Off the Beaten Path
Either “horse-for-course” or guys off the radar
Jonathan Byrd: He’s coming off wrist surgery from last year and has only played four events in 2013. He fired his best round of his comeback in the second round last weekend before being cut. He returns to the place where he was P2 to Glover in 2011, T5 in 2009 and T9 last year.
Martin Laird: I’m going with the “D.A. Points” theory on this one. He played well at a long, demanding course at Valero and will see some of the same again this week. He fired three rounds under par here last year.
Kyle Stanley: High-risk, high-reward look here as Stanley looked like early 2012 Stanley last week in New Orleans. He’s played six rounds here and five of them have been par or better. He hits it a mile but it will be the putter that will make the difference.
Ross Fisher: He has five top 25s in eight tries. His worst finish is T38. Horse-for-course and hits it a mile as well.
Vijay Singh: Sure, he’s in his 50s. Sure, he’s dealing with that entire “Deer Antler Spray” issue. He’s the 2005 champion to boot.
Matt Jones: In his last two starts here he’s finished T21 and T7. He’s quietly having a decent 2013 as he’s made nine of 11 cuts.
Ken Duke: He’s made five straight cuts here and four of his last five on TOUR with his worst finish being T31. He was a nice compliment last week on my GC team Group 3 (T21).
Brian Davis: He’s made five of his last six at Quail Hollow including T9 and T16 the last two years. He’s also made his last four cuts on TOUR.
Take It Deep
Jordan Spieth: With so many big players in this week, he’ll calmly slip under the radar and bounce back after his MC last week. His bogey-free 69 on Friday in New Orleans should be a nice springboard for this week.
Josh Teater: He’s 27th in ball-striking and 33rd in putting. He has no problem making birdies.
Richard H. Lee: T21, T9 and T13 in his last three. Yes, please.
Steve LeBrun: T21, T18 and T37 in his last three so he’s playing pretty well in April.
Angel Cabrera: I couldn’t resist after as well as he played at the Masters and winning at his home course in Argentina.
Robert Allenby: Copy and Paste.
Charles Howell III: He has one top 25 in 10 career starts.
Hunter Mahan: His best finish here in nine starts is T16. He’s MC, MC and 91st in his last three starts. I’ll wait for his slump to pass.
Zach Johnson: All or nothing here but his 2013 form pushes me away. His best full-field finish in 10 events is T23. I’ll wait until next week or Colonial.
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!)
RBC Heritage: Russell Henley T6
Zurich Classic: D. H. Lee T8
SEASON TOTAL: $2,522,050
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 (MC)
Masters: Phil Mickelson (T54; $18,320)
RBC Heritage: Luke Donald (T3; $336,400)
Zurich Classic: Bubba Watson (T15; 102,500)
Wells Fargo: Webb Simpson