Welcome to the Steve Stricker Invitational Presented by Zach Johnson.
TPC Deere Run plays host this week as it has since 2000.
|Safeway Open||Tony Finau||2nd||669,600|
|CIMB Classic||Paul Casey||T7||218,166|
|CJ CUP @ 9 BRIDGES||Keegan Bradley||T47||23,759|
|WGC-HSBC Champions||Hideki Matsuyama||T50||51,875|
|Sanderson Farms||Chesson Hadley||T2||464,400|
|OHL Classic||Kevin Chappell||MC||0|
|The RSM Classic||Charles Howell III||MC||0|
|Sentry TOC||Kevin Kisner||T17||99,333|
|Sony Open||Brian Harman||T4||256,266|
|CareerBuilder Challenge||Jason Dufner||T36||27,189|
|Farmers Insurance||Jon Rahm||T29||43,872|
|-AT&T Pebble Beach||Phil Mickelson||T2||488,400|
|Genesis Open||Dustin Johnson||T16||111,600|
|Honda Classic||Graeme McDowell||MC||0|
|Valspar Championship||Ryan Moore||MC||0|
|Arnold Palmer||Tyrell Hatton||T69||18,067|
|WGC-Match Play||Patrick Reed||T9||163,000|
|Corales Puntacana||Patrick Rodgers||T22||27,850|
|Houston Open||Luke List||T24||54,162|
|RBC Heritage||Cameron Smith||T32||35,510|
|Valero Texas Open||Billy Horschel||T11||136,400|
|Zurich Classic||Bud Cauley||MC||0|
|Wells Fargo Championship||Bryson DeChambeau||4th||369,600
|THE PLAYERS||Francesco Molinari||MC||0|
|AT&T Byron Nelson||Jimmy Walker||T6||257,950|
|Fort Worth Invitational||Adam Scott||T52||16,472|
|US Open||Justin Rose||T10||270,151|
|Quicken Loans National||Kyle Stanley||T32||36,841|
|A Military Tribute||Bubba Watson||T13||121,632|
|Total Events: 35
|Top 10s: 11||MC: 7||$6,322,440|
Bubba Watson was in a great position entering Sunday (T6) and couldn’t take advantage. It’s the second year in a row that he’s posted 72 in the final round so I wonder if this track just wears on him. Luckily he made an eagle and birdie in his final six holes or the damage would have been worse.
Russell Henley’s obviousness continued as his final round 63, the best of the day, moved him up 38 places to 10th. #Play72 folks.
Joaquin Niemann is going to grab attention every week he plays until the Playoffs. He MUST WIN an event to be eligible for the FEC this season.
Webb Simpson was the biggest disappointment especially after opening with 61. I guess we could throw Lahiri in there as he also posted 61 in Round 2 before fading at the weekend.
Robert Streb’s streak of podiums ended at two but his 64 in the final round made for T11, his best of the season.
I regret nothing but I didn’t gain any ground either.
My Choice: Bubba Watson – T13
Picks for Leaders: Russell Henley – 10th, Tony Finau – T21, Webb Simpson – T47
Picks for Chasers: Jamie Lovemark – T26, Danny Lee – MC, Joaquin Niemann – T5
Picks for Dreamers: Robert Streb – T11, Anirban Lahiri – T39, C.T. Pan – T39, Ryan Blaum – MC, Ryan Armour – T21.
Picks for Noses: Kevin Kisner – 55th
Six Beers In: David Hearn – T30, Jimmy Walker – MC
#NappyFactor: Austin Cook – T5, Wesley Bryan – T26
Drop-Dead Pick: Russell Henley – 10th
It’s not difficult this week: Steve Stricker or Zach Johnson.
They have the most birdies.
They have the most rounds under par.
Both are in form.
So you have two choices:
Follow the herd or venture outside the box and hope to catch lightning in a bottle in an event where the top 40 players will be double-digits under-par.
If you’re angling young this week, remember the last first-time participant to win was Sean O’Hair in 2005.
If you’re angling for first-time winners, three of the last five have checked that box but check those pedigrees!!
My Choice: Zach Johnson
Picks for Leaders: Steve Stricker, Ryan Moore, Francesco Molinari
Picks for Chasers: Joaquin Niemann, Austin Cook, Patrick Rodgers
Picks for Dreamers: Wesley Bryan, Kevin Tway, Aaron Wise
Picks for Noses: Bryson DeChambeau
Six Beers In: Andrew Landry, J.T. Poston
#NappyFactor: Austin Cook, Wesley Bryan
Drop-Dead Pick: Zach Johnson
I left the “obvious” choice of Henley last week and paid.
I’m not trying that again, not on this track.
The Steve Stricker Open brought to you by Zach Johnson is an easy one for gamers. You just have to get it right.
Davis Love III won at Greensboro at 51 so don’t dismiss Stricker at the same age. Check his record in 2018 if you need more convincing.
I gave Patrick Rodgers a deep look before realizing I already had burned him.
Yeah, I’m smart.
I go into plenty of detail in The Confidence Factor, so please read that!
Here’s my tentative plan:
Barbasol Championship: TBD (brand-new venue)
The Open Championship: Sergio Garcia, Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler
RBC Canadian Open: Matt Kuchar, John Vegas, Brandt Snedeker
Barracuda Championship: Martin Laird, TBD – old pro/vet
WGC-Bridgestone Invitational: McIlroy, Schwartzel, Koepka
PGA Championship: First-time venue Bellerive Country Club will suggest a top 10 OWGR player. Jason Day, Koepka and Thomas are obvious choices.
Wyndham Championship: Kevin Na, Ollie Schniederjans
NORTHERN TRUST OPEN: Matt Kuchar will be the only winner in the field at Ridgewood Country Club (2010). He was also T5 in 2014.
Dell Technologies TPC Boston: Rory McIlroy, Henrik Stenson, Chris Kirk
BMW Championship: Aronomink is the host and Rose (2010) and Nick Watney (2011) are the only two winners on TOUR here (Donald Ross course).
The TOUR Championship: There has never been a repeat champion or anyone who has won multiple FedExCup titles so whoever is left! A rookie won for the first time last year (Schauffele) so it’s not impossible!
2015-16 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 total: $6,533,509 45 events
- Wins: 1
- Seconds: 1
- Thirds: 1
- Top 10s: 12
- Top 25s: 20
- MCs (10): Grayson Murray (Safeway Open); Patton Kizzire (SFC); Jamie Lovemark (CB Challenge); Jimmy Walker (FIO); Charl Schwartzel (Genesis); Russell Knox (Honda); Henrik Stenson (API); Thomas Pieters (Zurich); Kevin Kisner (WFC).
Thanks for reading!