Carnoustie is the host for the first time since Padraig Harrington’s playoff win against Sergio Garcia in 2007.
A few things have changed in the golfing landscape since then!
One thing that hasn’t is the course. It’s a beast.
|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|
|John Deere Classic||Zach Johnson||T16||81,366|
|Total Events: 36
|Top 10s: 11||MC: 7||$6,403,806|
My Choice: Zach Johnson – T16
Picks for Leaders: Steve Stricker – T43, Ryan Moore – T55, Francesco Molinari – T2
Picks for Chasers: Joaquin Niemann – T23, Austin Cook – T34, Patrick Rodgers – T43
Picks for Dreamers: Wesley Bryan – MC , Kevin Tway – T50, Aaron Wise – MC
Picks for Noses: Bryson DeChambeau – WD
Six Beers In: Andrew Landry – T55, J.T. Poston – T65
#NappyFactor: Austin Cook, Wesley Bryan
Drop-Dead Pick: Zach Johnson – T16
After a wonderful swing-and-miss (minus Molinari and DeChambeau) last week, time to get right with the third major.
With a maximum haul of FedExCup Points (600 pts.) and $1.89 million to the winner, time dust off the big boys. Carnoustie is impossible by most accounts and that should help separate the men from the boys. At this point in the season, we can count the events on both hands so there’s no time for goofing around.
This week’s winner will not be higher than No. 350 in the world. Taking a look at the last decade of winners the only shock was Louis Oosthuizen in 2010 for my money. Darren Clarke was a Ryder Cup player so that’s not as surprising. Heck, nobody knew how to pronounce Oosty’s name until the trophy presentation on Sunday!
Anyhow, of the last eight winners half have resided in their 40’s. A couple of have been generationally great young players. Zach Johnson is the classic “prime” player while Kuchar and Mickelson have been runners up the last two years. While I’m not against running a guy out for his first major, I’m not going to give it a try this week. Sure, Fowler or Rahm or Noren could do the business but I’ll let someone else give that a go. I think Carnoustie takes a battle-hardened stud who is going to be able to hold it together the final four holes on Sunday.
My Choice:Rory McIlroy
Picks for Leaders: Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia, Tiger Woods
Picks for Chasers: Justin Thomas, Jon Rahm, Patrick Reed, Rickie Fowler
Picks for Dreamers: Tommy Fleetwood, , Ian Poulter, Paul Casey, Francesco Molinari, Alex Noren
Picks for Noses: Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson, Jason Day
Six Beers In: Branden Grace, Lee Westwood, Russell Knox, Danny Willett
Drop-Dead Pick: Dustin Johnson
Brand-new Keene Trace takes up the reigns outside Lexington, Kentucky, for the opposite-field event. As with all new courses not many will have an advantage so I’m looking for heat. Bentgrass on the greens and a wet start to the week should make for plenty of birdies again this week.
My Choice: Joel Dahmen
Picks for Leaders: Billy Horschel, Chris Kirk, Tyler Duncan
Picks for Chasers: Sebastian Munoz, John Peterson, Sam Ryder
Picks for Dreamers: Scott Brown, James Hahn, Andres Romero
Six Bourbons In: Parker McLachlin, Tom Lovelady, John Oda
I didn’t get the Masters correct (Spieth – 3rd) or the U.S. Open (Rose – T10) so I’m unleashing McIlroy. I’ll hope he follows his trend for the last three of these as he’s finished inside the top five in all of them. I can’t worry about the FedExCup Playoffs if I am millions behind. If this is a bigger deal in your game, I’ve listed plenty of “others” above for your perusal.
I go into plenty of detail in The Confidence Factor, so please read that!
Here’s my tentative plan:
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!