With that as the backdrop, here we go:
- Webb Simpson - Simply put, he's the chalk. After missing the cut here in 2010, he bounced back with a T9 in '11 and a T7 in '12. His form puts him coming off a T5 at the Travelers. If you're happy where you are in virtually any format, play him.
- Graham DeLaet - There's one of these every week, isn't there? A guy who's current form is trending beautifully into a week where he owns some past success. The stars line up perfectly until they actually have to tee it up and play. The Canadian's last two starts resulted in a third at the Travelers and a T8 at AT&T National. He's finished inside the top 25 in his last five starts and tied for 12th in his second trip to The Old White TPC last year. It all looks great on paper.
- Scott Stallings - One thing I'm catching on to as a trend in 2013 is players who did well in a 2012 event "skipping" a year. If that's the case, the 2011 winner of The Greenbrier Classic could be primed for a big week (consequently you won't see 2012 winner Ted Potter Jr. in this ranking). He's hit a rough patch since the U.S. Open, but finished inside the top four in his three starts prior to that. I will warn that he's streaky in both directions, so proceed with caution.
- Bubba Watson - His fourth at the Travelers was his best finish of the year, but this is his first trip to The Old White TPC. There are several reasons to be optimistic. He's fourth in par breakers and first in par 4 birdie or better on TOUR.
- Bill Haas - It's unreasonable to expect him to go back-to-back, but no reason to think he won't nab a top 20 given his form (last week's winner) and history (T2 '11, T33 LY). I don't know that I'd burn a one-and-done on him, but he's a solid Yahoo! play.
- Roberto Castro - Well this is interesting. He owns two career PGA TOUR top 10s. One was a runner-up last week and the other a T7 at Greenbrier last year. What was it my parents told me? If something feels too good to be true it probably is? In all seriousness, it's impressive that he hung around as well as he did last weekend given the pressure of the final threesome both days. He showed something.
- Billy Horschel - I'm beginning to pay more attention to how he's playing coming from off weeks. It feels like he plays better as he gets back into the swing of things, but the data needs to play out over a larger sampling. He had a poor week at Congressional last week, but improved from T66 to T33 in his two previous trips to The Old White TPC. Ranks third in par breakers and second in par 4 birdie or better.
- David Hearn - With plenty of attention focused on DeLaet, he could be the Canadian to steal the show this week. His last four starts on TOUR went T21, T18, T21, T44 and posted a T18 at The Greenbrier in '11 and a T12 in '12.
- Charlie Wi - He enters off his first top 10 of the season and tied for third here last year. He's 20th in par breakers, fifth in par 4 birdie or better and ninth in one-putt percentage. You could probably do a lot worse than to roll the dice on him in this wild ride.
- Phil Mickelson - Lefty pops up after his big week at the U.S. Open, but he's 0/2 at The Greenbrier and hasn't cracked par. My guess is that he doesn't put a lot of stock into this event, so if he wins it might be a bit of an "accident." Leads the PGA TOUR in par breakers, which could come in handy. I'll say this. If he could shoot a 66 or 67 in the opening round he may fully engross himself and go on a run.
- Jordan Spieth - He reminded me of Charl Schwartzel at the Byron Nelson. That is, if Spieth putted at all last week he would have probably won the tournament.
- Scott Piercy - He's under the radar after his missed cut in the U.S. Open, but his T5-T26-T16 run up until then was solid. He also owns a couple of top 20s in this event.
Next 5: Brian Davis, Ryan Palmer, Andres Romero, Jimmy Walker and Gary Woodland
- Martin Flores - Was sixth at The Greenbrier last year and enters off a T21 last week.
- Chez Reavie - He's made his last five cuts with three top 25s, and was T18 here last year.
- Richard H. Lee - Much like Reavie, he's made four in-a-row with a T16 last week and tied for 38th here in his rookie year of '12.
We'll check back on some of our games tomorrow. Until then, best of luck and happy research.