Hopefully that changes here.
Here we go:
- Jason Day - Elite player + excellent course history + solid form = yes please. In addition to a T8 and a T21 in the last two years in this event, he also placed second at the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional.
- Brandt Snedeker - The history of Brandt Snedeker over the last few years has been to strike while the iron is hot. With a T9 at the U.S. Open and a T11 at the Travelers last week, it's time to start moving some chips his way. His history here further suggests that, with a T5 and two T8s highlight his four trips to Congressional in this event. Also tied for 11th in the U.S. Open in 2011.
- Jordan Spieth - Finished sixth here a year ago and has been loudly racking up top-20 finishes in his last three starts. No reason to think that a week off would have done anything other than recharge his batteries for a run at his first win of 2013-14.
- Justin Rose - Though he is a past winner of this event, it didn't come at Congressional. A T12 at the U.S. Open two weeks ago has him primed for a run on a course that has hosted a U.S. Open in '11, but it should be noted that he missed the cut in the '11 edition. He tied for 30th and shared 16th here in his only other two trips.
- Bill Haas - While it's never wise to invest too much in a defending champion, it should be noted that he backed up his win at Riviera in 2012 with a T3 in 2013. His stats line up beautifully for Congressional as his history would verify. His T35 at the U.S. Open was preceded by a T21 at Colonial and a T8 at Memorial. Everything checks out.
- Brendon Todd - Were it not for him buckling under the pressure of playing in the final twosome in the third round of the U.S. Open, he may very well have left Pinehurst with a top-five finish. As it stands, he's hot as fire and tied for 13th at Congressional last year. Has all the makings of another top-10 performance.
- Billy Horschel - Like Snedeker, seems to have awaken to find his form of late. Top 30s in his last four finishes including a T6 at St. Jude. Two reasons for concern are course history (MC '09, T61 in '13) and his struggles with scrambling. Must hit GIR (6th on TOUR) this week or he'll be in trouble.
- K.J. Choi - Surging of late, highlighted by a T2 last week at TPC River Highlands. He's a past winner here, and his key stats are eerily similar to that of 2007 when he picked up the win. While he isn't the favorite to win, another top 10 is certainly in the cross hairs.
- Keegan Bradley - This will be his first look at Congressional Country Club in a PGA TOUR event, but a combination of decent form an a nice statistical breakdown would seem to suggest it would suit his eye. Hard to elevate him above any of the first eight due to inexperience and his form not being elite.
- Charley Hoffman - A decent T26 last week when more was expected temper the expectations of his gaudy stats. He is 5/5 at this venue in this tournament with a pair of top 25s. He'll make the cut, but how high he ends up his a mystery.
- Tiger Woods - Here's the elephant in the room. He says he's rusty and it seems his expectations are very low. That could be a good thing, in that it takes away all of the external expectations and allows him to just play. His course history is excellent, with wins here in 2009 and 2012. While a win is probably out of the question, he could surprise by making the cut and finding a hot round on the weekend.
- Brendan Steele - Ditched the long wand for a regular putter and walked away with a T5 last week. Tied for 16th at Congressional last year, so form meets history.
Next 5 (Alphabetical):
- Robert Garrigus - His length plays well on this beast of a course and he tied for fourth here in 2012.
- Marc Leishman - Playing well where his history is strong, including a T11 last week. While he isn't spectacular at Congressional, he's good enough to walk away with a high finish.
- Ben Martin - He's taken two weeks off following a T13 in Memphis and hasn't missed a cut since his T3 at the Heritage. His stats are bear a remarkable resemblance to that of Bill Haas in categories that seem to predict success at Congressional.
- Ryan Palmer - While his form his headed in the wrong direction, his stats line up well and he tied for 15th here in 2012.
- Webb Simpson - Tied for third at St. Jude before a T45 at the U.S Open. While Congressional may not seem like an ideal fit, he did manage a T14 at the 2011 U.S. Open.
We will return tomorrow with a look at the one-and-done. Until then, best of luck to all!