Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Risk and Reward - RBC Canadian Open

I've just noticed that I don't have any Canadians in my Power Rankings. I didn't intentionally do this, and it wasn't meant as a slight toward the United States' northern neighbors, but there just weren't any playing well enough statistically to justify a place. To be fair, no Canadian has won the Canadian Open for the last sixty years. That's sixty, with a zero. I'll be fixing that below, certainly, with the world's 38th ranked player, Graham DeLaet, making an appearance, but the other 18 Canadians might just have to fly under the radar.




My Power Rankings and Movers and Losers draw on statistics only, while Risk and Reward draws more on gut feel and intuition about players who missed my Top 15. In this column, you'll find "Lay-Up", "Going For It", and "Hazard". Look for more subjective analysis here, as opposed to the Power Rankings, where I rely strictly on data. Lay-Up may contain players who, barring a Great Flood, will bank you some points. Going For It is where I'll have players that may have missed the Power Rankings or who I feel present an excellent opportunity to pick up a win. Lastly, Hazards, where I often find myself on any given Sunday, should be avoided.

Lay-Ups

Luke Donald - TA: 48.42, CHG: (-5.2) - At 6th in strokes-gained-putting, Donald is one of the best on TOUR with the flat-stick. At shorter courses, like Royal Montreal, his short driving average won't impede his sharp short game. He's got a Top-5 and Top-20 in his last 5 starts as well.

Hunter Mahan - TA: 54.17, CHG: (+5.6) - Two solid finishes since missing the cut at the Travelers has me convinced he's back to being a consistent bet. He's solid in just about every statistical category, except for scrambling, where he ranks a meager 154th overall. Lead last year before withdrawing for the birth of his child. In a comparatively weak field, he should find some room to get back to the top of the leaderboard.

Going-For-It

Graham DeLaet - TA: 58.33, CHG: (0) - DeLaet tends to play well in events with weaker fields and tends to struggle in more prestigious events (see his missed cuts in all three majors and The Players this year). He hits a ton of greens, as he ranks 2nd in GIR, but at 137th in stroke-gained-putting, he clearly struggles with the putter. If he can get hot on the greens, he could very well win it.

William McGirt - TA: 48, CHG: (-0.4) - Tied for second the last two years, but he's been struggling to consistently make guts all year with his longest being a stretch of 4 in a row around the beginning of 2014. Amongst those missed cuts, he's amassed four finished at 32nd or better in six starts. If he can make the cut, he'll do well.

David Hearn - TA: 54.42, CHG: (-2.2) - Hearn was playing exceptionally well before missing the cut at the FedEx St. Jude. Since, he's been solid, if not exciting. The same could be used to describe his history at the RBC, with only only Top-20s and no Top-10s in 11 career starts. He'll likely make the cut, but I'm not sure he'll contend.

Hazards

Peter Malnati - TA: 83.8, CHG: (0) - He's only made four cuts on the year, and while he's made good use out of those finishes, going 4-for-15 doesn't really inspire confidence. He might net a Top-20 if he manages to make the weekend, but don't waste a start on such a long shot.

David Lingmerth - TA: 66.17, CHG: (-10.2) - Showed some life with a T16 at the Greenbrier but followed it up with a missed cut at the John Deere Classic. Currently, he's 4-for-12 and ranks outside of the Top-100 in Driving Accuracy, GIR, Strokes-Gained Putting, Scrambling, and Total Driving.

My Picks

PGA Tour
  • Matt Kuchar
  • Bo Van Pelt
  • William McGirt
  • Charl Schwartzel
Yahoo!
  • Matt Kuchar (S), Brandt Snedeker
  • Bo Van Pelt (S), William McGirt (S), Jerry Kelly, Jim Furyk
  • Charl Schwartzel (S), Retief Goosen
Golf Channel
  • Matt Kuchar
  • Bo Van Pelt
  • William McGirt
  • Heath Slocum

Kyle Donovan

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