Like the setting sun at the end of the PGA Championship, the full PGA season is coming to an end. There's five total tournaments left, so players with few starts left, burn 'em if you got 'em because you can't take them with you. Not that there's a whole lot of players this week that might threaten to run you out of starts, but if you've been running Snedeker or Haas often this year, you could be getting a little bit low.
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.
Francesco Molinari - TA: 46.2, CHG: -9.4 - He's playing for his first time here, but Molinari has been playing solid golf this year, and though he hasn't come up big in highly competitive fields this year, he's been rock solid for the better part of this year. In as light a field as this, he's a veritable star, but since he doesn't have a lot of name recognition stateside, he should be a good value.
Charles Howell III - TA: 44.17, CHG: -8.6 - Howell has been quiet lately, with only one Top-25 since a tie for third at the Byron Nelson. He missed the cut at the PGA Championship, but normally is a cut-making machine. He could stand to hit some more fairways, but with his length off the tee (ranked 9th on TOUR) and his ability to make birdies (2nd on TOUR for total birdies), he'll do well on a shorter track with a weak field.
Shawn Stefani - TA: 44, CHG: +6.2 - Stefani is coming off a couple of weak results at both The Open and the PGA Championship, but was playing very well prior to those two tournaments, with a playoff loss to Justin Rose and a T13 at the John Deere Classic. He leads the PGA in Total Driving and putts well enough to back it up. Just making the cut at the PGA should be a huge win in his book, so he should come to Sedgefield very confident.
Johnson Wagner - TA: 45, CHG: +6 - He's connected four straight cuts for the first time since a stretch that saw him win in 2012. He's been playing pretty poorly all year, but he's on as a good run as most everyone else at the Wyndham, with a Top-10 and no finishes worse than 34th in that short stretch. Statistically, he doesn't stand out in any category and missed the cut last year. Definitely a gamble.
Charlie Beljan - TA: 46.5, CHG: +7.8 - Hits the ball a long way, but struggles a little bit with the flat-stick. Like Wagner, Beljan has connected four straight cuts, but unlike Wagner, this is his first time ever doing so. He's played pretty well in that stretch, with a Top-15 and Top-25. He doesn't hit a lot of fairways, but he may be able to overpower the shorter course on tap this week.
Chesson Hadley - TA: 100, CHG: -17.4 - Hadley has missed five straight cuts since a T13 at the FedEx St. Jude, and eight of his last ten. Ranks 163rd in Total Driving and 100th in strokes-gained putting. Played here last year and missed the cut.
Mike Weir - TA: 89.17, CHG: -13.4 - Has only shot one round in the 60's since his second place finish at the Byron Nelson. He's never been a long ball hitter, but he's also not hitting fairways and greens, ranking 184th and 189th respectively. He still putts pretty well but that's about it. Missed the cut in his last two attempts.
My Picks - Side Note: For PGA/Yahoo! I've had to grab some risky picks or chance falling too far behind. I need some home runs.
- Scott Brown
- Brendon de Jonge
- Hideki Matsuyama
- Shawn Stefani
- Charles Howell III (S), Patrick Reed
- Hideki Matsuyama (S), Brendon de Jonge (S), Billy Horschel, Bill Haas
- Shawn Stefani (S), Scott Brown
- Group A: Hideki Matsuyama
- Group B: Shawn Stefani
- Group C: Retief Goosen
- Group D: Joe Durant