This column is not for the faint of heart.
Welcome back to the 2016-17 season!
Unlike most of you, I’ll track all 47 Tour events on the calendar and play from there.
Like you, I’ll suffer, agonize and grind on my picks each week and will hope to share some angles with you to make your decision easier.
If you’re not familiar, PGATOUR.COM started a One-and-Done game at their website. I’d suggest taking a shot just in case you happen to win! Why not??
I wrapped up 2016 with T-10 from Russell Henley for $150k so I’m not complaining. The only premium player I used was Hideki Matsuyama and in true Glass fashion, I picked him the ONLY week he didn’t win as he racked up solo second at the CIMB Classic.
There are only three former champs in the field this week but they are heavy, heavy hitters.
Scoring here is usually ridiculously LOW so find find a shoe that fits instead of one that doesn’t. Guys who make pars are nice but 20+ birdies will be the formula this week.
There have only been two guys to repeat as champions but neither are in the class of Jordan Spieth.
No rookie has ever won and only two players have won on their maiden voyage.
Click below for the answers to these fachts!
Last Season: Il Disastro (The Disaster)
Season total: $5,978,929; 47 events
- Wins: 2 (Matsuyama, Hoffman)
- Seconds: 0
- Thirds: 1
- Top 10s: 9
- Top 25s: 18
- MC: 8 (Mickelson, FIO; Oosthuizen, SHO; Chappell, Colonial; Casey, Memorial; Woodland, FESJC; Hearn, RBC Canadian; McGirt, Wyndham; Justin Thomas, DBC)
2016-17 season: Brand New Day
Season total: $1,157,190, 7 events
- Seconds: 1
- Top 10’s: 3
- Top 25’s:
- MC’s (2): Grayson Murray (Safeway Open); Patton Kizzire (SFC).
Ok, not bad, but not great. I took a chance on week one and have been digging out ever since. The Matsuyama pick was good news/bad news but it’s done and I can’t fix it now. I don’t think I can argue with an almost 50% top 10 rate. There’s no excuse for almost having the same rate for MC though. Rubbish.
|Safeway Open||Grayson Murray||MC||$0|
|CIMB Classic||Hideki Matsuyama||T-2||$756,000|
|WGC-HSBC Champions||Martin Kaymer||T-40||$62,000|
|Sanderson Farms||Patton Kizzire||MC||$0|
|OHL Mayakoba||Emiliano Grillo||T-10||$175,000|
|RSM Classic||Russell Henley||T-10||$150,000|
Keys this Week:
Go low. This is annually one of the easiest courses on Tour so you better find guys who torch par fives and circle tons of birdies.
The junk drawer here is empty as mostly all of the winners are big-time world players. Only Daniel Chopra can be considered an outsider to win this.
Experience is a massive factor here and will outweigh class for me. Knowing which way the putts break. Playing the wind. Embracing uneven lies. Putting massive greens. The scoring reflects it doesn’t play that difficult but the winner isn’t going to fluke this.
My Weekly Finalists:
Jordan Spieth — Every tournament he enters minus THE PLAYERS and AT&T Byron Nelson will find him on this list. The defending champ makes birdies for fun and the argument to use him this week is simple: He only has a handful of studs to beat unlike a major where he’ll have 20 or more.
Hideki Matsuyama — He closed 2016 with four wins from five starts and a solo second. He led after 54 holes on his maiden and only voyage in 2014. He also shot nothing worse than 70, only made three bogeys yet didn’t win. #Revenge
Dustin Johnson —The 2013 champ has made a living playing in the wind and destroying every course he plays regardless of weather. The way he eats up par fives and makes birdies makes him an easy favorite this week.
Patrick Reed — No surprise here since he was solo second last year and the champ in 2015. He’s 43-under in his last two trips.
Brandt Snedeker — Loves coastal golf and has a pair of thirds here in his last three trips. He won in Fiji in late September and won’t have any problem putting massive greens and hitting even bigger fairways. No wonder why every round he’s played here is under par.
My Choice: Snedeker
Close Second: Reed
Outlier: Si Woo Kim
Stratagem: With the light field in terms of premium talent, I’ll start there and look my way backwards. Unlike other resort course birdie-fests, this track requires more than just smashing it, finding it and holing flat putts. This course rewards the BEST shots and the best guys will have the most of those. With only 31 other players to beat (really only about 11 or so), I have no problem laying some lumber here.
QUESTION(S) OF THE WEEK:
Where’s the defending champion? Er, he’s listed No. 1 and I’m not going to talk you out of using him. He can win any week and there’s no guarantee that saving him for East Lake or any majors will guarantee victory. Just check his wins from last year if you don’t believe me!
Jason Day is left out even though he rakes here and goes lower than most? Yep, for me he is because he’s barely touched a club and should have a rust factor. One round at par or slightly worse here and you’re not winning. I’d rather burn him when he’s in the middle of a tear or on a course he’s won on before. I do me. You do you.
Should I burn a “lesser” player because there is no cut and the purse isn’t massive? There are a few tournaments that have this purse for a FULL FIELD so I don’t think that idea is ridiculous. If you’re loading up for bigger FEC points or dollars, than I’d lean to an EXPERIENCED guy here that has some form entering the week. Pat Perez sticks out like a sore thumb in that category for me.