Horses-for-Courses/Form Players/Long Shots
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Brian Gay (A): In four of his last five starts he’ been T19 or better and that includes last year’s victory. That means plenty of fancy pants! His other finish in that stretch was T42. He’s now played the weekend in eight straight Humana Challenges. He fired 63 last year on Sunday to force a playoff. #horseforcourse
Brendon de Jonge (B): I’m going to ride the three year trend of whenever birdies are required; de Jonge is usually in the mix. Last week, he only found 12 of them at the Sony. He finished T70 in putts per GIR. There were 70 players in the field. He made a a ton of pars and only eight bogeys so all he needs is the flat stick to cooperate.
Brendon Todd (C): If you’re looking for a top 25 there are worst places to look than Todd. After an awful start on Sunday he finished birdie-birdie-eagle to finish T20. He hasn’t had a finish outside of the top 30 on either TOUR since late April of last year. It’s been quite a run of form from a consistency standpoint. Next stop: Top 10.
John Senden (C): In 12 starts he’s found the top 10 four times including T6 in 2012. He’ll hit most of the greens, if not all of them, but his putter will be the key, as usual, this week. I like the experience angle here.
Robert Garrigus (B): In five starts Garrigus has played the weekend four times and his worst finish is T19. He’s 42-under in his last eight rounds here and that includes a round OVER par! He hasn’t teed it up since October but I have no problem putting a saddle on this guy in later rounds this week. Bomb and gouge will be on display and he has 61 under his belt here from 2012.
Kevin Chappell (C): He closed last year with 62 to almost sneak in the playoff but I like the way he’s trending here. In his second start, he closed 72-70; last year, in start No. 3, he closed 67-62. Somebody tell him that it’s the U.S. Open and we’ll all be happy!
Jason Kokrak (B): His 2013-14 has seen him hit the top 10 twice and claim T20 last week at Sony in four starts. I’m high Kokrak and Chappell if you are looking for big hittin’ ball-strikers this week. Kokrak is looking to follow up on his T8 (-22) here last year.
Brian Stuard (B): Another week last week, another top 10 as he backed up his solo second at Mayakoba with solo sixth in Hawaii. In his last eight rounds he’s posted four rounds of 65. All the places Brian Gay plays well, Brian Stuard plays well. He was T10 (-21) here last year.
Pat Perez (C): The 2009 champ missed the cut by a shot last year but had made four on the trot before 2013. Perez got loosened up last week at Waialae with four rounds in the 60s for T8 while making only three bogeys (one double). He was T16 his previous outing at Mayakoba so he’s moving in the right direction.
Sang-Moon Bae (C): His first two trips to the Coachella Valley have seen Bae fire 17-under in 2012 and 18-under last year. Both years had a round of 64 and Bae proved he can get low as he was the first round leader last week at Waialae with 63, which equaled the lowest round of the week. He can really putt it so I won’t be shocked if he makes the leap into the top 10 this year.
James Hahn (B): He opened with 63 and closed with 62 in his maiden voyage at Humana last year to finish T4. He had three rounds in the 60s last week and a double eagle to boot but only has one top 25 in his last 25 events. If you need high risk for possible high reward I’d look here!
Jordan Spieth of the Week Last Week
The column was taken over and thrashed by the kid from Texas last year. Out of respect, I’m not changing the title of it for 2013-14. It will remind me just how good Spieth was in the last three months of the season. This year, we’ll still identify an up-and-coming player and/or rookie that fantasy players should have on their radar.
Frys.com: Hideki Matsuyama, T3; Brooks Koepka, T3; Max Homa, T9.
SHCO: Ryo Ishikawa is only 22, don’t forget, T2; Chesson Hadley, T5.
CIMB: Kiradech Aphibarnrat, 24, might have enough money after this week to earn Special Temporary Membership. Pay attention!
WGC-HSBC: Jordan Spieth was 17th. Tommy Fleetwood (T18) is only 22 and plays in Europe. Matsuyama WD with a bad back.
McGladrey: Scott Langley turned 24 last April and is in his second season on TOUR. He finished T22 last week and No. 124 last season. #slimpickinngsthisweek
OHL Mayakoba: Harris English turned 24 last July. He won.
HTOC: Er, Jordan Spieth, solo second.
Sony: Hudson Swafford and Will Wilcox both finished T8. Both played on the Web.com Tour last year and are rookies on TOUR this season.
SEASON TOTAL: $493,474
Frys.com: Gary Woodland, MC. Well, at least I don’t have to worry about when I’m using GARY WOODLAND again!
SHFC Open: Hideki Matsuyama. Time to break through, son. Matsuyama WD with injury so he was replaced with Nick Watney. He finished T48 for $15,264
CIMB Classic: Let’s try this again: Hideki Matsuyama. There’s no cut. This pleases me. His T25 after 74 on Sunday does not please me. Oh well. Here’s $53,433 into the piggy bank.
WGC-HSBC: Martin Kaymer. There’s no other place I would consider using him and he’s the defending champ on this track. #hangsonfordearlife. Kaymer’s third round 62 dared me to dream but his T8 and $161,667 is a nice deposit.
The McGladrey Classic: David Toms. He’s finished T3 in 2010 and second last year. His recent form suggests he’s playing well and I don’t see another chance to burn him down the road. It was him or CH III. Well, BOTH of my selections finished T27. I should have listened to O…T27 was good for $39,050.
OHL Mayakoba: Brian Gay. When form meets course history… Well, that was a nice theory but it resulted in T45 and $18,060. I’m glad 2013 is now over.
HTOC: Martin Laird. Since I’m off to a woeful start I see no reason to burn a premium player. Chris Kirk was my second choice but nobody wins in back-to-back starts plus he’s just had another child. Laird is the horse-for-course. The Scot finished T20 in a 30-man field for $87,000.
Sony: Charles Howell III. He plays great in the early part of the season and his record at Waialae has everything BUT a win. If you notice, I saved most of my heavy hitters for the latter part of 2013 last year and that strategy worked out. Hey, a top 10 and $119,000! Feels like a winner!
Humana: Webb Simpson has been on fire to get 2013-14 started and going low has never been a problem. It’s time to start firing at ‘em.