea of having a JV golf tournament opposite a big-ticket event, but that's what we get this week. And the fantasy gods want us to handicap the Mayakoba Golf Classic for our make-believe teams, so that's what we'll do.

Normally I'm on the hunt for sleepers in this space, but there's no reason to look too deep on a week where the Top 65 players (in theory) are already out of the equation. This week it's going to be about chalk – well, watered-down chalk. Next week we'll go back to the hidden-gem theme.

Group A: There's only 18 golfers to pick from this week and it's a ridiculously-thin group, so don't be a hero – just pick Heath Slocum like everyone else is. He came down to Mexico last year and finished tied for third. You're welcome on your own theory on the second player; I went with Thomas Levet because he almost won the British Open a zillion years ago.

Group B: We need four picks here but at least there are some options. Mark Wilson won this tournament last year and he's always been a steady, underrated pro; he's almost a forced pick in this type of field. Josh Teater has the rookie experience curve to deal with but he's made three straight cuts out of the gate and was T5 at Pebble Beach last week; I'll roll with that momentum. And then we probably have to consider K.J. Choi and Charles III Howell because they'll be played frequently on opposing rosters and again, this isn't the time to get cute. Choi is making his debut at Mayakoba, while Howell has one start here (T38).

If you don't want to automatically default to Choi and Howell, you can follow me and roll with Briny Baird. He's picked up tidy checks the last two years at El Camaleon Golf Club (T6, T12) and he's always struck me as one of those respectable journeymen pros who could win if the conditions were right (and that doesn't just mean "in a week where the talent goes elsewhere"). Final answer, let's roll with Wilson, Baird, Teater and Howell (use Chuck early as opposed to late, and Choi's slow play is getting under my skin a bit).

Group C: It would be fun if David Duval's run at Pebble last week really meant something; it's an easy story to get behind. But let's not forget that last year's run at the U.S. Open wasn't a springboard to anything; he was a trunk-slamming machine for the second half of 2009. I don't have a problem giving Duval a make-good spot on my Group C team given the weak field at play, but it's in the No. 2 position to start.

D.J. Trahan was originally my lead dog for this spot but he withdrew from the event Tuesday (a good reminder of why we should always make late activation decisions, no matter the fantasy sport). Carl Pettersson was tempting but he's played poorly in his last two events. The herd likes Steve Elkington and I can't argue with that; he's got a pair of Top 20 checks already in 2010 and when weak fields come calling, a familiar name makes sense.

Okay everyone (well, Martinez), who are you playing this week?


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