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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

WGC-Bridgestone and Barracuda - One-and-done

We got ourselves a double dip this week! The one-and-done consists of the WGC-Bridgestone and the Barracuda Championship, and we'll take our best shot at both.

A couple of Internationals were bouncing around in my head for Firestone CC this week, with defending champion, Shane Lowry, and Branden Grace catching my eye from the available pool of talent. For leagues that don't allow defending champs, Grace it is. As for me, I'm going with the course history / current form combo of Lowry.

At the Barracuda, I really wanted to pull the lever on John Rahm. Almost did, and will regret it mightily if he wins. Instead, I'm taking Gary Woodland.

Best of luck to all!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Quicken Loans National - One-and-Done

If you caught my preview for the Quicken Loans National on Rotoworld, you'll know that I believe this week fails to present us with an obvious choice for a one-and-done. Being as such, I suspect there will be a wide variety of players burned at Congressional.

I'm riding the hot hand of Marc Leishman, with his three consecutive top 20s. Coupled with a top 10 at Congressional in 2014, he's as good of an option as any.

There are lots of interesting choices this week, and I could endorse any number of players. The Aussie feels like just the right blend of good form, good enough history, and I probably won't miss him later.

Best of luck to all!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Breaking Down Andrew Landry - U.S. Open

While there are many plots surrounding the final round of the U.S. Open, perhaps none are bigger than Andrew Landry. The obvious question is, how did he end up in the final pairing of the 2016 U.S. Open at Oakmont? Further down the list of questions are, what is a solid comparison in regards to what he's done / doing?

Who is Andrew Landry?

  • PGA TOUR rookie in 2015-16. 
  • Ranks 624th in the OWGR, which is down from 502nd at the end of the 2015 Web.com Tour Championship. 
  • Ironically, his 624th ranking is his lowest of 2016, even on the heels of his best PGA TOUR finish (T41 in the FedEx St. Jude Open). 
  • Ranks 203rd in the FEC Standings. (Sitting outside the top 200, he would not currently qualify for the Web.com Tour finals.)
  • 2009 University of Arkansas product, where he had a strong amateur career.
Why this week?
  • While he's only made 5 of 11 cuts in 2015-16 on the PGA TOUR, all five have come in his last six starts. 
  • He ranks 11th in SG: Off-the-tee and 12th in SG: Putting. If you can hit it well off the tee and putt, Oakmont could work. 
  • In contrast to ranking 183rd in SG: around-the-green, he ranks a strong 27th in Scrambling.
  • He ranks 1st in Total Putting.
  • At 193rd in par 5 scoring average, he catches a break with Oakmont having just two par 5s. 
  • He ranks 51st in par 3 scoring average.

Why this is completely out of the blue.
  • He managed to finish 72 holes under par on the PGA TOUR just one time all season. That was a 1-under tally at the Valero Texas Open, where he tied for 51st. 
  • Even though he posted a season-best T41 last week in Memphis, he did not break par in any round. Why the heck is he under par at Oakmont, again?
  • He ranks outside of the top 180 in SG: tee-to-green (187), SG: around-the-green (183) and SG: approach-the-green (199).
  • Important to know for Sunday, he ranked 136th in final round scoring average. 
  • While there are some important strengths to his game, he has some very obvious holes (statistically).
Perhaps the biggest question is, why hasn't he come close to putting anything like this together any other time this season?

Should he win, I'm struggling to find a comparison.
  • Probably the closest thing that comes to mind, at least in the 20 years I've been following golf, is the Ben Curtis Open Championship win in 2003. Still, Curtis was 396th in the world at the time, which is almost twice as high as Landry sits today.
  • In terms of the U.S.Open, Michael Campbell in 2005 at Pinehurst was an upset of sorts, especially given what's happened to his game since, but he was much more established than Landry. Had Jason Gore scored the win, that would have been much more comparable. 
  • Lucas Glover won at Bethpage in 2009 as an open qualifier, but Glover played in the 2007 Presidents Cup and had already won a PGA TOUR title, so that's not even close. 
  • Rich Beem in the PGA? Shaun Micheel? Still not the same. John Daly in his PGA win as an alternate? 
History says Landry should shoot a 78 in the final round, just miss breaking the top 10, and be a footnote that nobody remembers in three years. Who knows if he'll follow the script, or rewrite recent history. Either way, there's a pretty good chance he'll at least move inside the top 200 on the FEC standings and earn a tee time in the Web.com Tour Finals later this summer!

And if he wins? At Oakmont? I submit that it will be one of the biggest stories in the history of golf.

It should be fun to watch!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

U.S. Open - One-and-Done

Hold on tight, as it's time for the U.S. Open at Oakmont Country Club. In terms of the one-and-done, this is one of those weeks to take a hard look at the top. Oakmont has historically delivered well-pedigreed champions who have won, or go on to win, multiple majors.

I zeroed in on two thoroughbreds. Jason Day and Rory McIlroy. Full disclosure, I don't have Jordan Spieth available, but I wouldn't have played him anyway.

Picking between Day and McIlroy is a virtual coin flip, but there are a few key differences as it relates to a OAD.

I'm picking McIlroy, and here's why.

  • If his driver is on, and I get that's an "if", he can eliminate 95% of the field off the tee. It's how he won the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional and how he won the PGA Championship at Kiawah. 
  • Oakmont is not all that different, in some respects, to both of those venues. 
  • His high ball-flight should play well.
  • With a chance of thunderstorms Thursday afternoon, I like Rory's AM/PM draw better than Day's PM/AM. It's a small thing, but it could protect Rory from a starting/stopping routine on Thursday that Day could face. 
Typically, I would rather play McIlroy in a scenario where he was coming off a win and playing the next week. I still feel his form is good enough, so I'm not going to sweat it.

Let's go, Rory!

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

FedEx St. Jude - One-and-Done

The FedEx St. Jude Classic awaits, and it's time to name this week's one-and-done selection.

This week's choice brings with it a pretty clear decision. Do I play the obvious favorite, in Dustin Johnson, or do I go against him? I've been burned, as all of you have, by taking the obvious favorite in a can't-miss scenario only to see him miss the cut. That is my fear with DJ.

While mired in a bit of a slump in the OAD, I'm still safely inside the money of my own game. That dictates my strategy this week. I would regret not taking DJ if he turned in a top-five performance more than I would be frustrated with a missed cut. Either could happen, but the stats, current form and course history all point towards DJ.

I'm sticking to the process and attaching my hopes to DJ!

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Memorial Tournament - One-and-Done

The Memorial Tournament is next up on the PGA TOUR rota, and it's time to knock out the one-and-done selection.

I'll start by saying that I don't have Hideki Matsuyama available. I'm not exactly sorry, as I burned him for his win in the Waste Management Phoenix Open. If you do have him, it's time to play him.

While Rory McIlroy led off my power rankings over on Rotoworld, I'm holding off on him. I love that he's starting to heat up, and he tends to run hot for long periods of time. If that plays out, there will be plenty of chances to burn him the next few weeks or months. 

I went a little further down my list than normal, and took a guy felt good in my gut (dangerous) to go with having really solid stats, current form and course history. 

That is Russell Knox. He tied for 18th here last year after missing the cut in his first venture. That trend could easily continue to improve. He's also pretty hot of late, minus the missed cut in the BMW PGA over in England last week.

The other idea I batted around was Chris Kirk. They were neck-and-neck, and my gut said Knox. 

Best of luck to all!