Form and Function
These players just missed out but should not be dismissed.
Russell Henley: His last three MCs are the Masters, THE PLAYERS and the U.S. Open so it’s hardly time to panic. He hits plenty of fairways but it’s his putter that is the sword that slices and dices up greens. Henley sits ninth in strokes gained-putting and is sixth in total putting. He’s 13th in the all-around ranking and is having a fantastic rookie season. He was T68 at the U.S. Open here in 2011 as an amateur (+4).
Nicolas Colsaerts: He’s in here this week because he’s seen this course before in 2011 U.S. Open so he won’t be walking in blind like he does most weeks on TOUR. You saw at Merion that he can overpower a course and at 7,569 he’ll need every bit of it this week. His short game leaves plenty to be desired but he’s 20th in GIR so he could factor.
Bo Van Pelt: At this stage last season, BVP had already racked up six top 10s. This season, he has exactly one so he finds himself on the secondary list this week even though he was second here last year. His ball-striking and putting are both off the pace he set last year but he has too much game not to break out of this.
John Huh: His formula for bisecting fairways and getting up-and-down held up to the tune of T17 at the U.S. Open and T17 here last year. This tells me that the length doesn’t bother him and neither does playing tough courses. Huh quietly finished T11 at Augusta as well.
Kevin Chappell: “Mr. U.S. Open” finally DIDN’T finish in the top 10 this year at Merion but that doesn’t rule out his penchant for playing tough courses well. He was in the top 10 at Congressional in 2011 and at Olympic in 2012 plus solo second this year at Memorial. He’s still looking for some consistency in his putter that will pair up with his solid ball-striking to put him over the top.
David Hearn: The other Canadian on the radar this week might have not made as much noise recently as DeLaet but he has finished T21, T18 and T21 (U.S. Open) in his last three starts. He’s going to hit first from the fairway most of the week but he’ll be taking the least amount of putts as he’s ninth on TOUR in total putting.
Jimmy Walker: His MC in Memphis was his first in 25 events on TOUR so that’s a clue that Walker has been playing quite well over the last 12 months. He didn’t qualify for the U.S. Open and he didn’t play last week so he should be rested and ready to go at Congressional. His overall game is solid enough to contend each week and is still looking for that first win.
Pat Perez: He’s been T29 or better in three trips around Congressional and he sits 23rd in GIR. He’s coming off T8 his last time out at Memorial. When form meets course history…
Angel Cabrera: The theory on Cabrera is that he would go away after racking up P2 at the Masters earlier this year but that has been far from the case. He won a tournament in Argentina the following week and has banged out five weekends from his last six since his playoff loss. He’s hit the top 12 twice including his T9 finish after closing with 63 last Sunday at the Travelers. I’ll ride the current form over the usual trend.
Patrick Reed: He’s now made five weekends in a row that he’s teed it up on Thursdays and none of these have been from Monday qualifiers. This has been his longest streak of cuts made so I’m going to take a chance on the youngster continuing his fine play.
Take It Deep
Stuart Appleby: He was in here last week and he’s in here again this week after his T9 at the Travelers. He’s now made eight cuts in a row but this was just the first top 10 (or top 25) in that stretch so I’m not bumping him up just yet. He was a nice catch in the GolfChannel.com fantasy game last week!
J.J. Henry: He’s 31st in fairways hit and 16th in GIR so there are definitely worse choices you can make this week when panning for gold. He’s made four weekends on the bounce and his T5 last week in Connecticut was his best finish since he won Reno-Tahoe last year. He also was a nice GolfChannel.com fantasy game performer for me!
Ricky Barnes: He’s only made eight cuts from 19 starts this season and half of those are T20 or better, hence why he falls in this section. His T13 finish last week can’t hurt and neither will his ability to load up GIR. He’s currently eighth on TOUR in that category. Just don’t ask him to chip and putt consistently!
Jonas Blixt: He’s trending in the right direction with seven of his last eight rounds par or better. He’s made three cuts in a row and five from six. His putting numbers are off this season (75th in strokes gained-putting) but there’s no question that his flat stick (second in strokes gained-putting in 2012) could snap him out of it.
Shawn Stefani: Another player who’s played well on tight courses in Tampa and Memphis, Stefani hits it a mile and can make a few putts as well. He showed me some guts his last time out at the U.S. Open as he backed his Saturday 85 with 69 on Sunday.
Camilo Villegas: He’s made five weekends in a row but, like Appleby, only has one top 10 (or top 25) to show for it. He’s 21st in the all-around and 34th in scoring average so there are much worse fliers you could have in deep drafts.
Brendon Todd: He’s scrambling for starts but he’s taking advantage of the ones he’s been given. He’s four out of five on the season and his last two HPBNC he clocked a T17 and he was T18 in Memphis.
Robert Garrigus: No top 10s since February and one top 25 since April moves Garrigus down here. Missing three of his last four cuts (other was WD) doesn’t help either. He was T4 here last year and T3 at the 2011 U.S. Open. Huge risk could result in huge reward.
Morgan Hoffmann: I was a week early on Hoffmann at the U.S. Open but last week he rang up another top 10 last weekend at the Travelers, his second of the season. I’ll always take a flier on a young kid with confidence over a crusty veteran that you “hope” comes good this week. Down here, you’re looking for top 25s, not victories.
Just because they have well-recognized names doesn’t always mean you have to panic to fill your roster out with them…Also, it seems at least one of these guys will hit the top 10 EVERY week. I’m not scared.
Nick Watney: He looks great on the history books here but something is obviously not clicking in the now. His coach, Butch Harmon, quit twitter after opining that something that in his personal life might be holding his game back after his 82-77 at Memorial. Watney backed that up with 73-78 at the U.S. Open.
Sang-Moon Bae: In the four events after his victory at HPBNC Bae has finished T76, MC, MC and MC.
S.Y. Noh: He has one top 25 in 18 events in 2013 so his T4 from 2012 carries less weight as he continues to change his swing with Sean Foley.
Jim Furyk: After T7 and T3 in late March and early April, Furyk’s best finish in six events has been T21. I thought Merion would set up perfectly for him. Now, add 500 yards…
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
RBC Heritage: Russell Henley T6
Zurich Classic: D. H. Lee T8
Wells Fargo Championship: Derek Ernst WIN
THE PLAYERS: David Lingmerth. Great back-to-back weeks for the rookies on TOUR!
HPBNC: Morgan Hoffmann T5
Colonial: Jordan Spieth, yep, him again, T7
Memorial: Russell Henley T6
FESJC: Patrick Reed Fifth
U.S. Open: David Lingmerth T17; special mentions for Hideki Matsuyama T10 and Michael Kim T17.
Travelers: Morgan Hoffmann T9