Its going to be a little bit different on the PGA Tour this week. For the first time in decades, a PGA Tour event will be held without stroke play. This week’s Zurich Classic will be the first official PGA Tour event to use a team format since the 1981 Walt Disney Classic. Scoring will work by the top 35 teams and ties will making the weekend. Alternate shot will be used in the first and third rounds, while best ball will be used in the second and fourth rounds, as well as for a sudden-death playoff if necessary.
For fantasy players, its a bit of a letdown. Although its fun to watch tour pros play on teams and different scoring formats are also nice, fantasy players won’t be able to compete in the usual weekly competition. Other fantasy sites are only posting contests for the European Tour event this week in China.
Looking at the field, the biggest names are the Jason Day/Rickie Fowler team and the Justin Rose/Henrik Stenson. Other cheer worthy groups include the all-Canadian David Hearn/Graham DeLaet team and the all-African team of Branden Grace/Louis Oosthuizen. Certainly the most oddball/comical pairing is the team of Bryson DeChambeau/Rory Sabbatini.
CoinRoster users can bet in a pool for who will win the Zurich Classic. The progressive jackpot is currently 0.01615 bitcoins.
The LPGA Tour stops in Texas for the Volunteers of America Texas Shootout. This will be the first tournament back for Lexi Thompson after her controversial loss at Dinah Shore. Other favorites to win include superstars Inbee Park and In Gee Chun, as well as Texas resident Stacy Lewis. Most sports books have local touring pro Gerina Piller at about 50 to 1 odds.
CoinRoster users can bet in this week’s LPGA pool on who will win the Texas Shootout by clicking here.
This week is a split week for the PGA Tour as there’s a WGC event along with both a stroke play tournament each being played. The Puerto Rico Open has a shallow field with most of the top players teeing it up in the WGC Dell Match Play. Even so, a few of the top players, such as Stenson, are taking this as a by week altogether and skipping both events.
We’ve posted two pools that users can join. There is a fantasy golf pool for the Puerto Rico Open and a pari-mutuel pool for the Dell Match Play. In the future we hope to have a bracket game available, stay tuned.
After our first test game last week, we have posted another Double-Up fantasy contest with a 0.002 btc entry fee this week for the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Rory McIlroy is the favorite to win, and he is priced for value on our draft list.
The Course: Bay Hill Club & Lodge, 7,419 yards, par 72. A rustic golf outpost on Orlando’s rural outskirts got a major boost in 1965 when Arnold Palmer proclaimed it the “best course in Florida” upon his first visit. Over time, Palmer eventually bought the place and made it his winter base. The PGA TOUR arrived in 1979, when the old Florida Citrus Open relocated across town to “Arnie’s Place.” Laid out in 1961 by Dick Wilson, Palmer’s constant tinkering over the years has left no doubt about whose stamp it bears. Bay Hill’s closing trio of holes often yields a dramatic finish, most notably Robert Gamez’s stunning 7-iron holeout at No. 18 to vault past Greg Norman in the 1990 edition.
The Field: Jason Day, the final champion to have that special greenside moment with The King, defends his title against a roster that includes a dozen others from the top 25 in the world rankings. Hideki Matsuyama and Henrik Stenson are other top-10 entrants. … Korean pro Jeunghun Wang, with three European Tour wins in the past 10 months, makes his second start on U.S. soil. The first came at last year’s PGA Championship. Also, world No. 11 Alex Noren tees it up on these shores for the first time since Baltusrol. … John Daly, now a PGA TOUR Champions regular, returns to Bay Hill for the first time since 2006. He might be best known around the place for the 18 he carded at No. 6 in 1998.
Storylines: Palmer’s absence from his beloved tournament will hover over the week, an occasion for both sadness and joy in his legacy. Attendees at Bay Hill will see a new bronze statue of Palmer, positioned to overlook the first and 10th tees. Host duties will be shared by a golf foursome – Annika Sorenstam, Graeme McDowell, Peter Jacobsen and Curtis Strange – plus former Homeland Security chief and Palmer confidant Tom Ridge. … Day tees it up for the first time since the West Coast, where he had two top-12s in four starts but was 64th last time out at Riviera. … Stenson, an Orlando resident who lives some 45 minutes away, returns in quest of his first Bay Hill victory. He’s been no worse than fifth in the past three years.
Television: Thursday-Friday, 2-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday-Sunday, 12:30-2:30 p.m. (GC), 2:30-6 p.m. (NBC).