Miguel Angel Jimenez: The Mechanic is fixin’ to be in contention again this week. The length of the course will be right in his wheel house and his experience will be vital. After his excellent run at Muirfield and his even better performance last week at Akron, reaching for him this week is not a stretch.
Webb Simpson: I like the fact that he’s a very solid ball-striker and this has resonated in three excellent U.S. Open trips. He seems to be a forgotten man even though he won the U.S. Open last year but I’ve read in plenty of places that he prefers to be under the radar so it wouldn’t surprise me to see him up and at them this week.
Charl Schwartzel: He’s missed only one cut in his last 16 majors. In 10 of those 15 weekends, he’s finished in the top 25 so I have no problem adding him this week. He rallied last weekend after opening 74-74 with a weekend of 64-69 so he’s heading in the right direction.
Luke Donald: After his T8 performance at Merion and his T9 last week, I can make the argument why Donald needs to be included this week. After his 72-80 at Muirfield and 73-71 at Glen Abbey I can make the argument as to why he should NOT be included this week. I’m giving his class the benefit of the doubt this week. His short game will solve more problems than it will cause and if he keeps the ball in the fairway off the tee, there’s no reason why he couldn’t make noise. In 10 cuts made this season, nine of them have landed in the top 25. Not many players can make that claim.
Jamie Donaldson: He’s had a very steady summer as he’s finished T32 or better in his last six starts. He was just six back on Sunday at Muirfield before a closing round 77 knocked him to T32. He played three of four rounds at par or better last week en route to T17 at Akron. He fired 285, three-under last year at Kiawah and has made the cut in four of his last five majors.
Harris English: My American special for this week. You’ll remember last year that we would constantly talk about English saying he loves tree-lined courses. Well, this week fits that bill to a T and English’s current form merits a spot in this part of the column. He’s 18 of 22 this season and that includes his first win on TOUR. Since that victory before the U.S. Open at FESJC, English has seen the weekend in his next five events. The last three weeks of that streak have included T15 JDC, T15 at The Open and T14 last week at WGC-BI.
Hideki Matsuyama: It’s hard to leave out this youngster as he continues to impress in multiple countries on multiple continents. His finishes of T10 (U.S. Open), T6 (The Open), T16 (RBC Canadian) and T21 last week at the WGC-BI have shown his game travels and he’s not intimidated by any course designs or size of fields.
Richard Sterne: I’m guessing he holds the record in the PGA Championship as he’s entered two events and WD from BOTH of them. He’s been on form the entire season in Europe, the majors and the WGC events. There’s nothing wrong with keeping the saddle on a hot golfer this time of year. He’s racked up 10 top 10s worldwide this season.
Tim Clark: His current form won’t turn your head but his performance from 2003 just might. After opening with 72, he fired 70-68-69 to finish third alone. He’ll hit plenty of fairways and can hole puts. Some player’s eyes fit these styles of golf courses and Clark backed this up with 17 birdies on the week.
Chad Campbell: He had made nine of the last 10 weekends before falling short last week at Reno-Tahoe. Campbell was right in the mix after 65 on Saturday in 2003 but fell two-shots short of Shaun Micheel in the end. He’s not in the in top 125 and this course might rekindle some positive memories.
Ryan Moore: He made the cut at Pinerhurst No. 2 as an amateur and won the Wyndham at Sedgefield and those are both Donald Ross designs. Splitting fairways and holing putts are his strength but he has one top 25 in his last 12 majors. He began the final round at Muirfield four shots out of the lead at +1 but shot 79.
David Lingmerth: The “other” Swede this week that could make some waves, Lingmerth has made seven cuts on the trot which include finishes of T2 at THE PLAYERS, T9 at The Greenbrier and T12 at the RBC. Another player who’s steady off the tee, he can also scramble and save pars and his current form seals the deal.
Bernd Wieseberger: His June and July on the European Tour saw him rattle off finishes of third, T14, T4, T13 and T31 before his T64 at The Open. He’s the 2013 David Lynn.
Michael Thompson: He loves a grind as he showed by winning the Honda earlier in the season. His short game will carry him and par is good in his world.
David Toms: Grizzled veteran has made 10 straight weekends at Glory’s Last Shot. He’ll hit most every fairway and will find ways to get up and down. He’s coming off a solid week at Reno-Tahoe and has the temperament to hang around on the weekend.
Jimmy Walker: He’s MC in three of his last four events but the one weekend he did make he had a chance to win at The Greenbrier. He leads the TOUR in par-four performance and is 13th in the all-around ranking. He would fit the Shaun Micheel role this week.
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.
Bubba Watson: I know, I know, he kills it off the tee and hits tons of GIR, but I’ve never been enthralled with his mental make up on difficult courses. I’ll leave him to my competitors.
Boo Weekley: He’s a popular choice for an “outsider” in the ball-strikers category but I’m not going to endorse him on a track where putting will matter. In 14 majors, he has zero top 10s. Congrats on your big victory this week, Boo!
Peter Hanson: I’m still concerned one misstep or crappy, deep lie could end his tournament.
Angel Cabrera: He’s accumulated one top 20 finish in 13 attempts. For whatever reason his game doesn’t fit the PGA Tour setups.
Rookie of the Week Last Week
I keep an eye on the young’uns 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 T2. 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
John Deere: Jordan Spieth WIN
The Open Championship: Jordan Spieth T44
Sanderson Farms: Steve LeBrun T26
RBC Canadian: Patrick Reed T9
WGC-BI: Russell Henley T27
Reno-Tahoe: Scott Langley T21