John Senden: Stop me if you have heard this with Senden before: He’s made all five cuts since 2006 at the Tournament Course. He’s never finished better than T18 or worse than T31. #payforwhatyouget
Cameron Tringale: He’s starting to heat up as he finished third in Tampa and was pushing for a top 10 at API before a final round 74 saw him fall to T27. He hits plenty of greens and makes plenty of putts and rates eighth in par-five performance. He usually plays hot in patches and he’ll be excited to see a course where he finished T8 last year to kick off a ultra-hot April.
Jordan Spieth: His special membership on TOUR should take off any pressure he felt to have to perform for the rest of the year. Now, he can just focus on fairways and greens and so far, it’s been so good. In his last two events he’s finished T2 and T7 so taking a “risk” on a Texas native is that risky this week. His worst start in five events on both TOURS this year is T22.
Ben Kohles: The rookie has made six cuts from eight starts and has finished T14 and T7 in his last two starts. He hits every fairway and plenty of greens. He’s currently 20th in total putting. Rookies usually don’t fare well here but these young kids don’t remember that golf is hard sometimes!
Bryce Molder: He’s made all seven cuts this year and only has one finish outside of the top 30. His short game is what carries him and he’s currently fifth in par-five performance. He’s 15th in birdie-or-better conversions and has finishes of T18 (2012) and T8 (2010) in his last three appearances at SHO.
Brian Stuard: If you have been reading this column, you are familiar with this name. He’s now made all eight cuts this season and his worst finish is T43. He was T16 last week at API and gave Jimmy Walker and Tiger Woods some excellent support on my GolfChannel Fantasy team. He’s ninth in the all-around ranking. Oh, and he ranks first in par-three scoring and 10th par-five scoring. Oh, and he is 12th in total putting.
Ryan Palmer: The born-and-bred Texan’s game was starting to get moving in the right direction in Florida after a rough February in California. Palmer opened the swing with T41 at The Honda Classic before claiming a T30 at Tampa Bay. He makes his money by killing it off the tee and holing putts. He’ll be eager to get back to Houston as he was right in the middle of things before a final round 76 knocked him back to T21 last year.
Josh Teater: He shook off double hockey sticks Saturday and Sunday at Tampa to rebound for T27 at API last week so that shows me what I need to know about TEATER HEATER. He hits it a mile and makes putts and he loves the Tournament Course. He’s finished T14 in 2010 and T19 in 2011. He was DQ last year after an opening round 76.
Graham DeLaet: He’s had one bad round here in six but it caused him to miss the cut last year. He opened 67 but his Friday 76 knocked him out. In 2010 he finished T3 and had all four rounds under par. Last week was his first tournament in five where he finished worse than T21 (T50) so I’ll take a look again this week.
Thorbjorn Olesen: The young Dane is playing quite well and bagged a T7 last week at API in his first event at Bay Hill. He’s not bothered by a big scene.
Off the Beaten Path
Either “horse-for-course” or guys off the radar
Michael Thompson: But Glass, he WON just a few weeks ago! I know, but after a big week of big names don’t forget he’s in the field and how well he can putt especially on slick greens like these. His nickname is “Slick” for a reason!
Louis Oosthuizen: He’s finished T16 and third in his last two starts here. He was last year’s 54-hole leader before he fell apart on the front nine on Sunday. He’s “down here” because he’s played two rounds of eight in the 60s on TOUR this year.
Chad Campbell: He’s made five cuts on the trot at SHO in the last five years so he’s quite comfortable in these here parts. He’s found the top 25 in three of those including T2 in 2008. Horse for course!
James Driscoll: In the last three events at SHO, Driscoll has finished T8, MC and T14 so he obviously likes rolling the rock on these slick greens. Driscoll’s form has been excellent ever since an anonymous contributor on our weekly chat suggested that we take a look at him. Hmmmmmmmm…
William McGirt: I’ll take a flier on a guy who shot the second best round of the day Sunday/Monday at API with 68 to finish T8 for his first top 10 since last July. Rid the hot hand? Sure!
Scott Brown: I’m not sure he can be off the radar anymore but his name will get lost in the “big” events. In his last three starts on TOUR, Brown finished T13 at API, T27 at Tampa and WON for the first time in Puerto Rico. He went from having limited status to a two-year exemption and has continued to play well. He’s 15th in the all-around. Yes, please!
Henrik Stenson: He’s finished T3 (2009) and T21 last year in his only two starts in Houston. He’s also coming off T8 last week at API.
John Merrick: He’s been MC and T60 since his win at the NTO but this is a course where only has five rounds over par in his five career starts. If you need a deep player to make a cut, there are worse options.
Johnson Wagner: He could have mailed it in after an opening round 76 last week but fought back on a tough course firing 71-69-71 to finish T27. He was T9 here in 2007 before winning in 2008 and has made five of six cuts.
Rookie of the Week Last Week
I keep an eye on the youngin’s each week to see who is making the most noise.
Sony: Russell Henley WIN
Humana: David Lingmerth P2
Farmers: Brad Fritsch T9
WMPO: James Hahn T16
AT&T: James Hahn T3
NTO: Luke Guthrie T21
WGC-Match Play: Russell Henley 2nd round
Honda: Luke Guthrie 3rd
WGC-Cadillac: Russell Henley T28
Puerto Rico: Jordan Spieth 2nd
Tampa Bay: Jordan Spieth T7; Shawn Stefani T7; Ben Kohles T7
Arnold Palmer: Ben Kohles T14