Nick Watney
40-Year-Old Golfer
2019–20 Fantasy Outlook
Once upon a time, Watney was one of the best players on the PGA Tour and although he's shown flashes of that guy over the past six seasons, it's clear that he's just not that player anymore. Watney has posted a couple good earnings numbers over the past six seasons, but his ceiling now is below $2 million, and more likely lies in the mid-$1 range. As such, he doesn't hold much value in a salary cap format. Read Past Outlooks
Bogey-free final 18 in Minnesota
July 27, 2020
Watney fired a bogey-free 68 on Sunday at the 3M Open to finish 14-under and tied for 12th.
Watney consistently avoided trouble as he carded just four total bogeys all week at TPC Twin Cities while gaining nearly 5.5 strokes on his approaches and scrambling at an impressive clip of 80 percent. This also marked his first made cut since the restart, picking up momentum ahead of the Barracuda Championship.
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Nick Watney
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Ryan Andrade lists golfers to consider in FanDuel contests for the PGA Tour's playoff opener, and he sees a lot of value in Doc Redman this week.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
Watney had a five-year stretch on the PGA Tour when he was consistently a candidate to make the Tour Championship each season, but that run ended in 2013. Since then, he's had a couple solid seasons, but nothing approaching his peak years. Last season was actually one of his better efforts from the past five seasons, but it left little room for improvement from a salary cap perspective. There's a notion that Watney's been pretty bad over the past five seasons, but that's not the case, he's simply just not as good as he once was. With that in mind, there's no reason to think he'll find his form from a nearly a decade ago and as such, he doesn't have enough upside to justify a salary cap selection this season.
After an injury-shortened 2015-16 season, Watney did just enough last season to retain his card for the upcoming season. Watney was once one of the better players on the PGA Tour, but he had a bizarre drop-off in production in 2014 that looked like it could be a sign of things to come. He quickly put those fears to rest the next season though as he posted one runner-up finish and more than $1.7 million in earnings. Last season wasn't a great one, but was that a reflection of the state of his game or an injury hangover. Watney is one of the more difficult guys to predict this season, but since he hasn't been above $2 million since 2013, his upside appears limited.
Watney missed much of the year with a back injury and has 21 events to earn 355.420 points or $528,010 playing under a major medical. If healthy, he should meet those conditions. He opted against back surgery, and recently said he's feeling better and hoped to play in the season-opening Safeway Open. We'll be watching.
The curious case of Nick Watney. Here's a guy with all the talent in the world, yet he can't seem to string any kind of success together. He's had some moments over the past few years, but just when you think he's turned a corner, he falls back to his old ways, well actually it's his new ways because he used to be one heck of a player. In other words, to quote Toby Keith, "he's not as good as he once was, but he's as good once as he ever was." There in lies the problem, he's as good once, once being the key word. Is the upside there? Definitely, but if he can't string anything together, then there really is no upside. He's worth consideration in salary cap leagues because his price is so low and in draft leagues he's probably a 10th-round pick.
Watney was on his way to a very disappointing 2013 season, but he turned it all around with a solid finish. The end of the season play makes sense, it's the early-season struggles that was bizarre. With that said, it is those early-season struggles that makes Watney a good option in salary cap formats. Those same struggles might allow you to grab him later in the draft than you normally would as well. He should go in the 10-20 range, but don't be surprised if he slips a little further than that.
With two wins and over $5 million in earnings in 2011, Watney appeared to be ready to ascend to the top of the PGA TOUR in 2012 and although that didn't happen, Watney still managed to have a pretty decent season. Of course when you set the bar as high as he did in 2011, there are bound to be detractors, but Watney seems like the type of player that is going to be pretty steady no matter the situation. Watney doesn't seem like a guy who likes the spotlight so much as and such, maybe he'll be better off entering the 2013 a bit under the radar. The talent is certainly there as well as the demeanor, so it's only a matter of time before he gets back to where he was in 2011. If he gets there in 2013, then his selection will prove very wise, if not, then he should at minimum match what he did last year. In drafts, Watney should go in the 2nd round.
Watney quietly earned more than $5 million last season. Quietly, because it didn't feel like he had a great season, but $2 million-plus will do that for you. The wins were big; the first at the WGC Cadillac Championship and the second at the AT&T National. Both netted more than $1 million, which accounted for about half of his 2011 earnings. Funny thing is, he hasn't reached his ceiling yet. It's hard to imagine, however, that Watney can improve significantly on his number from last season
Perhaps no one benefitted more from the Whistling Straits debacle than Nick Watney. Lost in all the controversy surrounding Dustin Johnson was the fact that Watney fell apart in the final round by shooting an 81. Watney held the 54-hole lead, but that lead quickly evaporated on Sunday. That final-round blow up was quite out of character for Watney as he's shown a remarkable consistency in his game the last few years. Even with that setback, Watney had a big year with 15 of his 24 starts resulting in top-25 finishes. He didn't have the high-end finishes that he had the year prior, but those should return this season. Watney is a bomber off the tee and is usually one of the best at GIR.
Watney started the 2009 season on fire, winning in February and earning a couple top-4 finishes in March. Watney tailed off a bit through the middle of the season, but he finished strong with two top-6 finishes following the PGA Championship. Watney's upside is higher than many of the players in the $3 million area on the money list, though it will be difficult for him to top last season's career year with another career-best season in 2010. Watney should remain a top-20 player this season, but he's not a great selection in a salary cap league since it will be difficult for him to significantly improve on last year's numbers. Watney, who ranked 203rd at the end of 2008, jumped to 32nd in the final 2009 Official World Golf Rankings.
Watney is young player who should be pretty good in a few years, but it is going to take him some time to find the consistency needed to move to the next level. Most of his earnings last year came from one event, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, which he won. He has shown a pattern of playing well a couple times each season, which to this point has kept him on the PGA Tour, but he'll need to show up more often before he becomes a good pick.
Watney didn't really accomplish much outside the weak regular-season events and the fall season. He failed to keep his card after his rookie season in 2004, so the fact that he played well enough to keep his card for 2007 is good sign, but there's not much evidence a breakout is imminent.
More Fantasy News
Set to play in Workday Charity Open
July 3, 2020
Watney (illness) is in the field for the upcoming Workday Charity Open, Rob Bolton of reports.
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Tests positive for COVID-19
June 19, 2020
The PGA TOUR announced Friday that Watney withdrew from the RBC Heritage prior to the second round after testing positive for COVID-19.
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Notches best finish of season
July 14, 2019
Watney carded rounds of 68-67-64-69 this week to finish in a share of sixth place at the John Deere Classic.
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T30 at Travelers
June 24, 2019
Watney posted rounds of 66-69-69-71 to finish tied for 30th at the Travelers Championship.
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Picks up top-25 finish at Muirfield
June 3, 2019
Watney shot an even-par 72 in the final round of the Memorial Tournament to finish in a tie for 22nd place.
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