Irish Times Fantasy Golf: O’Shea goes first, despite choosing the wrong Molinari

Webb Simpson and Charl Schwartzel help power Ten Up to the top of the table

It was a rather contrasting week six for the Molinari brothers, Francesco and Edoardo, Francesco having a miserable time of it at Sawgrass where he missed the cut in the Players Championship, while Edoardo had his best finish since April of last year when final rounds of 67 and 66 lifted him to a share of ninth at the Sicilian Open.

Not that either man’s form was of huge interest to many of our managers, Edoardo featuring in just 0.58 per cent of our teams (and captaining none), Francesco included in five per cent and skippering a not very enormous 0.34 per cent of them.

But among that 0.34 per cent was the team managed by Michael O'Shea who, we'd hazard a guess, sensed his week might be a write-off when he saw his captain's interest in the Players end on Friday evening. He'd hired the wrong Molinari. Rickie Fowler also missing the cut probably didn't do much for his mood either.

But that’s when Ten Up rallied in some style, Webb Simpson leading the charge by winning in Sawgrass, Charl Schwartzel taking a share of second in the same tournament, while over in Sicily Lucas Bjerregaard and Julien Guerrier finished fifth and sixth, respectively.


The net result? Michael went from third to first overall, his Molinari woes well and truly banished.

Paid off

Kieran Gallagher stays in second place after making the risky enough move to dispense with the services of his captain Rory McIlroy, one that paid off in the end after McIlroy missed the cut at the Players and his replacement as captain, Andrew Sullivan, tied for third in Sicily. It also did no harm to Kieran's cause that he had Simpson on board too.

Andy Osborne, last week's overall leader, dropped to third, Jason Day (joint fifth at the Players) and Guerrier the only contributors of note to his tally, captain Dustin Johnson's tie for 17th a bit of a let-down.

McIlroy's woes impacted 41 per cent of our teams (20 per cent in all having him as captain), him being your most popular pick by some distance. Jordan Spieth is next on that list at 23 per cent – his slice of 41st place at The Players unlikely to have impressed his managers either, half of them choosing him as captain.

Just under six per cent of you had Simpson in your line-ups, a rather paltry 0.19 per cent giving him the captain's armband. Still, that's a whole pile higher than showed any faith in Joakim Lagergren ahead of the Sicilian Open where he beat Mike Lorenzo-Vera in a playoff, one per cent of you having him in your teams, and . . . zero per cent making him captain.

Next in the schedule are the Byron Nelson in Texas, where favourite Spieth will attempt to make it up to his disgruntled managers, while the Belgian Knockout (which will feature a head-to-head, strokeplay format) is our European offering.

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan

Mary Hannigan is a sports writer with The Irish Times