Jeff Overton: He’s fourth on TOUR in total putting and only made seven bogeys last week in finishing T27 at SHO. He makes tons of pars and plays tough courses well.
Bob Estes: He’s made six cuts from seven starts and the Texas native racked up a T4 here last year. He also remarked on Twitter that he found something last week but I like him in tough conditions on a tough, Texas course. His short game will keep him in this.
Brendon de Jonge: The “machine” has already played 11 events this year and has made cuts in nine of them. He’s hit the top 11 in two of his last four, including a T10 last week at SHO after posting the second-best round of the day, 66, on Sunday. He’s ninth on TOUR in ball-striking and 10th in the all-around.
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano: When we last saw the Spaniard he was racking up a T3 at API. That was his fourth top 10 in his last seven starts world-wide so he’s in excellent form heading towards Augusta.
Peter Hanson: He missed the API with a neck injury but showed it wasn’t a major deal as he was participating in the Tavistock Cup shortly afterwards. His short game is his calling card and he’ll need the wedge and flatstick working this week. He was the 54-hole leader at Augusta last year so this should be the time of year when he starts to warm.
Marcel Siem: He was the European Tour’s winner last weekend in Morocco. When he was holding the trophy last Sunday he probably thought that he was in the field for the Masters. Come early Monday morning, that wasn’t the case as he missed out at No. 51 after Henrik Stenson’s big finish at SHO. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, hot golf anywhere is hot golf and he played very well to win easily last weekend.
Robert Streb: A very solid ball-striker and putter, Streb quietly fired 68 on Sunday at SHO to jump into the top 25. I like guys who finish well to springboard the following week so I like Streb.
K.J. Choi: If you’re looking for an experienced flier this week, Choi could fit that bill. He’s lived in Texas long enough to figure out the wind, plus his short game is excellent and that can’t possibly hurt this week either. The downside is his game has been uneven for the last 15 months.
Jordan Spieth: No point in abandoning him after one down week! His worst round of the year was 74 last week on Saturday yet he rebounded with 69 on Sunday. His ball-striking has been excellent to start and this Texas native will enjoy it if the winds pick up this weekend. He was T41 here last year.
Bud Cauley: The sophomore slump looks like it might be breaking up after his rounds of 68 and 65 at SHO last week for a T16. Cauley was cruising along here last year until a Saturday 77 derailed his chances for his first win and he settled for T18. I’ll take his form in general over his putting numbers. Don’t look them up.
Off the Beaten Path
Either “horse-for-course” or guys off the radar
Charlie Wi: He’s made seven of eight cuts to start 2013 and loves the AT&T Oaks Course. He posted T4 here last year and T17 in 2010 in his only two appearances here. His short game is where he makes his money but his best finish this season is only T16. Horse-for-course.
Hunter Haas: He’s played five straight weeks but last week was his first on the big TOUR this season. The Texan will be looking to extend his streak of excellent performances in San Antonio again this week. In 2011 he was T15 and last year he used bookends 66-67 to finish T8. Long, calculated shot this week.
Kevin Chappell: Known for his play in U.S. Open’s, Chappell obviously likes difficult courses. His T2 here in 2011 reinforces that and his form last week at SHO (T6) is a nice confluence. He MC six of nine this year so might as well get on at the hottest point!
James Driscoll: After hitting three in a row, Driscoll barely missed the cut last week in Houston. He returns to San Antonio where he was T9 in 2010 and T51 in 2011.
Ben Curtis: He MC at Houston last year and yet won here. He MC at Houston again this year. There are worse options to have in a deep draft than the defending champion.
Ben Kohles: Have putter, will travel. He MC last week for the first time in five starts so I would expect him to jump right back on this week.
Riding Off Into the Sunset
Guys I’m leaving alone this week, also known as the “winner’s” section…
Joe Ogilvie: He’s 0-fer on the season and T71, MC, and MC here. WE HAVE FOUND THIS WEEK’S WINNER!
Colt Knost: In nine events this season he’s finished better than T63 once. He was MC last year and +19 in 2011. RUNNER-UP.
Tommy Gainey: “Two Gloves” blows hot and cold and right now he’s in the middle of a COLD spell. He’s made one cut in 9 and he finished T57. He was 77-79 last week and 80-84 here last year. Yikes.
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
Shell Houston Open: Robert Streb T22
SEASON TOTAL: $2,065,030
HTOC: Steve Stricker (2nd; $665,000)
Sony: Charles Howell III (T3; $324,800)
Humana: Tim Clark (MC)
Farmers: Rickie Fowler (T6; $204,350)
WMPO: Jason Dufner (MC)
AT&T Pebble: Hunter Mahan (T16; $94,250)
Northern Trust: Bill Haas (T3; $343,200)
WGC-Match Play: Charl Schwartzel (T33; $46,000)
Honda: Lee Westwood (T9; $156,000)
WGC-Cadillac Championship: Matt Kuchar (T35; $68,500)
Tampa Bay: Jim Furyk (T7; $148,892)
Bay Hill: Sergio Garcia (WD after three rounds)
Shell Houston: Jimmy Walker (T50; $14,838)
Valero: Cameron Tringale