Ned Brown

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John Daly is hurting

Monday, March 12, 2007

This week the PGA Tour returns to Orlando for the renamed Arnold Palmer Invitational. The golf course has been changed this year to a par-70 and shortened to 7137-yards.

This week's field is probably the strongest since the Nissan Open. We will look at some of the veteran players and the newer players to the course.

Veteran Players

Darren Clarke

Darren Clarke has taken a lot of time off during the last year and has fallen in the golf rankings. He is just starting to play golf again and his game is quite rusty. Normally, I would probably pass on Clarke, but his record at Bay Hill is so good that he merits consideration. In the last three years he has a third place, a T-8 and a T-6, so he is a hard player to pass up on.

Pat Perez

Pat Perez is a very talented, but streaky type of player. Right now he is on a hot streak with three top-15s in the last four events. He also has a good history at Bay Hill with two top-10s in four tournaments.

Kenny Perry

Kenny Perry has been off of a lot of radar screens since his knee surgery. It has been a long and slow road back for him, but he had a nice showing last week with a T-19 at the PODS Championship. His record at Bay Hill is very good with a win, a T-15 and a T-2 in his last three starts at Bay Hill.

Zach Johnson

Zach Johnson had a nice finish at the PODS Championship with a T-14. He has played at Bay Hill three times, with two of those being top-10 finishes. The odds makers in London have him set at 80 to 1, which is the same odds as better known players like Steve Stricker and Stuart Cink.

Younger Players

Jeff Quinney

Jeff Quinney was red hot on the West Coast Swing with four top-10s in a row. He has cooled off in the Florida Swing, but he is still the best of the young players on the tour this year.

Johan Edfors

Johan Edfors was the most improved player on the European Tour last year with wins at the TCL Classic, the Quinn Direct British Masters and the Barclays Scottish Open. He hasn't won yet this year, but his statistics have improved in almost all areas of his game over last season. He is a true sleeper pick in this very strong field.

Doug LaBelle II

Doug LaBelle II started off the year with a very strong T-4 at the Sony Open. He has made his last five cuts, with the strongest finish being a T-13 at the Honda Classic. LaBelle is a nice player to use as a low priced player in a salary cap game.

Cliff Kresge

Cliff Kresge was the first round leader at last week's PODS Championship, but he proceeded to backup in the next three rounds and finish T-34 for the tournament. The nice part about his season is that he has made every cut this year and has finished in the top-25 three times. He is another low priced player that is very valuable in salary cap games.

Stock Watch

Rising Players

Mark Calcavecchia- The win gives him an exemption until he is almost 50 years old.
John Senden- It will be interesting to see if the momentum carries over to this week.
Jonathan Byrd- It was a very impressive tournament after time off with the shoulder injury.
Pat Perez- He is on one of his hot streaks.
J.B. Holmes- The T-8 at the PODS was his best finish since his T-4 at the Mercedes.

Falling Players

Boo Weekley- He played poorly after his heartbreaking loss at the Honda Classic.
Craig Kanada- The Florida Swing has been difficult for him.
Justin Leonard- Six out of six missed cuts on the season.
Chad Campbell- He does well at Bay Hill, but Chad hasn't played well in stroke play this year.
Fred Funk- The bad back has become a real issue.

Injury Report

Jim Furyk has a problem with his surgically repaired left wrist. He has withdrawn from this week's Arnold Palmer Invitational and will try to see if rest helps. Jim is trying to downplay the injury, but I would take a wait and see attitude before playing him again.

Craig Barlow injured a wrist and had to withdraw from the PODS Championship. A wrist is a tough injury for a golfer, so I would avoid him until he shows that he can play again.

John Daly injured himself at the Honda Classic and then further injured himself at the PODS Championship. The word is he has a dislocated rib and a shoulder injury. One of his best tournaments is the Shell Houston Open and he is going to try to play in that event. He probably is going to be a mess for awhile, so I would avoid him at this point.

Fred Funk has withdrawn from three tournaments because of his bad back. He can't be played until he shows that his back is healed up.

J.P. Hayes had symptoms of a mild cardiac event at the final round of the PODS Championship. He is still listed in the field at Bay Hill, but he should be in the hospital for the next couple of days for tests and observation. We will update in our player news as soon as more information is released on the state of his health.
Brandt Jobe returned to the tour after having part of his thumb and forefinger reattached after an accident. He mentioned on Tour radio that the new skin is so sensitive that three weeks ago he couldn't have completed a round of golf. It was quite impressive that he was even playing in the PODS Championship, but he should be avoided from a fantasy point of view.

Paul Azinger withdrew from the Honda Classic with back spasms. He is scheduled to play at Bay Hill this week, but I would avoid him until he proves he can play again.

Olin Browne hasn't played in any events yet, because of an injured wrist. He should be avoided at this point.

Shane Bertsch had an attack of vertigo at the Buick Invitational and hasn't played since. He should be avoided at this time.

Steve Lowery injured a wrist in the final round of the FBR Open. He should be avoided at this time.

Jonathan Kaye is recovering from toe surgery in December and there is no indication when he will play again.

Vijay Singh injured his ankle during his week off. He played through the injury at the PODS Championship, but the sprain seemed to bother him at times. I would lower my expectations for Vijay over the next few weeks while the ankle heals up.

Jesper Parnevik revealed that he has a broken middle finger on his hand after tripping on a suitcase a month ago. He is going to continue to play through the injury, but he said the finger will be swollen for the rest of the season. The injury would explain his performance this year and he should be avoided at this point.

We will update any player moves throughout the week, so be sure to check out our player news section to make sure that your golfer is still playing.

Email :Ned Brown

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