The top three on the power ranking came together rather easily. They each have a strong history at Quail Hollow and are all in good form entering the week. The next three after that also fell in line rather nicely, but had a key question mark. Then there were about 20 guys that battled it out for the final six spots, and additional five after that. Without further ado, here's the Dandy Dozen.
- Phil Mickelson leads off the rankings. In his last six trips around Quail Hollow, he's finished (starting in 2011) T9, 2, T5, T12, T3, T35. He's also in excellent form coming off the Masters (T3) and Shell Houston Open (T4).
- Jim Furyk - His last four starts on TOUR are P2, T11, 11, T8. Starting in 2011 and working back, his last few starts at Quail Hollow are T24, T7, T11, 7, MC, P1 and P2.
- Hunter Mahan - He's the only guy with 2 wins in 2012, and he's a great driver of the ball. He's been consistent at Quail Hollow with a T16 in 2011, T17 in 2010, preceded by T22, T12 and MC.
- Lee Westwood - He's made for a course like this and he's had a great year already. The only reason he wasn't a little higher is his only real record here is a T38 in 2010. He's 2nd in GIR, 2nd in all-around ranking, and second in total driving. If he has a decent week with the putter, watch out.
- Rory McIlroy - He's a bit of a wild card even though he won in 2010. I don't like that he took another long layoff much like the one before the Masters. Even so, he's arguably the best golfer in the world.
- Tiger Woods - He won in 2007 and finished fourth in 2009. I don't have him higher because there are plenty of questions about his swing and his putter. He'll likely have a really good round, two decent rounds and a bad round this week.
- Rickie Fowler - He's coming off a T10 in New Orleans and his two previous starts here are T16 and sixth.
- Bill Haas - I don't like that he doesn't have a top 10 since his win at Riviera, but he's consistent here. His last three starts are fourth, T29 and T22. His game also sets up well for this course.
- Zach Johnson - Zack Attack hasn't missed a cut this year and is coming off a second at the Heritage, so check mark on form. He's got a little bit of a checkered past here, but at this point in the rankings everyone does. Finished T6 last year.
- Webb Simpson - He's made every cut this year and finished T21 last year. Before that, it was two MC at Quail Hollow.
- Bo Van Pelt - I really wanted to put him higher here. Last three starts at Quail Hollow resulted in a T33, fifth and T29. He's also got four top 10s in 2012.
- Jonathan Byrd - Boy he's hard to peg. He finished P2 last year to college teammate Lucas Glover and T5 in 2009. Other than that, he's missed a ton of cuts. Point being, if he makes the cut he could really contend. Picking when he contends isn't easy, though.
You may notice I don't have defending-champ Glover on the list. I'm not thrilled about his distance control on his irons and his putting isn't clicking on all cylinders either. Other than that, his history here is great. It wouldn't shock me if he finished with a top 20, but his form doesn't lead me to expect much.
On to the games......
- A-List - Mickelson and Furyk are 1/2 in the Power Rankings, so Mickelson's starting and Furyk is ready if needed.
- B-List - Mahan and Westy starting, McIlroy and Woods on the bench. I hated leaving Fowler off, and almost saved Mahan for another week, but he's too good a fit.
- C-List - Curtis starting and Tringale on the bench.
- Group 1 - You guessed it.....Mickelson over most of our power ranking.
- Group 2 - Tough group. I'm taking Byrd over Na, Glover, Tringale and Stanley. This will be the make or break category.
- Group 3 - Pat Perez feels like the right play here. T6 last year after swallowing a bad weekend and 8/10 in cuts made this year.
- Group 4 - Talk about lacking options.....I'll take William McGirt over Mark Anderson.
Best of Luck!