Luke Guthrie embarks on his maiden voyage of Montrêaux Golf and Country Club at this week's Barracuda Championship.
Guthrie made the FedExCup Playoffs in his first two years on the PGA TOUR but staggers into Reno, Nevada, 139th in the FEC standings. The 25-year-old is 14-for-25 on the season with three top 25s, the latest coming as a T14 at the John Deere Classic in his home state of Illinois. He chased the Deere with missed cuts at the RBC Canadian Open and at last week's Quicken Loans National. His season best is T7 at the Valspar Championship. Guthrie ranks 73rd on TOUR in birdie average (3.68) and 128th in eagle (holes per).
John Rollins readies for his 10th playing of the Barracuda Championship and enters the tournament 194th in the FedExCup standings.
Rollins began the year No. 430 in the Official World Golf Ranking and has cratered to No. 718 entering the week. He's deposited but four paychecks from the PGA TOUR on 13 starts to his season, posting a lone top 25 at the Sanderson Farms Championship (T4) back in November. In calendar year 2015, he's made nine starts and cashed once, a T58 at the FedEx St. Jude Classic. In his last 17 rounds, he's broken par three times. The 40-year-old is a perfect 9-for-9 at the Barracuda with five top 25s, including his victory in 2009, the last of three wins in 404 career TOUR starts.
Heath Slocum arrives at the Barracuda Championship ranked 210th in the FedExCup standings.
Slocum is 3-for-7 at the Barracuda with a best of T47 in 2009. He missed the cut in last year's edition by four points (Modified Stableford scoring system). The Web.com Tour grad has cashed but five paychecks in 2014-15 on 20 starts, with a lone top 25 coming at the CIMB Classic back in November (T21). In his last five starts on TOUR, he's missed four cuts and finished T74 at the RBC Canadian Open. The 41-year-old ranks 177th on TOUR in birdie average at 3.22 at 165th in eagles (holes per), so it's doubtful that he makes much noise in this week's scoring-fest at Montrêaux Golf and Country Club.
Bill Lunde makes his 17th start of the season at this week's Barracuda Championship in Reno, Nevada.
Lunde graduated from the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and remains a Las Vegas resident. He secured his 2014-15 PGA TOUR card by finishing 22nd on the Web.com Tour money list, recording four top 10s on 20 starts, setting up his return to the TOUR, where he played full time in 2009-12. On the season, he's made seven cuts on 16 starts with a season-best T33 at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open back in October, good for 198th in the FedExCup standings. The 39-year-old is 2-for-5 at the Barracuda with both cashes going for top 25s (18th/2012, T10/2010). He missed the cut in 2013 by five points (Modified Stableford scoring system) in his latest attempt.
Paul Casey has five top 20s at Firestone Country Club and returns to the par 70 in Akron, Ohio to contest this week's WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.
All those finishes, which include T4 in 2006 and T8 in 2008, came during his first five appearances but he's since posted T22 (2010) and T27 (2013) in two of his last three visits so the Englishman remains a reliable performer at Firestone. Since relinquishing his European Tour membership at the end of 2014 and giving his full focus to the PGA TOUR, Casey has enjoyed his most consistent ever run on American soil. He's lost playoffs at February's Northern Trust Open and June's Travelers Championship and banked four other top 10s. He'll tee off this week slotted in at 21st place in the FedExCup standings.
Graeme McDowell finished T8 in last year's World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational and returns to Akron for another crack.
That was actually his first top 20 in seven appearances at Firestone Country Club’s South Course and represented a fifth straight top 10 finish worldwide. If that was a reflection of his form at the time, he'll hope that same scenario won't play out this year. G-Mac has struggled over the last six months and a season-opening T9 at January's Dubai Desert Classic remains his only top 10 of the campaign. Across June and July he cashed just twice in six starts, his latest halfway exit coming at the Canadian Open two weeks ago.
Victor Dubuisson heads to Akron, Ohio this week to make his second appearance at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
Twelve months ago, the Frenchman placed T31 on his tournament debut at Firestone Country Club after shooting rounds of 74-72-71-70 so improved his score each day. After a difficult season, Dubuisson finally found his mojo with a T20 at the BMW International Open and followed it with a T12 in his home Open de France and a T10 at the Scottish Open. He's suffered another dip since then, however, with missed cuts at the Open Championship and Omega European Masters in Switzerland. Overall, the 2014 Ryder Cup star has struggled on American soil this season with missed cuts at The Masters and the U.S. Open but he did post T17 in April's Shell Houston Open.
Søren Kjeldsen will tee it up in the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational for the first time since 2009.
Victory in June's Dubai Duty Free Irish Open secured a return to Firestone Country Club for the Dane and he'll hope to make a better impression six years on after finishing T68 in his only other appearance. Kjeldsen followed that win at Royal County Down with a second place in the following week's Nordea Masters in Sweden. He also banked T15 in the Open de France at the start of July but only survived two rounds at the Open Championship on his last start. The 40-year-old's lack of length off the tee suggests he'll find this a tough test.