Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Quicken Loans National - Power Rankings

Just say no to Tiger Woods. I know it might seem obvious, but I bet some reading this might have been thinking "The (arguably) Greatest of All Time is back, I've gotta play him!". Yes, he's back from a back injury, but he's not back from being a back-marker this season, so keep him seated. If this were Tiger Woods circa 2013, this wouldn't even be a discussion, in fact, I'd have suggested starting him in all available slots. But this is 2014, and microdiscectomies have a way of slowing a player down.


Congressional Country Club is a long course, at 7,569 yards, it is nearly 600 yards longer than last week's tournament but only one more stroke for par, at 71. What this means is that scores could be a little higher, and expect there to be a small premium on longer hitters, as their length could give them a leg up. In this week's edition of the Power Rankings, and those going forward, I'll be listing the Top-15 with their Total Aggregate (TA), a number that combines recent performance with course history and some select other metrics, and the change (CHG) from the last tournament they participated in. Total Aggregate is out of 100, with a lower number indicating a better ranking, as described in Movers and Losers.
  1. Jason Day - TA: 18.375, CHG: +0.833 - T18 last week at The Travelers Championship coming off a T4 at the U.S. Open. Strong history at this tournament, with a T21 last year, and a T8 in 2012. Still riding a made-cut streak of over 30 tournaments.
  2. Jordan Spieth - TA: 24, CHG: +0.3 - Two top-20's, a top-15, and a top-5 in his last five starts. Missed the cut in his debut here in 2012, but placed solo-sixth last year. There's just no way he can continue to place so consistently high and not get a win, but keep an eye on available starts and expect him to come at a steep price in salary based leagues.
  3. Bill Haas -TA: 25.25, CHG: -2.05 - 2 top-30's, a top-10 and 5 consecutive made cuts since his withdrawal at the RBC Heritage. Clearly comfortable at this course with a win last year and a T34 here in 2011. 11 top-25's this season.
  4. Justin Rose - TA: 25.8, CHG: +6.083 - Definitely feels comfortable at this tournament. Won in 2010 and followed it up with a T8 in 2011 when the tournament was at Aronimink. Two top-5s and a Top-15 in his last 4 starts. Aside from the missed-cut at The Memorial, Rose seems to have shaken off his shoulder injury from earlier this year.
  5. Marc Leishman - TA: 26.83, CHG: +2 - The Total Aggregate rewards consistency in addition to strong finishes, and Leishman has been doing plenty of both recently. Two top-25's, a top-15, and a top-3 in his last five tournaments is one of the hottest runs currently on TOUR. His number falls on the weakness of his past showings at Congressional CC.
  6. Brendon Todd - TA: 28.92, CHG: +2.3 - Speaking of hot streaks, there hasn't been a hotter player since The Players than Brendon Todd. A win, top-5, top-10, and top-20 in his last four starts. T13 here last year, with a solo-72nd in 2012. Look for him to contend come Sunday.
  7. Billy Horschel - TA: 30.1, CHG: -1.83 - Rounding into form since a Top-30 at The Players. Followed up that performance with a top-15, top-10, and top-25 in the following tournaments. If he putts well, he could easily contend, but his course history is very weak, so use him with caution.
  8. Gary Woodland - TA: 31.58, CHG: -5.75 - Has cooled somewhat since a seventh place finish at the HP Byron Nelson. Woodland has made his last five cuts, with a top-20 and top-15 to go with his seventh place finish, but finished outside of the top-30 in his last two starts. T16 here last year and you can expect his length of the tee to give him an advantage.
  9. Charley Hoffman - TA: 31.8, CHG: +2.5 - Hasn't missed a cut since February, and has 4 top-10s on the season. A top-5, top-20, and top-30 in his last three starts demonstrate that he isn't slowing down any time soon either. T28 and T22 in his last two starts at Congressional.
  10. Ben Martin - TA: 33.25, CHG: +6.75 - On a string of six consecutive cuts since his last miss at the Shell Houston Open. In the period, Martin has a top-3, two top-15s, and a top-25. Hasn't played at Congressional before, but his recent hot streak and fairly limited course experience at previous courses should deter his use, especially in Golf Channel Group C.
  11. Aaron Baddeley - TA: 33.67, CHG: +19.2 - As Mugatu once said "He's so hot right now". Since a missed cut at the Wells Fargo Championship, Baddeley hasn't missed, with a top-30, top-25, and a top-5 last week on his five made-cut streak. A weak history keeps his position lower.
  12. Brendon de Jonge - TA: 35.42, CHG: +5.6 - "Steady as she goes" could be his middle name. Seven consecutive cuts made, paired with four top-30s in his last five starts. He's not flashy, but if you're looking for some secure points in a salary league or a solid bench player for Yahoo! leagues, he's a good bet.
  13. Martin Flores - TA: 36.92, CHG: -6.55 - In the midst of a career year at the moment, he's 8-for-8 since missing the cut at the Valspar Championship. In the stretch, he's posted a career-best 3rd place finish at the Wells Fargo Championship along with 3 top-20s. T21 last year and T34 in 2012 at this tournament.
  14. Brandt Snedeker - TA: 37.5, CHG: +7.9 - Finally, he's found his putting stroke again and he's paired a top-10 with a top-15 for the first time since 2013 with his T11 at the Travelers. T8 and T16 in his last two starts at this tournament. 
  15. Carl Pettersson - TA: 39.5, CHG: +18.6 - With a seventh-place and third-place in his last two starts, Petterson is peaking right in time for a course at which he, historically, has done well. T34 and solo-sixth in his last two starts in the tournament.
Kyle Donovan

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