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LIV Fantasy: Richard Bland a Strong Pick for Houston

Richard Bland

LIV Golf is back after a short hiatus and headed to the Golf Club of Houston for LIV’s first-ever event in the Lone Star State! 

LIV Fantasy also returns for three days of action, and with that we’re taking a look at what picks might be the right ones for Houston. 

In case you are new to LIV Fantasy, you can read the entire guidance on LIV’s website, but the short and sweet of it is that each participant picks five players: one captain, three non-captains, and one alternate.

Participants also get to choose the LIV team they think will have the best score by the end of Sunday.

Other than winning, it’s a fun way to keep close track of your favourite team and players throughout the tournament. 

Picks for Captain

  1. Joaquin Neimann – It should be no surprise that Joaquin is my first choice. He’s number one in the individual standings thanks in part to two wins this season. Neimann is also in top form with five straight top ten finishes. 
  1. Brooks Koepka – Koepka is LIV’s most recent individual champion, winning in Singapore and having three very good days at the PGA Championship makes Koepka my second choice. There’s another major around the corner and I believe Koepka will use Houston as a springboard to build momentum and contend for another major championship. 
  1. Jon Rahm –Jon Rahm has never finished outside the top ten during his first LIV Golf season. Despite not winning a tournament, the prevailing thought is that it’s just a matter of time. Despite the lack of individual success, Rahm never really disappoints in the points department. 
  1. Bryson DeChambeau – I’m adding Bryson DeChambeau here as a fourth option despite participants only being able to have one captain. After an amazing showing at the PGA Championship DeChambeau will look to regain his form in LIV. A few top-ten finishes earlier this season are offset by his most recent scores at Adelaide (T26) and Singapore (T27). 

Picks for Non-Captain

  1. Dean Burmester – Burmester has been the most consistent non-captain this season. The Stinger GC standout is currently in third place overall, one rank ahead of his captain Louis Oosthuizen. Burmester, along with DeChambeau, Koepka, and Herbert were standouts in the recent PGA Championship at Valhalla. Burmester is in excellent form and there’s no reason to believe he will finish outside the top five next week.
  1. Talor Gooch – Gooch isn’t having the same season he did last year but he’s still in eighth place overall. Since LIV Fantasy players can select a total of four non-captains, Gooch is on my roster every single tournament, no exceptions. Gooch is simply too good to leave off a roster. 
  1. Tyrell Hatton – Speaking about must-start golfers, the same can be said about Legion XIII’s Tyrell Hatton. Hatton is another player you have on your roster 100% of the time. Along with Jon Rahm, Hatton is the reason why Legion XIII is always in it to win the team championship. Hatton will participate in the US Open as well and should be top form for the month of June.
  1. Abraham Ancer – One cannot be blamed for thinking that Ancer seems to have cooled off the past couple of weeks after his lone victory in Hong Kong. The standings tell a different story as Ancer has very quietly put together three consecutive top-ten finishes after Hong Kong. 
  1. Richard Bland – My wildcard for the weekend is none other than Richard Bland who is fresh off winning the Senior PGA Championship. Before his miraculous win, Bland has put together a very solid season. The most intriguing thing about picking Bland is that he’s never going to kill your chances, only leave you presently surprised. Bland has only finished outside the top twenty-five once this season in Jeddah. With his recent success and his worst finish far behind him, Dickie B is a solid pick despite several non-captains being ahead of him in the overall standings.
  1. Thomas Pieters – I wanted to add literally any of the RangeGoats here. They’re all in the top twenty-five, but Thomas Pieters is currently the best among the trio. The 2024 iteration of RangeGoats GC is just so different than 2023, and that makes them completely unpredictable. Wolff, Uihlein, and Pieters all have top five finishes, but it is Pieters who has been the most consistent lately.  

Picks for Team

  1. Ripper GC – Ripper are reigning back-to-back champions. Even if they exhibit some type of lag after their return from The Pacific, the boys from Australia are likely to remain ultra-competitive until the end of the season. While the odds of them winning three in a row are not great, I can’t think of one reason why the Ripper would drop suddenly in the standings. Ripper is the smartest pick at this point in time.
  1. Legion XIII – Remember when I said Rahm and Hatton always keep Legion XIII competitive and give their team a chance to win? Well, third player Kieran Vincent decided to get himself a tournament win last weekend. Legion XIII now has three strong golfers and just need youngster Caleb Surratt to be mediocre, and Legion XIII is almost guaranteed a podium finish. 
  1. Stinger GC – It just feels like it’s time for Stinger to finally win a match, doesn’t it? They have two top five players and Charl Schwartzel is having a very nice season. If Branden Grace can channel some of his 2023 energy that saw him finish ninth overall while simultaneously playing like he knows he’s fast approaching the cut zone, Stinger can grab a victory with a top twenty-five finish from Grace. 

Remember to set your fantasy roster before Friday afternoon when LIV returns to action in Houston!