What I learned from the finishers in the top 10
Andrew Svoboda: If you had action heading into Sunday on the Johnnie that would finished the highest up the leaderboard, I bet you had Keegan Bradley and not his college teammate at St. John’s Andrew Svoboda. After winning twice on the Web.com last year, he’s only had 11 events to prove his worth on TOUR this year. He’s only made the cut in six events but he has four of those going for T26 or better including this week’s career-best finish of T2. He was T24 at Puerto Rico and T26 at Valero in his previous two outings. It shows some guts to play a tight schedule and produce results. He’s now played eight rounds here in the last two years and he’s played seven of them under par. He’s 12th in ball-striking, 48th in scrambling and 40th in total putting. That’s VERY solid across the board and should translate on most courses moving forward. He’ll be playing with house money for the rest of the year and that will help with the confidence!
Robert Streb: #StrebThroat was Mr. 126th last year on TOUR after hitting five top 25s in 25 starts. This season, in only seven starts, he’s played the weekend at every one of them. Going back to last season, he’s now played on nine weekends in a row, good enough for 10th on TOUR. His solid ball-striking and scrambling are his calling card and this week he T1 in birdies with 23, second in GIR and 14th in strokes gained-putting. He made four bogeys on Sunday after only making two over the first three rounds but still had his career-best finish, T2. He’ll be playing with house money the rest of the year as well.
Jeff Overton: #BoomBaby returns to the Wrap-Up column for the first time since Sony in early January. Overton had a very solid fall with four of his five starts T23 or better. A nagging wrist injury that he’s mentioned on his Twitter account has kept him from his best this spring but his solo fourth Sunday was his best finish since T4 at the 2012 SHO. Overton reminded us on Twitter this week that this was the beginning of his excellent run in 2010 to make the Ryder Cup team. His solo fourth was his second top four here in five years and fourth top 18 in six years. #Horseforcourse. His wrist will always be in the back of my mind but he’s shown flashes of hot play before that should be taken into consideration.
Robert Garrigus: Another player teeing it up with a heavy heart this week, Garrigus’s caddy, Brent Henley, lost his father earlier in the week. Garrigus rolled out the day’s lowest score, 64, in honor of his caddy’s father to finish T5. Players can use this motivation to try too hard sometimes but the power of the human spirit, when it works, is quite outstanding. The interesting angle to this is Garrigus has done nothing in four events previous in New Orleans and was coming off weeks of MC, T61 and 73rd.
Erik Compton: The knock on Compton previously was that his game didn’t travel outside of the state of Florida. #Mythbusted this year as he’s now gained top 25s in Sand Diego and Houston on top of his T-season best T5 this week. That’s now 10 weekends from his last 11 as well so he’s playing solid golf this season. In three of his last five starts he’s finishes T5, T12 and T5.
Charley Hoffman: In seven previous events on this track, Hoffman had never finished better than T19. This is another fantastic reminder that course form cannot be the only determining factor when researching players. Hoffman has now pegged 13 of 14 weekends this season and eight of them have been top 25s. His T5 this week is his first top 10 since back-to-backs at Humana and FIO in January. See, cutting off his hair did NOTHING to affect his golf!
Justin Rose: When I was making dinner this evening, I cut the hell out of the tip of my right pinky finger. I NEVER KNEW HOW MUCH I HIT BACKSPACE UNTIL RIGHT NOW. God, I’m a terrible typist. Rose tees it up. Rose hits the top 10 for the second time in his last three starts at Zurich just like we all believed he would. He saved most people’s week in Yahoo! Well, at least mine!
Keegan Bradley: I benched him this week because I only had five starts remaining on him and his record here was bleak. His 75 on Sunday, including another “other” on the card, probably frustrated a few gamers out there. He was the favorite entering Sunday for my money and he couldn’t catch or pass Noh, Streb or Svoboda. This was another story of good news, bad news but at winning time he didn’t fire as the big number found him. Again. The good news is that this is his second top 10 in four events. #WavyGravy
Tommy Gainey: This was his first top 10 since the 2013 HTOC and his first visit inside the top 44 in 13 events. He did fire 68 in the final round of the RBC Heritage so I’ll take a look his next time out. He also benefited from the lack of rough as he was T59 in fairways and T4 in GIR.
What happened to my pre-tournament favorites?
Justin Rose: T8, see above.
Rickie Fowler: Entered the week coming off back-to-back top 10s, including T6 at the Masters. He exited the week on Friday after 75-72. That’s a tough one to swallow in a shallow field.
Graham DeLaet: I’m guessing I’m a week early on him as he only made two bogeys in his first three rounds en route to 8-under before his 73 on Sunday saw him finish T29. That 73 included two bogeys and a double and never let him get going. He led the field in GIR but was nearly last in strokes gained-putting and in birdies made.
Ryan Palmer: His 71-72 saw him MC by one shot so that’s hardly the sign of impending danger.
Matt Every: WD after opening with 76. Not this again! I’ll put this down as a one-off especially after his T8, WIN, MC and T12 in his last four.
Keegan Bradley: T8, see above.
Billy Horschel: Played in the group of death with Fowler and Reed. All three missed the cut. Not even the good vibes from the place where he won and set the course and tournament record could set him straight this week. Time to leave him be, Glass…
Patrick Reed: Another player who could have used a good ol’ fashioned birdie fest to get back on track, Reed hit it everywhere and didn’t make any birdies. Young players go up, young players go down…
Chris Stroud: Bogey-free 69 followed by a 77 with a triple and a quad. His scorecard summed up my week: Some good, too much bad.
Freddie Jacobson: Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Jacobson was hanging around T20 entering the final round and then shot over par. I believe this is the fifth time in his last six that this has happened. T29.
Kevin Stadler: And the MCs just keep on coming! Anyone else have a disaster on their hands this week or was it just me? Glad I could be of service. #GoodGrief
Charles Howell III: Another week, another made cut and a decent finish, T34. Actually, on this list, THAT’S A GREAT, GREAT FINISH!
What a dumpster fire! Glad that’s out of the system. Plenty of food for thought moving forward to Quail Hollow next week!
And the analysis doesn't end here. Rotoworld's Rob Bolton and I will be co-hosting a one-hour live chat Wednesday at NOON ET. We will be breaking down the field at the Wells Fargo and answering your questions. Simply return to the golf home page to join in on the chatter. Don’t forget to follow Rob (http://twitter.com/RobBoltonGolf) and Glass (http://twitter.com/mikeglasscott) on Twitter.