- Robert Streb
He’s cashed in 10 of his last 11 as his solo second at Greenbrier vaulted him from No. 137 to No. 68 on the points list. His only MC in that stretch was at Royal Birkdale so no subtracting any points for that. His T-10 at THE NORTHERN TRUST guaranteed his place this week and his T-23 with four rounds at par or better in his only trip here in 2015 should make him a tasty longshot.
- Jamie Lovemark
His closing round of 67 in Boston sticks out but he’ll be seeing this course for the first time on Tour. If he can avoid the “adjustment” round he might be able to bomb his way to birdies around here.
- Stewart Cink
I’m totally biased with this pick because what he’s been able to accomplish all year with his wife battling cancer is incredible. Gaming with feelings is never a good plan but he lives in Atlanta and this would be the Hollywood story to follow this weekend. His solo 12th at Boston saw him jump to here. He’ll need probably top four at worst to make East Lake. This is his first trip to the BMW since 2010.
- Cameron Smith
Since his team victory with Jonas Blixt at Zurich he’s made two cuts from nine chances. The optimist will say that was four weeks ago at Wyndham with a pair of 63’s. The pessimist will inquire about the other seven MC’s and T-65. He only had four rounds in the 60’s during that stretch so I’m not gonna stretch for him.
- Luke List
He made 18 birdies last week (T-9) and was T-5 GIR so if you’re into the big hitter who could make some birdies, he’s the perfect long shot. He closed with 68 at THE NORTHERN TRUST and 69 last week so there’s something brewing here.
- Zach Johnson
The 2013 champ finished T-13 here in 2015 so he’s not sneaking up on anyone this week. He’s 27-under in his two trips and three of his eight rounds are 64, 64 and 65. The last two times he was in the Midwest he was T-5 at John Deere and solo second at Akron. It’s no secret that he thrives in Midwest environments and playing him this week my just be good defense.
- Lucas Glover
He’s rattled off six weekends in a row but nothing better than T-25. I prefer him on tracks where par is a decent score and this week doesn’t qualify.
- Sung Kang
The last 22 holes he played at TPC Boston were bogey-free and six-under. He did that finishing 75th of 78th players on the greens. Somewhere in the middle is the answer but we’ve seen big finishes recently that haven’t translated the following week. Complete wild card.
- Rory McIlroy
Those of you who burned him in either of the first two playoff events with the thought of “well he needs to play well to defend his title in Atlanta” didn’t catch a break either. This week is last chance saloon for McIlroy but remember, oddly enough, only Brandt Snedeker and Jordan Spieth have defended their titles at East Lake in the previous nine Playoffs (note: no defending champion in year one, obviously). Congratulations to those of you who haven’t burned him yet. You’ll soon find the same misery the rest of us have had to endure. He finished T-59 here in 2013 and T-4 in 2015 and has won in six of his last seven seasons on Tour. It will be six of eight if he doesn’t win this week. Gulp.
- Ollie Schniederjans
I know he’s really good. I know he’s really inconsistent. I know he’s going to be a keeper for years to come. I know he’s hit it all over the shop the last two weeks to MC twice.
- Martin Laird
His best season since 2012, Laird rolls into Chicago with six of his last eight rounds under par. The catch is he was T-20 at Glen Oaks and T-40 at TPC Boston. Gamers leaning on Laird will hope the wind howls and par becomes a decent score.
- Keegan Bradley
Don’t game angry. His T-35 was his worst-ever finish at TPC Boston but I’ll point out he closed 68-69-69 after his opening 76. He closed the previous week at Glen Oaks with 80 after starting Sunday in the top 10. He’s posted four of eight rounds here 68 or lower. Ding, ding! All aboard!
- Ian Poulter
Every time I get on board I get unceremoniously knocked off like riding a mechanical bull after six beers. Since I like beer, I’m back again as the Englishman has had too many solid results over the last few months to scare me off. He closed last week 69-66 so I’m focusing there instead of his blah course form which includes nothing lower than 68 in eight rounds.
- Chez Reavie
He ran his streak out to 10 in a row last time in Boston but it was also his worst finish, T-61. This is his first time to Conway Farms in competition so he might be behind those who have played here in 2013 and 2015. Remember, nobody had played Glen Oaks (T-10) so that was an even field. This week isn’t.
- Si Woo Kim
There’s no doubt he can play but there’s plenty of doubt on his health. There have been too many WD’s for me to even worry about sticking him in this week. Gamers have enough to worry about on a weekly basis and wondering if a guy is showing up or finishing the event shouldn’t be part of it. Also, he’ll have one eye on the Presidents Cup as well and that doesn’t help his argument this week.
- Bryson DeChambeau
OK, let’s have some fun then. You pick RIGHT NOW: Si Woo Kim or Bryson DeChambeau for the next 10 years. Not as easy as you thought, right? Last time DeChambeau was in Illinois he won the JDC by posting 18-under-par. He’ll need a repeat of that this week if he’s going to cash enough to advance to Atlanta. Pass.
- Charl Schwartzel
The difference between the South African and the two young bucks behind him is simple: experience. Schwartzel could care less what he’s ranked when he shows up for these as his objective is to win, not compete. He charged hard at TPC Boston with 69-69-67 to finish and hit the top 25. The first and only time he played this track he finished T-10 with four rounds in the red. Class players find a way to get the ball in the hole.
- Francesco Molinari
The only thing missing from his best season on Tour is a win. He advanced to DTC and BMW for the first time on top of adding his best finish in a major, T-2 at the PGA. I’m not sure where the motivation is coming from now as he’s already looking ahead at defending his Italian Open championship next month.
- Patrick Cantlay
He hasn’t MC in 11 tries this season. This is a recording. In his first two Playoff events he has placed all eight rounds at par or better and finished T-10 and T-13. I’m from the school of thought that playing the guy that is doing is greater than hoping the guy who might, will. Choo Choo!
- Kevin Na
He broke his hoo doo at TPC Boston with his first top 10 (T-6) in 10 tries. Add that to his T-4 at Wyndham before the Playoffs started and he has two top 10’s in his last three events. He was T-3 after 54 holes here in 2015 before a final round 71 saw him collect T-10. Perfect support staff this week.
- Tony Finau
His last MC was THE PLAYERS and that’s not surprising with his talent. Like most players who aren’t in the elite category this isn’t an event or field that I’m going to profess that he’ll break out. His first trip here sums it up: 72-64-77-68.
- Billy Horschel
He used this event at Cherry Hills in 2014 to springboard himself to East Lake and eventually 10 million gold coins. Horschel has had an emotional year as well as he won in May at Byron Nelson and his wife revealed she’s battling a substance abuse issue. Real life shit affects real life people and FANTASY gamers need to remember that. He’s MC in three of his last six and has nothing better than T-48 so I’m passing.
- Wesley Bryan
He’ll benefit, just like most of the newbies, from not having to grind to make the cut. If this was in Moline at TPC Deere Run he’d be on the big boy list but it’s not. He has one top 25 since his win at RBC Heritage in April so there’s a reason he’s no longer in the top 30.
- Phil Mickelson
Now that he’s on the Presidents Cup team I’m at a loss for motivation. The fantasy rule on Mickelson lately has been race him on courses where he’s run well. This week doesn’t qualify for me.