Webb Simpson: Strangely, it was his iron game that let him down last week at Augusta so he’s getting close to putting it all together. He’s proven, through his victory at the U.S. Open last year that playing tight courses doesn’t bother him. His short game and putting have been moving in the right direction as well. He’s close.
Zach Johnson: I might be reaching here but this was the point in his season last year, after T32 at the Masters, he really turned it on. He finished second here last year and went on to have a great May. He has two top 6 finishes in his last six here. It’s time to fire.
Bo Van Pelt: His T20 finish at Augusta is his best full-field finish since February and he’s had success in his career at this event, including T13, T10 and T3 back in 2010.
Charley Hoffman: Quietly 12th in the all-around ranking, Hoffman has rattled off T20 and T3 in his last two times out in Texas. His T8 finish here last year should move him into most conversations this week.
Tim Clark: He’s nine-for-nine around Harbour Town over the years and wasn’t bothered by the Tiger Woods circus too much on Sunday at the Masters (T11). His steadiness off the tee, experience and steady long-putter will be his advantages this week.
Aaron Baddeley: Five of his seven made cuts this season have resulted in T31 or better so “Badds” hasn’t been that “badds”. Last year was the first year in seven that he didn’t make the cut here. The 2006 champion also has finishes of T10, T2, T21, T22 and T14 before last year’s MC.
Brendon de Jonge: If the TOUR is playing, and he’s eligible, he’s going to be playing! He’s made four in a row here and is No. 9 in ball-striking. You can do much worse this week.
Brian Davis: He’s made the cut in six of seven years at HHI and has hit the top 25 in five of those. He’s still waiting for his break from the Golf Gods after calling a penalty on himself in a playoff against Jim Furyk. He was T6 and T29 in his last two outings on TOUR.
Graham DeLaet: An excellent ball striker and scrambler, in his last 24 rounds, he fired over 73 exactly once.
Charles Howell III: A pair of 68s here last year couldn’t offset a Saturday 77 but CHIII has been playing even better golf in 2013. He is second in scrambling, 12th in strokes gained-putting and 42nd in GIR. If he hits ANY fairways this week, look out!
Brian Gay: He holds the tournament record (-20) and has already found the winner’s circle this season at Humana. This will be his 14th time around the RBC Heritage so he should be quite familiar with the weather and the course this time of year. His putting and short game carries him and this week shouldn’t be any different.
Off the Beaten Path
Either “horse-for-course” or guys off the radar
Ben Crane: He’s off the radar because he’s been MC four times, T64, T65, T11 and T4 this season. Which Crane shows up? The guy who fired 67-68 to finish T4 at SHO would be nice. Crane has made seven straight cuts at Harbour Town including T6 in his last visit in 2011.
Richard Sterne: In three events on TOUR this year he’s finished T17, T12 and T25. He’s seen the course once before and wrapped his Masters week with a tidy 70 on Sunday.
John Rollins: He’s had a nice 18-day break after racking up six top 25s in his first nine events of 2013. He’s 12th on TOUR in ball-striking and sixth in the all-around category. His T20 finish here last year should also jog your memory!
Rory Sabbatini: He’s finished T17, T14 and T8 in his last three here. Horse-for-course.
Tommy Gainey: The South Carolina native may sound tempting this week but he’s missed nine of his last 10 cuts. His form doesn’t suggest taking the leap.
Trevor Immelman: I HAVE FOUND THIS WEEK’S WINNER. He’s missed the cut in four of nine events and his best finish is T38 this season.
Johnson Wagner: MC, T75 and MC in three starts here.
Troy Matteson: 0-5.
Ryan Palmer: He’s 1 out of five with T36.
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
Valero Texas Open: Ben Kohles T37
Masters: Russell Henley MC (not many to choose from last week!)