I can also be found at Rotoworld.com and on Twitter @RyanGolfBlogger.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

OHL Classic at Mayakoba - One-and-done

The voices in my head have calmed down, and I'm ready to plug in Tim Clark for my OHL Classic at Mayakoba One-and-done pick.

There were several factors that stood out in the latter stages of my debate that eventually came down to Clark, Kevin Stadler, Chris Stroud, Brian Gay and Daniel Summerhays.

  • I eliminated Stadler because he's longer than any of the past winners at El Camaleon. He's also the most volatile with the putter.
  • I like Brian Gay a lot, and his history here is sterling, but I don't know if I can completely trust his ball-striking seeing as how the field has strengthened this year.
  • Summerhays didn't feel right. I don't know if it's because this is one of the first times he's had to deal with tournament-specific high expectations, but that played into it. It's very rare that shorter players with accuracy as a strength get back-to-back looks at courses that play into their wheelhouse, but in a way that has to ramp up their expectations and thus internal pressure. 
  • That brought it down to Clark and Stroud. Stroud is knocking on the door, but as crazy as this sounds, this week might make too much sense for him to break through. He's going to win, and probably this season, but there's a reason a guy that's got 195 events on the PGA TOUR hasn't won yet. A portion of that reason is that he hasn't figured out how to deal with the pressure. His playoff loss at the Travelers last year was impressive, but he entered the week under the radar. His T3 at the CIMB was equally impressive, but again, he wasn't on anyone's short list. This week, there are a lot of eyes on him. I like him to win this year, but not in a tournament where everyone expects it. 
  • Clark, on the other hand, had it all working in his first trip to Sea Island last week, so there's no reason to figure his first trip to El Camaleon will turn out any different. He hit 60 (of 72) GIR last week and split 46 (of 56) fairways. If he keeps that going, he'll be hard to beat. He's also the "class" of the short list. He's a PLAYERS champion. The potential pressure should impact him less than others.
One final note, it felt like this week offered a lot of B-plus options, but no true "A" options. It was sort of like the old football adage. "If you have three quarterbacks, you don't have a quarterback." That's what this feels like. There are as many as eight or nine legitimate options with very little separation, which means there isn't a true "lead" option.

Best of luck this week. Come on, Timmy!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

OHL Classic at Mayakoba - Fantasy

With the OHL Classic at Mayakoba inching closer, let's take a look at the usual games and options.

For my Golf Channel picks, check out Glass' weekly article at Rotoworld http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/gol/45351/297/beach-boys?pg=3. You know it's early in the season because me and Glass are up on Rob and Ned, and that can't be right!

As much as I struggle to embrace the Yahoo! golf format, I do miss the debate that comes with selecting a team and plugging in starters for the early rounds. That leaves the remainder of our focus on the one-and-done.

Perhaps the fortunate thing about this week, is that there shouldn't be any consideration given to saving players. With a relatively weak field, grab hold of the best option and run with them.

I've narrowed my short list to six players, but will also hit on two notable absences. I'm holding off on Matt Every and Briny Baird. As I mentioned yesterday, Every has a poor track record of following up top 10s. As for Baird, I have a hard time believing that he can be in the thick of contention two weeks in-a-row despite a very nice course fit. If he does, then I'll tip my cap and take my medicine.

That leaves these guys:

  • Brian Gay - Great option. My fear is a bit illogical, and that rests on how often the "obvious" pick fails to come through. In part, that could be because they realize they are suppose to perform well and all eyes are on them. Regardless of whether I go with Gay or not, I'll never try and talk you out of him here.
  • Kevin Stadler - Of all the golfers on the short list, he's the one I plan to research the most over the next 24 hours. He tends to run hot, so I'll look more closely at his play coming off of top 10s. I'll also go back and give a close look at how he's putted at this event over the years. My gut is telling me to take him, but I can't count how many times I've switched from Tuesday to Wednesday.
  • Daniel Summerhays - Good young player pining for a breakthrough win on a course where his history is good and his form entering the week is solid. What else can you ask for?
  • Tim Clark - He's the only guy I'm considering that lacks any course history, but his week at The McGladrey Classic last week in a similar circumstance has me licking my chops. His driving accuracy and GIR splits were awesome at the Seaside Course, so form is excellent.
  • J.J. Henry - Part of me can't believe I'm even considering this, but his history in this event and his stat sheet demand a hard second look.
  • Chris Stroud - He was eighth on my power rankings and he's growing on me fast. Course history and recent form are good, especially when you consider his T3 a few weeks ago at the CIMB Classic occurred on paspalum grass which is the rare strand that is also in play this week. The other stops the utilize it are Puerto Rico and the PGA Championship at Kiawah in 2012. It's frequent in wet climates and somewhat tropical climates. 

We'll be back tomorrow with a final decision on the OAD, as well as to tie up any loose ends. Until then, best of luck!

Monday, November 11, 2013

OHL Classic at Mayakoba - Power Rankings

Players have made the trek from the coast of Georgia to the OHL Classic at Mayakoba, and it’s time to take a looks at those likely to hoist the hardware in this week’s power rankings.

One development, Sunday night the forecast for the event was calling for at least a 70% chance of rain in each of the four rounds, with 100% chances on Friday and Saturday. That has been scaled back significantly today. While I am not familiar with the weather patterns of Mexico, perhaps it’s like Scotland? If you don’t like the weather, wait 20 minutes? Either way, things are looking up in that regard.

For considerations that went into today’s power ranking, I’ll point you to yesterday’s preview. While last week Webb Simpson stood out as a clear number one for the ranking, that isn’t the case this week. Without further ado, here’s this week’s Dandy Dozen:
  1. Brian Gay – Coming off his first top 10 since his 2013 win at the Humana Challenge way back in January, Gay finds a landing spot on a course that has proven to be made for him. He won this event in ’08 and tied for fifth in 2011, never missing the cut in five tries. This is the classic case of form meets history, but stats also match up relatively well if he can manage to hit enough GIR.
  2. Kevin Stadler – Coming off a T10 at The McGladrey Classic and having played in the final threesome on Sunday, he also owns a solid record at El Camaleon. He’s a perfect 6/6 with four top 25s and a top 10. He’s a fairways and greens machine, with the big question mark resting on his anchored putter. If he can roll it to around or just above the field average, he can be in the thick on Sunday afternoon again this week.
  3. Daniel Summerhays – Like Stads, Summerhays has done his share of knocking on the door for a first win of late. While his comps on courses like Harbour Town and Waialae CC aren’t as good as I would prefer, he did tie for fifth at El Camaleon in his only start last year. He’s especially solid at finding GIR from shorter range, and the lack of length on this week’s track should allow for that to show up.
  4. Briny Baird – If I went just of my magic spreadsheet, he’s the guy. He’s 6/6 with five top 25s and three top-six finishes in this event, and has an immaculate record in other courses that tend to indicate success here. Form is obviously excellent, but it is reasonable to expect a hangover from his 72nd hole disappointment last weekend. A breakthrough win this week would be along the lines of what Kyle Stanley did at the WMPO in 2012 after his heartbreaking loss at Torrey Pines.
  5. Tim Clark – Clark had never played The McGladrey Classic until last week, and that didn’t stop him from nearly winning it. Things appear similar in almost every regard this week as well. His recent success at events like McGladrey and the Sony Open lead me to believe his game is a perfect fit this week. Straight driver and a good short iron player.
  6. J.J. Henry – I’ll admit that I didn't see this one coming when I started my research, but Henry was the other darling of the “spreadsheet.” He’s pretty accurate off the tee and is a very underrated iron player. He’s also 4/4 in this event, with a pair of top 10s including a solo second in 2009. Form isn't spectacular, but good enough to still endorse.
  7. Matt Every – On the surface, he should be higher. He tied for third here in 2012, so course history buffs will be all over him. His form is very good, coming off a T7 last week that should have been even better if not for a couple of late stumbles. In fact, I’ll venture a guess that he’ll top some power rankings this week. The reason he’s so far down is a trend I spotted last year. He almost never follows up top 10s well. If there’s ever a week where he does, this could be it, but he always seems to celebrate the big weeks a little longer than most players do. That, or he puts more pressure on himself the next week. Ironically, the same season he tied for third in this event, he also tied for sixth at the Sony Open and eighth at the RBC Heritage.
  8. Chris Stroud – I like him better as a gut play than I do on paper, but this event would be the perfect type of event for him to pick off his first win. He’s 5/6 here, with top-five finishes in his last two trips. Much like Every, expect course history buffs to be all over him, and with good reason. His T3 at the CIMB Classic isn’t all that far in the past, either.
  9. Charles Howell III – This sets up as another good week for CH3, the question is how good. He’s 4/4 with three top 25s in this event, so it’s plenty logical to plug him in for a guaranteed decent payday. I pause for two reasons. First, is how many times do we expect big things from him and he fails to deliver? Second, he struggles with driving accuracy and most of the guys with solid records here do not.
  10. Mark Wilson – A past winner here, Wilson can be counted on to be in play off the tee. Tied for 28th in his title defense, so it seems unlikely that he will fall on his face. Its easy to back away from him, given his form isn't anything stellar.
  11. Harris English – Somewhat quiet, but steady start to the season has English a little under the radar. He’s never played here before, but has shown some game on similar courses. Hits a lot of greens, a good putter and plays the par 4s well, so a legitimate threat.
  12. Heath Slocum – Odds are, this may be the only week we see Slocum in the top 12 in this feature. He’s 3/3 in this event with a T3 in ’09 highlighting nothing worse than a T37. He has laser precision off the tee, and has very little trouble finding GIR. His weakness is the putter, but El Camaleon has identified winners with very similar stat sheets in the past.

Next 5 (alphabetical): Jason Bohn, Greg Chalmers, William McGirt, Kevin Na and Brendon Todd

We will return tomorrow and begin to narrow our fantasy focus. Anybody else ready for the Yahoo! game to start to give us more to talk about?

Best of luck to all!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

OHL Classic at Mayakoba - Preview

John Huh returns to El Camaleon to defend his OHL Classic at Mayakoba title, and here's a preview to get your research off and running.

For starters, don't throw away your hard work from The McGladrey Classic, as you don't have to look any further down Briny Baird on that leaderboard to find a guy with plenty of success in Mexico. Same can be said for Brian Gay, Kevin Stadler, Daniel Summerhays, and the list goes on.

There is also a very strong correlation between success at the Sony Open and the RBC Heritage when it comes to Mayakoba mainstays.

El Camaleon is a 6,987 par 71 layout, meaning it is extremely short. To see a course play under 7,000 yards to a par of anything other than 70 is a dying breed to say the least. There are three par 5s, and the full bevy of par 3s. The longest par 3 is only 200 yards, and 554 yards is the longest of the three par 5s.

The relative "Par" has moved from 70 to 71 on this course since the first edition in 2007, but the type of winner and runner-up has not. Here's how they break down:

  • 2007 - Winner: Fred Funk; Runner-up: Jose Coceres
  • 2008 - Winner: Brian Gay; Runner-up: Steve Marino
  • 2009 - Winner: Mark Wilson; Runner-up: J.J. Henry
  • 2010 - Winner: Cameron Beckman; Runner-up: Joe Durant and Brian Stuard
  • 2011 - Winner: Johnson Wagner; Runner-up: Spencer Levin
  • 2012 - Winner: John Huh; Runner-up: Robert Allenby
If you follow golf in any depth, the above list SCREAMS short and straight. Some of the guys on the list above are excellent putters, but some are far from it. Driving accuracy and GIR are key.

Just for fun, I looked at the best finishes for the six winners at both Harbour Town (RBC Heritage) and Waialae CC (Sony Open). Here's what I found.
  • Fred Funk - T5 at 2001 Sony Open; 6th at 2004 RBC Heritage
  • Brian Gay - T5 at 2009 Sony Open; Winner of 2009 RBC Heritage
  • Mark Wilson - Winner of 2011 Sony Open; T9 in 2013 RBC Heritage
  • Cameron Beckman - T15 at 2003 Sony Open; T19 at 2002 RBC Heritage
  • Johnson Wagner - Winner of 2012 Sony Open; T18 at 2013 RBC Heritage
  • John Huh - T31 at 2013 Sony Open; MC in '12 RBC Heritage (only start)
Due to the fact the John Huh has only played the Sony Open twice, the RBC Heritage once and Mayakoba once, I'm OK tossing him out of the equation in terms of finishes in the Sony Open and RBC Heritage. What we do know to be true about Huh, is that he is an exceptionally accurate player, so that still fits.

Cameron Beckman is the other borderline outlier, but he also isn't in the same class as Funk, Gay, Wilson and Wagner. 

If you are looking at a guy without any history at Mayakoba, but solid history at the other two tracks, consider that almost equal to solid history at Mayakoba. Same goes for a PGA TOUR sophomore. Take a look at Sony and RBC if they played them for a hint on form.

One other thing...the weather. I saw a tweet from a PGA TOUR meteorologist today mentioning that there has been a bunch of rain last week and more is expected this coming week. When I looked at the 10-day forecast, there is an 80% chance of rain on Thursday, 100% on Friday and Saturday and 70% on Sunday.

That is to say, all of the past research may not be worth a ton if the weather completely washes out or changes the landscape of the tournament.

Also worth mentioning, this is the first time this tournament hasn't been played in February. 

We will return tomorrow with a power ranking. In the mean time, go ahead and start doing a rain dance so we can try and get at least 54 holes in!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The McGladrey Classic - One-and-done

Sometimes stepping back, walking away, and returning to the drawing board offers clarity, and in terms of a one-and-done selection for The McGladrey Classic that has proven to be the case.

Probably my biggest fear about plugging in Webb Simpson was how he would respond in his first start following a win. So, I dug into his trends coming out of his three previous wins.

His first win was the 2011 Wyndham Championship, and he tied for 10th at The Barclays the very next week. The week after that, he won his second title at the Deutsche Bank Championship.

He followed his aforementioned second win at TPC Boston with a fifth at the BMW Championship.
Three starts after his win at the Deutsche Bank, and after taking two weeks off following the TOUR Championship, he lost in a playoff to Ben Crane at The McGladrey Classic.

Following his 2012 U.S. Open win, he tied for 27th at the Travelers Championship, and then took a week off before sharing seventh at The Greenbrier Classic.

So we know several things for sure:
  • He has posted a top-seven finish in one of his first two starts immediately following a win.
  • His win at the Deutsche Bank Championship came on a quicker turnaround after a win (Wyndham) than what a win this week would be in relation to his win at TPC Summerlin.
  • He is coming off a two-week layoff, which is exactly what he came off when he finished P2 in the 2011 McGladrey.
  • The 2011 McGladrey was the windiest of the previous three editions, so if wind does come into play it shouldn't be a huge deal.
  • He, Matt Kuchar and Zach Johnson are the indisputable class of the field.

Nothing suggests anything worse than a top 10 for Simpson this week, and you don’t have to dig very hard to find reason to believe he could contend for a win again this week.

I’m rolling with it.

Best of luck!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The McGladrey Classic - Fantasy

It's shaping up to be a wild week in fantasy land at The McGladrey Classic, with the debate of chalk versus risk a healthy one.

As is always the case, you can find my Golf Channel picks in Glass' weekly Rotoworld article http://www.rotoworld.com/articles/gol/45040/297/simon-says-make-birdies?pg=3.

One factor that always turns into a tough one to put a value on is weather. With the Seaside Course at Sea Island located just off the pond, wind can be a true factor.

If you follow me on Twitter (@RyanGolfBlogger), you probably saw a stream of Tweets from Johnny Mac regarding the weather and the potential impact that I retweeted. For those that follow me closely, you know that I hold JMac in the highest regard.

His source tells him that the current wind would tend to favor longer players, thus likely taking a premium away from scrambling at towards ball striking. Do with that information what you will. I'm not yet convinced that the winds will be high enough throughout the week to make a real difference, but I've also learned that JMac is one of the best and this should, at the very least, be considered.

As for the one-and-done, we are left with two schools of thought.

The first, and a really tempting one, is to take Webb Simpson as the class of a weak field in an event that has a better purse than in years past and trust that the cream rises.

While there are a number of risks associated with this, perhaps the biggest is that the cream never really rises on Sea Island. Heath Slocum, Ben Crane and Tommy Gainey are hardly the class of any field. Crane is at least in the upper echelon in some circumstances, but Slocum and Gainey have each struggled with keeping their cards in the not too distant past.

It's also not ideal that Simpson won in his last start, and it's rare for anyone not named Tiger or Phil to win in back-to-back starts. But, at least he's safe. It's hard to see him finishing outside the top 20 and a top 10 seems entirely likely.

The other school of thought is to play a risk/reward option and see if you hit the jackpot. Jeff Overton? Charles Howell III? Chris Kirk? David Toms? Harris English? and the list goes on.

I keep wanting to hold onto CH3 for the Sony Open. If I become convinced that JMac's theory of ball-striking and length being a premium is the way to go, I may lean towards CH3 or English. If they're playing in a bubble, then I might take my chances with Toms, Overton or Kirk.

All of this to say, I'm not sure which way I'm leaning at this point. I will have it figured out by this time tomorrow, one way or another.

Monday, November 4, 2013

The McGladrey Classic - Power Rankings

While The McGladrey Classic will not boast the strongest field to date of the 2013-14 PGA TOUR season, there are some solid options and interesting choices in this week’s power ranking. If you are looking at players often considered elite, the list stops at Webb Simpson and Matt Kuchar. Given a WGC just wrapped up on the other side of the globe, that is to be expected.

Building off yesterday’s preview, there is certainly a correlation between players with a solid course history and their penchant for scoring well on par 4s and/or excelling in Proximity in general.

I try to keep myself fairly isolated from the media while preparing for a tournament, but Twitter makes that nearly impossible. Something that came up more than once on Twitter today was the SEC Championship using the Seaside Course as the host venue of late. Among those that experienced successes are John Peterson, Russell Henley and Bud Cauley to go with Kyle Stanley winning the Jones Cup at Sea Island.

With the familiar mix of player form, course history and a deep look at the relevant stats, here is this week’s power ranking.
  1. Webb Simpson – Simpson is first and it really isn’t even close. He won the Shriners Hospitals for Children Classic in his only start of the year three weeks ago, and then skipped the Asian swing. He’s played the Seaside Course twice, finishing T12 in 2010 and 2nd in 2011, losing in a playoff to Ben Crane. When perusing Simpson’s stats, it becomes abundantly clear that he doesn't have any real weakness when considering the layout. While it’s hard to back a guy in his first start after a win, he is a viable one-and-done candidate this week given the time off and the course history.
  2. Charles Howell III – Nudging out Zach Johnson and Matt Kuchar, Three Sticks is off to a strong start in 2013-14. He’s made each of his three cuts including a T5 at the Shriners and a T7 at the CIMB Classic in his last action. Similarly, he’s 3/3 with a pair of top 10s in this event. Add solid splits in GIR, Par 4 Scoring and SGP over the last 10 months and he’s a solid play in most formats.
  3. Zach Johnson – The only knock on ZJ is his lack of a sterling course history in tournament play, despite being a Sea Island guy. In three starts, he has a T12 and a missed cut dotting both ends of the spectrum, with a T49 last year serving as the tie breaker. This could be a case of being overly distracted due to a home game.
  4. Matt Kuchar – Kooch has a pair of top 25s in his two starts at the Seaside Course, but hasn't done any better than a T20. In a field that lacks true depth, his pedigree won’t allow for him to fall any further. This will be his first action since the Presidents Cup, but 2013 stats showed him to be strong in putting, Proximity and Par 4 scoring. If he isn't too rusty, he could be a solid candidate for a nice week.
  5. David Toms – The veteran has been a bit feast-or-famine, with a pair of top-three finishes sandwiching a missed cut in 2011. He’s a statistical machine in three areas that tend to play well on Sea Island. He’s a fairway splitter, a Par 4 scorer and offers laser accuracy in terms of Proximity. A T36 to start the year at TPC Summerlin is his only action offers some solace that his game is in decent shape.
  6. Harris English – Another member of the Sea Island Mafia, English enters off a T7 at the CIMB Classic two weeks ago. He did not play the WGC-HSBC, and should be well rested for the home game. He tied for 15th here in his only attempt (2012), and offers a solid all-around game with a tilt towards putting and Par 4 success.
  7. Jeff Overton – See, I told you it wasn't that deep of a field! Overton offers moderate success here, with a T6 and a T51 to show for his eight rounds, and seven of those rounds were under par. He also flashed some form in each of his first three starts, with T16s at the Frys.com and the CIMB surrounding a T9 at the Shriners. His form and course history overshadow his stats, but the splits still don’t look bad.
  8. Chris Kirk – This Sea Island guy could be the sneakiest play of all this week, because he’s likely under many people’s radar. He posted a T36 to start the year at TPC Summerlin, and then followed with a T25 at the CIMB Classic the next week in Malaysia. He’s 2/3 in this event, with a T15 in 2010 serving as the best, but it’s a statistical find that has me drooling over the UGA product this week. In 2013, he ranked third in Par 4 Birdie or Better Percentage and second in Par 4 Performance. He was also 12th and fifth respectively in the Par 3 numbers, meaning his struggles came on the par 5s. Given this course only has two par 5s, I’m watching for something special. He also leans on a very solid putter.
  9. Boo Weekley – Apparently Boo likes Asia, as he made noise early in the CIMB Classic and then hung around for most of the week at the WGC-HSBC. He’s improved gradually in each of his three trips to Sea Island. After missing the cut in 2010, he posted a T44 in ’11 and a T27 in ’12. There are a number of converging trends that point to a top 20, and a little bit of wind thrown into the mix could make for a better return. He’s done incredibly well right up the road at Hilton Head.
  10. Charley Hoffman – Has no course history here, but is among the better players in the field and offers the known commodity of steady form, with a fourth at TPC Summerlin. A valid concern is that his game is more of a power game, but his par 4 numbers are still encouraging.
  11. Chesson Hadley – He gets the rookie nod coming off an impressive T5 at the Shriners. While the main stats to evaluate remain his 2013 Web.com Tour splits, he performed well on Par 4s and his early data in regards to Proximity in 2013-14 are steady.
  12. Brendon de Jonge – This isn't exactly a ringing endorsement, but his T4 last year and T15 in 2010 prove he’s comfortable here. What needs to be pointed out is that he’s failed to break 70 in six rounds this year. It’s entirely possible that the heightened expectations coming out of a nice Presidents Cup performance have added to his pressure to produce a breakthrough win. The stats point to the ball-striking falling off, despite a boost in putting prowess.

Here are eight other players that caught my eye and why (alphabetical):
  • Kevin Chappell – Good Proximity, good form, average (limited) course history.
  • Brian Davis – Terrible course history, but the stats suggest he should be a great fit.
  • Davis Love III – Given his Par 4 numbers, Proximity magic and course history, the Don of the Sea Island Mafia deserves plenty of attention.
  • Kevin Na – Has no history, but a smooth flat stick and nice Par 4 numbers including some recent form make him an interesting watch.
  • Rory Sabbatini – If he had done anything at all to start the new season, he would have been in the power ranking. His 2013 splits line up beautifully for Sea Island and he recorded a T27 in his only start here in 2012.
  • Heath Slocum – He won the first playing in 2010, but has regressed with a T15 and a T61 since. If the formula comes down to hitting fairways, then firing at flags, he’s in good shape. If putting becomes relevant, he might be screwed.
  • Chris Stroud – Similar to Brian Davis, he has a terrible history here but looks excellent on paper. A T3 at the CIMB Classic two weeks ago adds to the temptation.
  • Brendon Todd – Though he missed the cut here in 2012, he was desperately fighting to keep his card and had a ton of pressure on his shoulders. His calendar year 2013 has been impressive given his limited starts, and his splits look steady for this layout.  Oh, and he was the 2004 SEC Champion.

We will return tomorrow to focus on the games, with an obvious magnifying glass on the one-and-done.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

The McGladrey Classic - Preview

The PGA TOUR moves from China to the Georgia coast for The McGladrey Classic. For the fourth time, the Seaside Course at Sea Island Golf Club will serve as the host. So, in the early stages of our research, what do we know?

  • The Seaside Course is a par 70, 7,005 yard layout with a pair of medium-length par 5s and four par 3s. 
  • As the yardage may suggest, length does not appear to play out as a statistical factor.
  • If you're looking for a stat to hang your hat on, perhaps check out some stats a little outside of the norm like Proximity and Par 4 Scoring. There are examples of guys like D.J. Trahan ranking very high in driving accuracy and GIR, yet struggling in SGP on the way to a high finish, and just as many other cases of guys who putted their way to the top.
  • This course is situated on the coast, so wind can be a factor. The forecast for this week looks a little cooler and a little windier than last year. That is due in part to a move from mid-October to November.
  • That guys like Charlie Beljan, Brendon de Jonge and last year's winner, Tommy Gainey, have fared very well here suggests that guys with a streaky tendency can figure out a way to get hot. 
  • Give a hard look to the Sea Island mafia. Because of the later date on the schedule, they may have an advantage with understanding the weather a little better than others.
  • Consider how you intend to handle players coming from the WGC-HSBC Champions. That's a 12-hour difference, but they are picking up the hours. Actually, with the time change it may be a 13 hour difference. 
  • There's a big jump in purse this year to $5.5 million, with the winner capturing $990,000. It was $4 million and $720,000 last year. Why does that matter? Could have one-and-done implications. While you wouldn't have considered a guy like Webb Simpson last year, he is worth a hard look this season.

We'll put our nose to the grindstone and come up with a list of worthy competitors for tomorrow night's Power Rankings. Until then, happy research!