Kyle Stanley, who hasn’t won on Tour since 2012 defeated Charles Howell, III, who hadn’t won on Tour since 2007, in a playoff yesterday to win the Quicken Loans National at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm just outside Washington, D.C.
For the second week in a row the Tour needed a playoff to determine the winner.
Unlike last week where two of today’s stars battled it out this week featured a pair of players who hadn’t found the winner’s circle in a combined 15 years between them.
In fantasy golf, which I’m writing about, not “winning” isn’t losing as CH ||| has proved over the last decade.
Charley Wicket has won over $33 million in his career and a shit-ton since his last win back in 2007 so he has PLENTY of value in our world. He’s known for red-hot starts to the beginning of seasons and calendars and fading away once summer hits.
I faded him for two reasons this week: He hasn’t played since the week after the Masters, at Harbour Town and he hasn’t had a top 10 after May since 2011. Well, I guess he was fresh and raring to go as he didn’t miss a beat.
Moving forward I’ll be interested to see what events he enters. He’s currently 14th in SG Total and secured one of the four places into The Open Championship in three weeks at Royal Birkdale.
He’ll be joined by this week’s winner Kyle Stanley, Scotsman Martin Laird (T-3) and Sung Kang (T-5), who claimed the final spot by possessing the highest OWGR of those who were tied.
18 things I learned?
1.) That I was a day late and a dollar short on Kyle Stanley. I was asked via Twitter LAST week if I like him more than Graham DeLaet at the Travelers. I didn’t and it paid off. I hope Bruce kept the faith this week!
Stanley is a fantastic ball-striker and that’s not the issue. On a course that very few had played previously it was hardly a surprise that he excelled where putting wasn’t a necessary component. He led the event in GIR, SGTTG and SGOTT. He was 52nd in putting yet only made two bogeys on the weekend.
2.) Daniel Summerhays is building up some serious scar tissue that is going to help him one day, I hope. He was the 54-hole leader by three at Memorial and finished T-10. He played in the final group Sunday and shot 74 (+4) to finish T-5.
3.) Rickie Fowler could have made the final holes more interesting for Stanley and ||| if he hadn’t of dunked his tee shot on the drive-able par four No. 14. Love how he didn’t fold after that double as he made a pair of birdies coming in to post 65. The man in orange continues his fantastically consistent season with T-3 and his seventh top 10 from 11 weekends.
4.) Similarly to CH3, Martin Laird paid off investors earlier in the season when he picked up three top 10’s in five starts in late January through mid February. His next 10 events consisted of one finish inside the top 30 (T-18, Valero) before T-3 Sunday.
5.) Ben Martin finished T-5 to move up to No. 127 in the FEC Playoff race. You don’t need to be a math major to figure out he’s been struggling this season based on that fact alone. His best result before this week was a pair of T-18’s. I’m trying to remember how he slipped through my cracks as I usually have a clue on guys who have made multiple cuts in a row. After this week it’s seven straight for Martin. #Noted. Oh, and big congrats to all of you who were holding Martin Exactas for a top 10 finish!
6.) Marc Leishman’s Nappy Factor has been going on all year. Baby three is due and his wonderful season rolls on. He’ll be in my top 10 at Royal Birkdale as he’s eaten at The Open in the last few years.
7.) Count me wrong on Keegan Bradley this week as he returned to the top 10 for back-to-back weeks. If you’re not aware of his issues with the putter then fantasy golf isn’t probably your strong suit. Putter be damned, Bradley now has five top 10’s on the books this season which equals his total from the last two years.
8.) For the first time since the season opener, Johnson Wagner has hit the top 10. The 64 to open last week at Travelers should have been a clue. He’s on song and always plays well at Greenbrier and TPC Deere Run, the next two stops on Tour.
9.) Man, I had Sung Kang in my weekly game so that stings even more than normal. There’s NO WAY he putts that in a million years. None. Take the slow play warning. Call for an official. Trip and fall. DO SOMETHING OBAMA BESIDES TRYING TO PUTT IN A MINI HURRICANE. There, I feel better. I won’t moan about the lost Yahoo! points either with the double bogey on the next hole! From the penthouse to the outhouse in two swings. Fantasy golf is hard.
10.) The best part of Sunday was Spencer Levin’s cell phone going off in his pocket as he attempted to tee off. Gamers, don’t fall in love with one round (65 Saturday) as T-23 was his best finish entering the week.
11.) You should have noticed Curtis Luck at the Masters. Don’t hate his man-ban as I don’t encourage ANGRY GAMING. Dude can really putt and got his first taste of Tour life on Sunday. He’ll be better for it and he’s at it again this week at Greenbrier with his top 10.
12.) I argued in the preview that some experience here is better than none. David Lingmerth made me look like a genius for 36 holes as he was 10-under and cruising. He finished 4-under and tied for fifth.
13.) The low round of the day on Sunday belonged to putting struggler Nick Watney. He moved up 27 spots after his 64. Watney has been flashing form as of late as this was his seventh event in a row playing the weekend but first (on his own ball) inside T-40. Cut makers are a clue folks!
14.) If you would have told me before the week that Bill Haas would have finished T-13 and one shot out of the top five I wouldn’t have been the least bit surprised. T-13 will look worse to those who just read the final leaderboard.
15.) I told you that Jason Gore shot 63 here in 2012 (ball-in-hand) in the preview. You’re welcome.
16.) After a dire beginning to 2017, Geoff Ogilvy has quietly racked up six out of seven with T-13 this week being the best of the bunch.
17.) Danny Lee is in prime shape to defend at Greenbrier. He should be on your VERY shortlist for OAD as he bagged another top 25 (T-22) this week.
18.) Bryson DeChambeau has found something folks as he backed up T-26 last week with T-17 this week including a closing 66 on a less-than-easy track…Xander Schauffele cashes another top 40 check this week as his U.S. Open success continues to drive him on…Defending champ Billy Hurley, III reinforces the point that home-course advantage isn’t an absolute. The 2016 champ at CONGRESSIONAL practices at Avenel Farm but he couldn’t find a round of par or better in finish T-63…If this was a week that putting didn’t matter and ball-striking did, I’m still wondering why Graham DeLaet went home early. Rookie gamers can now see the frustration the pros go through almost weekly with the Canadian. All the pieces are there except when they aren’t…Justin Thomas has obliterated my Yahoo! B Group the last two weeks. The ONLY comforting news to that is I am not alone so those of you who jumped off after round one have a slight advantage….I paid the price for “saving” Rickie Fowler in the PGATOUR Fantasy Game as I only had three survive the cut. The good news is I still have three starts on Fowler remaining. The bad news is he was T-3 this week.
Coming Later this week:
I’m leaving the preview out this week as I enjoy the 4th of July like a normal human being.
I will be popping out some gaming columns but I’m not doing any research so trust my gut at your peril.
If Ned sends his Yahoo! picks, I’ll chuck those out there as well but I’m not expecting any work to be done on the holiday tomorrow!
Enjoy your 4th and happy 241st birthday USA!