Here we go:
- Webb Simpson - The theory that he's a horse-for-course player gained additional traction with a T4 at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open last week, which bodes well for his trip to Sea Island this week. Simpson has gone T12-2-T7 in his first three trips to the Seaside Course, with 11 of his 12 rounds under par.
- Matt Kuchar - Improved steadily in this event, going T25-T20-T7 in his three ventures to Sea Island. Started the new season with a respectable T21 at the Frys.com Open. Essentially, he's about as close to a lock as their is to a top-25 finish with plenty of upside.
- Bill Haas - Only played once here, but it went for a solo second in 2010. The Greenville, SC native may be a week too late, as his father, Jay, and neighbor, Ben Martin, both won last week. Considering that Bill didn't have a win in 2013-14, the addition to this event back in schedule could signify that he's determined to rectify that as quickly as possible this season.
- Scott Brown - I mentioned in yesterday's preview that players from the Southeast have a great record in this event, and the South Carolinian fits that bill. His two starts on Sea Island have gone T20/T4 and he's hot right now after a T12 in the Frys.com Open and a T10 at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. Tends to do his best work against weaker fields, and this week would probably qualify.
- Chris Kirk - The defending champ kicks off his 2014-15 season at a course where he also tied for 15th in 2010. Ranked well in most of the significant statistical categories last season.
- Harris English - The top five seemed obvious, and I'm letting English carry the banner of the next wave. While he has been very quiet the last few months, he tied for 16th last week in Vegas and has a T15 at the Seaside Course. Oh, and I could totally see a UGA grad winning this week.
- David Toms - A bit of a course history pick here, with Toms owning a pair of top-three finishes in four editions. He's very accurate and measures well in Par-4 metrics. It's hard to see him winning, but he's a great investment if a top 10 or 15 carries value in your format.
- Zach Johnson - He's 3/4 with two top 20s, but this pick is more about class in an otherwise weak field. Simply put, there is just no wisdom in dropping him any lower than this.
- Russell Knox - Knocked hard on the door last week and eventually settled for a third-place finish. Has a couple of middle-of-the-pack finishes at the Seaside Course, but his form and elevating class make him a much more intriguing option than his course history would suggest.
- Robert Streb - If the David Toms formula of past success is any indicator, Streb's first trip could be quite profitable. He's one of the best par 4 players on the PGA TOUR (6th in 2014 in par-4 scoring average and 3rd through two events this season) and enters off a T10 at TPC Summerlin.
- Ben Martin - Well, he's finished almost DFL and winner in his first two starts of the year, so chances are he'll be somewhere in between. Course history is poor, but he'll have a load of confidence.
- Hudson Swafford - Florida born and UGA trained, Swafford is hot (T8 and T18 this season) and playing in a very comfortable part of the country. Was 139th in SGP last season but has already improved to 33rd this season. If he keeps that going, he will win in 2014-15 and this wouldn't be an unlikely spot for him to breakthrough.
Instead of just a "next 5" in no particular order, I've continued the rankings through 20.
- 13 - Nick Watney
- 14 - Charles Howell III
- 15 - Scott Langley
- 16 - Brian Harman
- 17 - Michael Thompson
- 18 - Martin Laird
- 19 - Adam Hadwin
- 20 - Tony Finau
We will return tomorrow with our one-and-done pick. Until then, best of luck to all!