Form and Function
These players just missed out but should not be dismissed.
Luke Guthrie: The man from Quincy, Ill., felt at home last year as he racked up a T5 (16-under) in his second pro event. He bludgeons par fives and his eye seems to fit this course as he opened with 65 and closed with 64. Even though he MC last week, his Friday 68 should be a confidence booster entering his “home” week on TOUR.
Ryan Moore: He had a nice run at Memorial (T13) and Travelers (T7) as the bun of his MC sandwich at the U.S. Open. Moore is a streaky player so I’m jumping on this week. His T8 finish here last year should bring back positive swing thoughts. His consistency, or lack thereof, finds him on this part of the list this week.
Harris English: As many greens as he hits and as well as he putts it, there shouldn’t be many weeks when gamers dismiss the 2013 FESJC champ. He makes tons of birdies and has cashed in 13 of 21 events this season.
Kevin Streelman: He has no rounds in the 60s in his last four tournaments and hence he hasn’t seen the weekend in any of them but as well as Streelman plays here, this should be the tonic to knock him out of his funk. In his last three trips to Slyvis he’s finished T8, MC and eighth. His putter is too good to stay this cold for this long.
Nick Watney: He carded all four rounds in the 60s in his first time around TPC Deere Run here last year and that will be a minimum to contend this week. Watney rebounded well last week as he was third in GIR but the same issue always rings true: Can his putter make enough putts for him to contend? He hits too many greens and has enough class that I cannot omit him this week.
Gary Woodland: The frustration of 2013 carries on for Woodland but I like the fact that he found 64 last week at Greenbrier in the third round. Sadly, he backed that up with 77 on Sunday to finish T62. He’s found the weekend in 14 of 18 starts but only has four top 25s to show for his efforts. He’s fired 64 in two of his last three events so it’s getting closer.
Kyle Stanley: In his last two events here, his worst round is 69 and he’ll need more of the same this week to stop a streak of two MCs in his last two events. Obviously this course fits his eye (T19 in 2012, second in 2011) and his second round 68 last week should be a nice foundation to get things going this week.
Camilo Villegas: He’s made six cuts in a row but only two of those have found the top 25 but yet in 2013 his scoring average is 35th and he’s 29th in the all-around ranking. His solid birdie splits don’t dissuade me from putting him in here again this week. In a thin field, there’s nothing wrong with flying on a guy who’s made six cuts in a row.
Pat Perez: Even though his history in this event is spotty, Perez has bagged two top 10s in his last three starts including T6 last week so he has my attention. He showed his sharpness last week as he only carded five bogeys and he’ll need another ball-striking performance like that this week. This will be year No. 8 in a row at TPC Deere Run but his best finish in that stretch is T30.
Take It Deep
Off the radar but are worth a flier
Jerry Kelly: The “other” guy with Wisconsin ties this week at JDC, Kelly has made five cuts on the bounce and racked up four rounds under 70 here last year.
Ted Potter, Jr.: I’ll throw out last year’s result because he was coming off his first win on TOUR. This year, he’s completely under the radar and coming off his best finish of the season, T6 last week. It’s time to put a streak together.
George McNeill: He’s trending in the right direction as he’s finished T75, T44 and T17 in his last three. He’s a solid 14 of 18 this season but, like Woodland, hasn’t found many top 25s. He’s solid off the tee and into the greens and if he can avoid the big round this week, he should be lurking.
Brendon Todd: He should probably be up one section in this column but he’s been faring well down here. In his last three events in his limited starts, he’s taken advantage by posting finishes of T17, T18 and T13. I like the mindset that he brings. He’s 150th currently so he knows a couple more performances like this can put him in a nice position coming down the stretch.
Russell Knox: Another player with limited starts, Knox bagged T13 at the Travelers his last time out on TOUR with four rounds in the 60s. He’ll see a similar course this week and that will help as will his solid ball-striking.
Chad Campbell: An “oldie” but goodie, Campbell has played the last five years in this event and has exactly ZERO rounds over par. He’s also played the weekend in four events in a row on TOUR.
Scott Brown: He drove here last year after his wife gave birth to their first child and cranked out 24 birdies to finish seventh. Lightning in a bottle.
Brad Fritsch: Without Graham DeLaet in the column this week, I felt I needed “more Canadian” and Fritsch, for the second week in a row finds himself in the dark horse section. Some gamers just need players to make cuts and collect a check and Fritsch has been doing exactly that with 15 of 19 weekends this season. Come on, Big Boy!
Vaughn Taylor: In the last five years he has one round here over par. He’s 35th in birdie average and needs to make a move because he’s currently No. 148 in the FEDEXCup Standings. Hey, I said these were LONG-SHOTS!
Jim Herman: Low round of Sunday last week with 65 and has made four cuts in a row. #gohermie
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.
Aaron Baddeley: He’s looking at his 10th MC in a row if he misses again this week.
D.A. Points: He’s made one cut from six here and his best finish is T38. He’s one for his last four on TOUR with a T54 as the best result. I HAVE FOUND YOUR WINNER.
Tag Ridings: He’s o-fer in six tries here so keep that in mind if you are riding his T9 from last week. You see what I did there? Righto.
Colt Knost: Since his T21 at HPBNC he is 0-5. In three tries at JDC, he has zero rounds in the 60s. #knost-fer
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
AT&T National: D.H. Lee T3; Jordan Spieth 6th; Morgan Hoffmann T8
Greenbrier: David Lingmerth and D.H. Lee both T9