Horses-for-Courses/Form Players/Long Shots
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John Rollins (B): This will be his 13th consecutive start and 14th trip overall to the coast north of San Diego so his experience is a factor I like this week. I also like the fact that he’s finished second in 2009 and third in 2012 and has only missed four cuts (2011 last time). He’ll be overlooked in most formats this week because of his slow start to 2013-14 but his worst round of the new calendar year is just 72.
Cameron Tringale (C): The kid from up the street in Mission Viejo has been spinning his wheels to start the season but he’s familiar with golf on this coast. If you wanted a long shot, you’ve got it as he was T27 after a closing 75 last year and T4 in 2012.
Josh Teater (A): His three top 10s last year were T2 at Torrey, T6 at Riviera and T7 at Colonial so that tells me he enjoys ball-strikers courses. He’s a very solid ball-striker and an above average putter and should be excited to get back to the course that produced his best finish on TOUR, T2.
Pat Perez (C): If he could find a way to close, Perez would be in the previous column but that hasn’t been the case and his last three final rounds here have been 72, 73 and 74 last year. What’s the big deal? Well, those rounds have led to finishes of T20, T22 and T21. He’s THAT close. Oh, and he went to Torrey Pines HS and won a junior world championship here as well.
Brendon de Jonge (B): Here’s the trend I’m following: T37, T27 and T15 in his last three. He’s 20th in total putting and 46th in total driving. A pair of 66s to close last weekend shows me his game is also trending in the proper direction.
Justin Leonard (C): Super finish last week in the desert combines with recent successes at Torrey makes for an excellent roster fill this week. He was T8 in 2012 and fifth in 2008 but was T78 last year. #hothand
Ben Crane (B): The 2010 champ backed that result up with T14 and preceded his victory with T7 but he’s MC in his last two trips. He got off to an excellent 2014 last week in the desert with his first top 10 since THE PLAYERS last year. Crane made 1.6 million in 2011, 1.7 million in 2012 yet made less thank 800k in 2013 so a bounce back should be on the cards.
Marc Leishman (A): After back-to-back top 10s in 2010 and 2011, the Aussie will be looking for another solid performance this year following T58 and MC the last two years. His 2014 debut saw him finish solo fifth at the Sony. Ride that form!
Brendon Todd (C): Speaking of form, Todd’s excellent play found him in the final threesome on Sunday last weekend at Humana. He finished two-under 70 to claim his best TOUR finish ever, T6, so I’ll take a ride on the momentum bus this week. Todd only made two bogeys on the week; sadly both of them were on Sunday so his game is dialed in.
Brian Stuard (B): He’s made over 1.1 million this season and he hasn’t won. That some excellent and steady golf. His last three finishes on TOUR are second, sixth and fifth last week.
Aaron Baddeley (C): Time to get it while it’s hot Pt II. Badds has struggled a bit over the last few years but if there is one place he does NOT struggle, it’s on the coast of California. He’s constantly played well at Torrey, Pebble and Riviera over the last 10 years so if I’m going to look in his direction, it will be in the next month. His 68-69 weekend here last year saw him finish T6. That’s eight rounds in a row at par or better at Torrey.
Players I’ll watch from a distance
Geoff Ogilvy: He’s two from six and his best finish is T50 at FIO.
David Hearn: He’s 0-4 with one round in the 60s and he MC last week in the desert. He’s probably still frozen from the NHL game at Michigan Stadium on New Year’s Day.
Hideki Matsuyama: Coming off another WD and another injury, I’ll let the young Japanese star show me he’s fit and ready to go before I bite.
Gonzalo-Fernandez Castano: First-timer. No, thanks.
Victor Dubuisson: He’s on MAYJAH FIYAH world-wide but it’s his first-ever TOUR start. He’s 23. He needs to be on your radar, just not this week.
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.
Humana: Patrick Reed won. He’s 23. You need to pay attention.