The Confidence Factor: Quicken Loans National

Selections added 1:45.

Damn you World Cup!!!

Good luck!

Quicken Loans National

TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm

Bethesda, Maryland

 

TPC Potomac Cheat Sheet

Yards (per official scorecard): 7,107
Par: 70 (35-35)
Greens: Bent/Poa annua; 4,265 sq. ft. on average.
Stimpmeter: 13′
Rough: Kentucky bluegrass, tall fescue; up to four inches.
Bunkers: 89
Water Hazards: 7
Architects: Ed Ault, Tom Clark & Ed Sneed (1986); Steve Wenzloff & Jim Hardy (2007, 2008).
Purse: $7.1 million; $1.278 million, 500 FEC points (winner).
Defending Champion: Kyle Stanley (-7, 273; playoff)
Fact of the Week: This was an annual TOUR stop until 2006; Hosted a Web.com event in 2012 and 2013.

 

Notes:

  • 120 players (Invitational field).
  • Top 70 and ties will play the weekend.

 

2017-18 Winners

*First-time winner

**First-time winner AND rookie winner

Event Winner
   
Safeway Open Brendan Steele
CIMB Classic Pat Perez
WGC-HSBC Champions Justin Rose
Sanderson Farms Ryan Armour*
Shriners Hospitals for Children Patrick Cantlay*
OHL Mayakoba Patton Kizzire*
The RSM Classic Austin Cook**
Sentry TOC Dustin Johnson
Sony Open Patton Kizzire (2)
CB Challenge Jon Rahm
Farmers Insurance Open Jason Day
WMPO Gary Woodland
AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am Ted Potter, Jr.
Genesis Open Bubba Watson
Honda Classic Justin Thomas
WGC-Mexico Championship Phil Mickelson
Valspar Championship Paul Casey
Arnold Palmer Invitational Rory McIlroy
WGC-Match Play Bubba Watson (2)
Corales Puntacana Resorts Brice Garnett*
Houston Open Ian Poulter
Masters Patrick Reed
RBC Heritage Satoshi Kodaira*
Valero Texas Open Andrew Landry*
Zurich Classic of New Orleans Billy Horschel & Scott Piercy
Wells Fargo Championship Jason Day (2)
THE PLAYERS Championship Webb Simpson
AT&T Byron Nelson Aaron Wise**
Fort Worth Invitational Justin Rose (2)
Memorial Bryson DeChambeau
FESJC Dustin Johnson (2)
U.S. Open Brooks Koepka
Travelers Championship Bubba Watson (3)

 

The Confidence Factor is the weekly column I write for PGATOUR.COM and contains plenty of angles on the track and those who have aced this exam.

You need course form? Read the above.

You need keys to victory? Read the above.

You need course preview? Read the above.

You need a history lesson? Read the above.

Every week.

Every column.

 

Previous champions

*- playoff

Year Winner Total
2017 Kyle Stanley* -7, 263

 

Facts and Figures:

Tournament Record: 263; Stanley
Course Record: 63; Jason Gore (2012)
Defending Champion(s): n/a
Multiple Winners: n/a
First TOUR Win (most recent): n/a
First Win in First Appearance: n/a
Low Round Last Year: 64; Nick Watney
Rookies of Note Last Year: Curtis Luck T5, Bryson DeChambeau T17, Michael Kim, Xander Schauffele T35.
Odd Fact: Checked as the most difficult non-major event in 2017.

 

Quick Thoughts

The field is hardly deep so I’m looking for guys who are hot and have played well on difficult courses. Any course form will help this week but I’m not sure how much it helps when surviving and making par is the order of the day.

I don’t think there’s any mystery that the winner will have to deal with a few tough holes throughout the week as there were only eight bogey-free rounds in the event last year. Stanley and vanquished playoff participant Charles Howell III combined for five TOTAL bogeys on the weekend. Get the ball in the hole and get to the next tee box.

 

Favorites

In order of preference for this week and this tournament; LTO= LAST TIME OUT; LW= Last week; LY= Last year this event. I’m tired of typing all that out!

Rickie Fowler: I’d argue he’s the best player in the field and minus one vicious round at Shinnecock has been steady the last month. He’s cashed T21 or better in five of six events since finishing second at Augusta. Last year he was five-over in his first handful of holes on Thursday. He birdied half of them on Sunday and missed the playoff by a shot. In a week where nobody stands out, it’s safety first.

Kyle Stanley: Put on an absolute clinic last year tee-to-green and was a deserving winner even though he LOST shots on the greens daily! He enters this week third in both fairways and greens. He nearly won at Memorial (P2) but had no luck and stuck four rounds under par last week for T15.

J.B. Holmes: He’s a great example of how fantasy golf should have nothing to do with real golf. If you’re a guy who can’t stand J.B. Holmes because plays slowly, I’m not arguing. If you’re a gal or guy who doesn’t play him in fantasy because of this, I’m not sure that’s a great angle. His last four are T42, T13, third and T2. Spot the pattern yet?

Marc Leishman: Bookended 66’s here last year for T5 and has plenty of experience navigating difficult courses. He’s usually warm during this part of the schedule annually and sticks out in a quiet field.

Beau Hossler: There’s not the learning curve on the ground this week but that didn’t seem to bother him with T2 at TPC River Highlands last week or in Houston (P2) the week before the Masters. He was T57 in GIR last week yet only made five bogeys for the week. It’s coming.

Charles Howell III: Everyone knows the deal here. He’s Matt Kuchar-lite. He plays and gets paid just about every week. He’s 19 of 21 with his last MC in February. Cashed P2 last year after playing the weekend eight-under.

Ben An: Plenty of us loaded up on him after T2 at Memorial and were rewarded with MC at FESJC.  He followed that with a 81-78 weekend at Shinnecock and the casual players should have abandoned ship. Not me.

Francesco Molinari: He’s had plenty of success recently and I’ll always prefer him where putting won’t be a necessity. He’s strong enough tee-to-green to pull a “Stanley”.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat: Big Kira is the only dude that bounces back from a MC with T15 at a U.S. Open.

Tiger Woods: He’s thinking about putting a new putter in his bag. Say that again out loud. Is this the missing piece? The field will help him more than anything this week and a tough course should help as well. I haven’t seen four complete rounds yet but one good one this week could be the difference. I’ll point out he was in the mix at Innisbrook, a course he never played before and is anything but “easy”.

Next Tier

Just missed the list above because of a wart or two; order isn’t important.

Kevin Tway: With three top-10 finishes in his last five he sticks out this week. He’s navigated a difficult Colonial and played his last three rounds in Hartford 14-under.

David Lingmerth: Coulda shoulda woulda last year as he led after 18/36/54 but couldn’t secure his first TOUR win. He won on the Web.com here in 2012.

Stewart Cink: We’ll see if he can keep the heat on for the third event in a row but I won’t be shocked if he runs out of gas. Risk-reward play but I can’t build from him.

Jimmy Walker: I might have him hidden down here on purpose. He’s cashed 10 in a row and his streak of six straight T25 or better ended at the U.S. Open. No shame in that.

Gary Woodland: I only did a top 10 this week so this part would have some inhabitants. He hits too many greens and he’s found something in his last two starts.

Brian Gay: If there’s a week for painting fairways, this is probably it (non-major division). He’s ran off five straight and was T12 in Memphis and T20 at Shinnecock.

Anirban Lahiri: Had a sniff of contention last week as he posted his first top 10 of 2018.

Kevin Streelman: One of seven last year to put three of four rounds in the 60’s. Check his stats in TCF above.

Patrick Rodgers: He’s figured it out as of late and figured it out with 66-69 on the weekend here last year for T22.

Jamie Lovemark: His only MC in his last 14 was at Wells Fargo but went T17 (PLAYERS), T37 (Memorial) and T19 (Travelers) in his last three.

Billy Horschel: His best finish since winning with Scott Piercy is only T21 but he hits too many fairways and greens to omit. His best round last year was 67 on Sunday so he might have cracked the code.

Chesson Hadley: Straight stats play but he’ll need a better than average week off the tee to make it interesting.

Si Woo Kim: Feasted on a tough, tight Harbour Town before falling in a playoff. A opening and closing 66 last week doesn’t scare me off either.

 

Long Shots, Course Horses, Etc.

Andrew Putnam: Eight in a row. 2nd LTO. He’s in here until he’s out.

Nick Watney: 64 last year counts for something.

Jason Gore: 63 in 2012 plus T13 last year.

Ryan Blaum: Steady as he goes with paydays in five of his last six including T18 or better in three of the last four.

Cody Gribble: T34 or better in four of his last five.

Danny Lee: Backed up his always big Dallas/Fort Worth swing with MC-MC before bouncing back with T15 LW. T22 LY.

James Hahn: Cashed in back-to-back events after a quiet April and May.

Sung Kang: If you’re going to throw a pick away, which I don’t endorse, use it here.

Matt Jones: I’d settle for 34 putts a round.

Johnson Wagner: Like the fall, this is his time of year. T5 here last year and enjoys this part of the country.

J.T. Poston: T30 in five of his last eight.

Seamus Power: Lovely long shot this week as I like a nip on tough courses. Eight straight under par.

Tyler Duncan: Seven in a row.

Peter Malnati: Six of seven; opened with 64 LW before his best finish in the stretch (T26).

Dylan Meyer: More level of a playing field this week as he won’t have to play as much catch-up in learning the course.

Billy Hurley III: Home club.

Troy Merritt: 66-82 MC last year.

 

Fades:

The road to success is filled with potholes. You don’t drive your car over them so why put them on your fantasy team?

Kevin Na: Played in the Kolon Korea Open last week so yeah. That’s a bit of travel and readjustment.

 

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out through Twitter or email me mikeglasscott@gmail.com.

 

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