The Frys.com Open is set to introduce Jimmy Walker as the defending champion at a new venue. The tournament has moved to Silverado Resort and Spa (North Course). While the course is not a stranger to hosting PGA TOUR events, this will be the first time it’s back in any sort of rotation since 1980.
Silverado’s North Course will play to a par of 72, and stretches out to a relatively short 7,203 yards. It features the expected lineup of four par 5s, four par 3s and 10 par 4s. I would recommend going to http://www.silveradoresort.com/golf/course-fly-over.asp for a flyover to get a better feel for the layout.
My impression of the course is that it could turn into a putting contest. Many of the par 4s will likely only require a long iron or fairway metal off the tee, and the greens appear relatively large. At least two of the par 5s will be reachable by virtually everyone in the field. One of the other par 5s is short on the card, but is a double dog leg. I’m not certain if any of those doglegs can be flown.
This will be a tough tournament to handicap for a myriad of reasons. Perhaps the largest reason is that we don’t have any recent course history from which to pull information. Next in line would be the absence of current form. With few exceptions, players who competed in the Ryder Cup and those that made it all the way to East Lake for the TOUR Championship tend to keep things light in the Fall Series. The other contributing factor is the influx of Web.com Tour grads, and how to account for them in any sort of statistical analysis.
As I put together my spreadsheet for this week’s power ranking, expect things to be relatively chalky for the reasons mentioned above. The hope and expectation is that class will win out, but I have very little doubt that there will be a couple of surprise names atop the leaderboard well into the weekend.
Since there is no Yahoo! game this week, I will return on Tuesday with the power ranking and on Wednesday with the one-and-done selection. We will try and get back on a regular schedule of a Sunday preview and Monday power ranking next week.
Until then, happy research!