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Tour Report: Fantasy mailbag: CIMB Classic

By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Columnist

No matter the event, if I’m writing a Power Rankings feature and Tiger Woods is in the field, my email inbox will get a workout.

For this week’s CIMB Classic, I slotted Woods third behind Bo Van Pelt and Jason Dufner, respectively. It didn’t take long for this to arrive:

Hey Rob! U have it all wrong as who is no. 1… No doubt Tiger isn’t the dominant force that he once was, but tell me even though he didn’t win a major this year, how many golfers this year won 3 tournaments??? I rest my case…. Keith

Instead of reiterating points and facts cited in the feature, which you can find here, let’s look at how these three fared head-to-head in 2012. The results support Keith’s argument, but not quite how he laid it out.

Van Pelt, Dufner and Woods competed in the same PGA TOUR event 11 times this year. Dufner won twice, but neither of the other two were in those fields. Van Pelt was winless.

As Keith noted, Woods is a three-time champ, but only one of the other two teed it up alongside in each — Dufner (T15, Arnold Palmer Invitational); Van Pelt (T13, Memorial; 2nd, AT&T National) — so Woods’ collective record in those three wins is simply 3-0-0.

Through Woods’ last triumph at the AT&T National, he held a record of 7-6-1 to Van Pelt’s 6-5-2 and Dufner’s 4-6-1. Then, after missing the cut at The Greenbrier Classic that both Van Pelt and Dufner skipped, Woods finished 10-2-1 to Van Pelt’s 4-8-1 and Dufner’s 4-8-0.

Overall, Woods went 17-8-2, Van Pelt 10-13-3 and Dufner 8-14-1 in the events in which Woods played and at least one of the other two also participated. Woods won six of the 11 head-to-heads, including five of the last six; Van Pelt took three and Dufner the other two.

There is a contingent of readers that expects Woods to sit atop the Power Rankings just because he’s Tiger Woods. Keith formed a fair argument, so I wouldn’t rush to include him in that group of Woods-or-bust supporters, but Van Pelt and Dufner — not to mention 45 other golfers in the field in Malaysia this week — also showed up to win a golf tournament.

Certainly, the scoreboard favors Woods, but sitting No. 3 in the Power Rankings isn’t a slight.

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