Here is a breakdown of the dozen players that would seem to have the skills and current from to compete at TPC Harding Park.
- Jordan Spieth - He's got a game that is traveling to any course, so why not? Due to format, a OAD play here makes no sense.
- Rory McIlroy - See Spieth on the one-and-done, but clearly he's playing his way into form and should certainly be a factor this week.
- Ian Poulter - Ranked 6th in Par 4 Scoring Average coming out of Hilton Head and has been playing very good golf of late. Probably the chalk in the OAD format, and with good reason. He will be a popular play in many formats this week, which should make his draw worth watching.
- Jason Day - Disappointed at the Masters, but is on point in New Orleans at the time I'm writing this. He's the defending champ, so we know the format fits his game even if the venue has changes.
- Patrick Reed - He lives for this format. Another guy who could be in play for a OAD this week depending on his draw.
- Henrik Stenson - Tied for third at Harding Park back in 2005 (stroke play) and was on a serious roll before the flu stalled his momentum at the Masters.
- Sergio Garcia - We know what he can do in the Ryder Cup and we also know he tied for third at the 2005 WGC-American Express Championship at Harding Park, just like Stenson.
- Matt Kuchar - We know he can excel in this format, due in large part to his ability not to beat himself. Played well at Hilton Head after a rough stretch.
- Jimmy Walker - Legit contender, especially after a really steady Ryder Cup debut last year. His record didn't indicate how well he played.
- Dustin Johnson - Wish he had a better Par 4 Scoring Average, but his talent and performance this year have been elite.
- Paul Casey - A little further down the Official World Golf Ranking compared to his peers on this list, but he's hot and offers plenty of Ryder Cup experience. He's also a past runner-up in this event. Again, watch his draw closely.
- Hunter Mahan - Past winner and runner-up at this event coming off a top 10 at the Masters. Easy inclusion.
I will return later in the week to nail down my OAD pick. My final advice until then is to watch the draw closely to determine where there could be some week brackets. This event is all about identifying the guys who have the easiest path to victory in pool play for a spot in the final 16.
Best of luck to all!