This week the PGA Tour is at TPC Potomac near Washington DC for the Quicken Loans National.
This will be the Quicken Loans National’s first visit, as the tournament ventures away from Congressional CC in odd-numbered years.
No surprise here, but Tiger Woods, the events host, won’t attend as he continues to receive treatment for how he manages his pain medications. Tiger has played the tournament only twice since 2012.
Regardless of that, the tournament has drawn a pretty good field this week. Don’t expect the MOST exciting tournament because this course sets up to be pretty bland, but you never know
Headlining the field are Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas and Patrick Reed. Fowler and Thomas both compiled top-10’s in the US Open two weeks ago, and Justin missed the cut last week but chalked it up to fatigue from Erin Hills. The two will look to add to their multiple-win seasons, and with a top-two finish JT can vault back atop the FedEx Cup Standings
There are also 16 players in the field this week with wins this season, including recent winners in Billy Hurley and Kevin Chapell
The way the course sets up, its another relatively short par 70, so Par-4 Scoring Average will have to be looked at. With some long rough, I also like Good Drive %, which measures the amount of times a player hits the fairway or manages to hit the green with their approach shot when they DO miss the fairway. Add Bogey Avoidance to that since things should play relatively tough, and Strokes Gained:Approach is one I always factor in to see who is giving themselves GOOD birdie looks the most often.
Some cursory stats I don’t see AS important this week, but still worth looking at if you’re doing DFS or betting: Scrambling and Total Putting.
So that being said, if you remove the top trio of Fowler, Thomas and Reed, because anyone can pick the top 3 guys… 5 players I like to succeed this week are:
Marc Leishman, Bill Haas, Brendan Steele, Kyle Stanley and Graham Delaet
All 5 come into TPC Potomac in good recent form, with Strong Stats in the categories mentioned above. With no real previous course experience to pull from (this being a basically new course after all the renos) that makes picks a little more of a crap shoot, but those guys in my opinion, have the best shot at taking home the trophy.
Marc Leishman – 5 Straight Made cuts (13 of 15 on the season), 17th, 27th and 15th in Last Three starts, Ranked 21st in both Par-4 Scoring Average and Bogey Avoidance
Bill Haas – 3 Straight Cuts made (9 of 12 on the season), 5th & 25th last two starts. Ranked 3rd in Bogey Avoidance, 7th in Scrambling, and 21st in Par-4 Scoring Average
Brendan Steele – Has made the cuts in ALL 13 events he has entered this season. Finished 14th and 13th last two starts. Ranked 5th in Par-4 Scoring Average, 13th in Bogey Avoidance and 14th in Scrambling
Kyle Stanley – 3 Cuts made in a row (12 of 14 on the season). Last three starts resulted in a 57th, 27th and 6th place finishes. Ranked 4th in Strokes Gained Approaching the Green, and 3rd in both Good Drive % and Green+Fringe in Regulation
Graham DeLaet – Also comes in with 3 straight cuts made. Finished 26th last week and 10th in his previous start to that. DeLaet is 2nd in Greens+Fringes Hit in Regulation, 8th in Total Putting, and 13th in Good Drive %
In terms of a winning score – I like around 8-10 under par, and around +2 for the Cut line
Last weeks picks were pretty spot on, so lets make it two in a row this week!