What can we learn about the AT&T National Tournament last week? Taking the superstars out of the field will really open the field up for parody. Early withdrawals from Tiger Woods and Justin Rose left the door wide open and golfers like Jordan Spieth, Roberto Castro and Andres Romero tried to make the most of it. In the end, Bill Haas came to the rescue and won it for the Household Namers.
Now we head down to West Virginia where things are going to get really crazy. The tournament is played at the Greenbrier Resort, at the Old White Course. This course stretches out pretty nicely at 7,274 yards and is only a Par 70. If history repeats itself, like it so often does, we will have a golfer that nobody expects pull down the trophy. This tournament has been around for three years, and has been a crapshoot all three years. Stuart Appleby won the inaugural event in 2010. His adjusted scoring rank that year was 117th on Tour. Scott Stallings won it the following year, and his adjusted scoring rank was 121st on Tour for 2011. Then last year it got even worse. Ted Potter Jr. defeated Troy Kelly in a playoff. Their respective adjusted scoring ranks last year were 171st and 158th. Basically you can throw all the stats out the window and draw out of a hat. Or you can look further into the stats and try to find anything that might be of use. Lets see what we find:
Phil Mickelson: I wasn’t joking when I said this tournament has been a crapshoot. Phil Mickelson has tried his luck twice and what did he get in return? A 87th and 98th place finish. The fact that he agreed to play again tells you he is committed, and that means we could see a 180 degree turn this year for Lefty.
Brendon de Jonge: The Zimbabwe Zlammer has the best track record of anyone at this unusual course. He’s finished 3rd, 4th and 52nd over the life of The Greenbrier Classic. Tradtionally poor putters have had some decent success on this course, so that is certainly in de Jonge’s favor. Definitely plug him in your lineups this week.
Webb Simpson: Webb took a beating his first time at Greenbrier, as he finished 151st place in 2010. Only three golfers finished below him. That is awful. He must have came early the following year and figured the course out because he’s had two Top 10 finishes since then. Quite a dramatic turnaround. That makes him a big threat this week.
Graham DeLaet: The best thing to come out of Canada since bacon, Graham is the hottest golfer on Tour. Six straight finishes of 26th place or better. His Achilles heal remains his putting, but that is not a necessity at Greenbrier.
Scott Stallings: Stallings incredibly hot streak has fizzled but he might bounce back on a course that he likes. He won here back in 2011.
Jimmy Walker: Jimmy Walker has two Top 10s here at the Old Course. He is certainly due for a win.
Martin Flores: Flores is my super sleeper this week, and it’s all due to his play style. He’s ranked 26th in Par 3 Scoring Average and 13th longest off the tee. These are both key at Greenbrier so it is no surprise he finished 6th here last year.
Pat Perez: As much as I hate this hot-head, I can’t deny that this looks like a good tournament to pick him. He’s 5th on Tour in Par 3 Scoring which is the #1 thing needed here. He’s finished 27th and 9th the two times he’s attempted Greenbrier. Don’t be alarmed when you see him in the Top 25 again.
Ryan Palmer: Palmer is one of the hottest golfers on Tour right now, but I can’t ignore his 138th place finish the one time he’s played Greenbrier.
Billy Horschel: You’ve got to admire what Billy Ho is doing this year, and at this point you are more surprised if Billy doesn’t finish in the Top 25.
|Expert||Keeper||Why the Pick?||YTD|
|The 19th Hole||Graham DeLaet||Two straight top 10’s, five on the season. Par or better in every round at Old White. Last two winners here were first timers, now it’s Grahams turn to cash in on his solid play this season.||Avg Finish: 46th|
|Future of Fantasy||Brendon de Jonge||He's got the course history and all the tools necessary to win this crapshoot of a tournament.||Avg Finish: 40th|
|Jake Gaer||Webb Simpson||Mr. iZod has figured this course out the last two years, with a pair of Top 10s. Time to elevated that to a win.||Avg Finish: 34th|
|Expert||Sleeper||Why the Pick?||YTD|
|The 19th Hole||Chez Reavie||I’ve had my eye on this kid for a couple weeks now. Solid off the tee, good at hitting the green and great keeping it close. If he can find a rhythm he could be right in the mix come Sunday.||Avg Finish: 57th|
|Future of Fantasy||Martin Flores||Martin Whooo? Exactly. Flores is long off the tee and takes advantage of Par 3's. Two key things here at Greenbrier.||Avg Finish: 52nd|
|Jake Gaer||Graham DeLaet||I will use our sleeper rules, outside the top 50 WGR, to pick the guy whose going to win this week.||Avg Finish: 47th|
Top 15 for the 2013 Greenbrier Classic
1. Phil Mickelson
2. Webb Simpson
3. Brendon de Jonge
4. Bill Haas
5. Pat Perez
6. Jeff Overton
7. Ryan Palmer
8. Jimmy Walker
9. Graham DeLaet
10. Charles Howell III
11. Billy Horschel
12. Bob Estes
13. Brian Davis
14. Scott Piercy
15. Ben Crane
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