The 2010 Players Championship Six Pack
Rory McIlroy put on quite the show last week, didn’t he? Coming off what many considered a mediocre season, McIlroy showed his might with an amazing win after barely making the cut on Friday.
Congrats, Rory. He becomes yet another 50:1 odds winner this year.
On to The Players Championship, where Davis Love III is the last man to win the event twice. He won here in 1992 and then again in 2003. Love III is not in the sixer this week, but I found it interesting that he was the last to win multiple times at this place. That stat definitely factored into my decision making process this week.
The TPC Stadium course at Sawgrass is a classic bear.
It can chew you up and spit you out with just one bad hole. It also is one of my all time favorite courses through all the years of PS1,2, and now PS3’s Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf.
I’m coming off another fairly blah week on Yahoo fantasy.
I now have a total of 2,406 points on the year. I went up to the 73rd percentile overall and maintained status in my FOHM group at a paltry 64th percentile. I now lead one of the Yahoo experts, Eric Planer, by 44 points. I trail Arkush by 87, Vara by 129 and Romig by 256 points. It’s time to get crackin’.
Here’s who I like this week:
Start Ernie Els
Sit Luke Donald
Start Jim Furyk
Sit Kevin Na
Bo Van Pelt
Start Matt Kuchar
Sit Paul Casey
Here are some honorable mentions before we tackle the six pack: Harrington 25:1, Poulter 25:1, Kuchar 66:1, Crane 80:1, Davis 150:1, Quinney 200:1
No. 1 Jim Furyk
Jim Furyk is on a bit of a tear.
In his last five events, Furyk has finished first, 11th, CUT, first (again) and seventh. Few golfers can claim such recent success. Recent play is such a huge factor when coming to Sawgrass because if you don’t have some extra confidence, you could be in for a loooong Thursday and Friday.
I also love that Furyk has had good fortune at Sawgrass over the years. He has only missed the cut twice in his 14 trips to the stadium course.
He is almost always in the top 20 or better, including a 17th, 14th, fourth, third and fifth. At least we know this course suits his eye. All we need from him is to keep doing what he has been, and we will be cashing a nice ticket on Monday.
Look at some of Jim’s great stats:
- tenth in Driving Accuracy at 70.60 percent
- seventh in putts per round with 28
- fifth in scoring average at 69.96 strokes per round
I love Jim Furyk this week. He is my favorite at 20:1 odds.
No. 2 Ernie Els
Let’s see, there couldn’t possibly be another guy who has won two of the last five events he has played in, is there?
Lest, I digress. Enter Ernie Els, who like a fine wine, just keeps getting better.
Ernie comes into Sawgrass having finished his last five events 67th, first, first, 44th, and 18th. Obviously he is playing some phenomenal golf right now, but what about his track record at Sawgrass?
Els has been somewhat of a wizard at the stadium course. In 16 attempts he has only missed two cuts, has four top ten finishes and eight top 25s. Looks like he has the “currently playing well” and “great track record” parts down, but how do his stats stack up?
- first on the Money List at $3.1 million
- second in Scoring Average at 69.44 strokes per round
- 12th in Par Breakers at 22.92 percent
I am amazed that Ernie has not won here before. That trend may very well be bucked come Sunday. Take Ernie Els this week at 25:1 odds.
No. 3 Paul Casey
I was going to go with Ian Poulter here, but Casey is playing so well right now, and has such good game, that I think it will be his turn to win before Ian wins AGAIN.
In Casey’s last five efforts he has three top six finishes or better, a cut, and a tie for 22nd.
I am a little concerned about Casey’s track record at Sawgrass. He is either going to miss the cut or contend for the win. In five trips here he has missed three cuts and has finished T10 and T14.
With the way he is playing right now, I like his chances here this week. Plus, he offers far more value from a gambling viewpoint than his counterpart, Poulter.
Let’s go inside Casey’s numbers:
- third in Par Breakers at 24.38 percent
- fourth in Par 4 Birdie or Better at 19.94 percent
- fourth in Final Round Scoring Average at 68.50 strokes
If Casey is anywhere close come Sunday, look out.
He plays great late.
At 40:1 odds, I could not pass him up.
No. 4 Luke Donald
Expectations have been quite high for this young man over the past few years, although he hasn’t quite delivered to his potential.
In 2010, we may actually get to see that big breakout we have all been waiting for.
Donald's splash may very well be here at TPC Sawgrass.
Donald has had a great year so far. He is 12th on tour in earnings. He has missed three cuts in ten attempts, but played awesome at the extremely challenging track in Harbour Town, placing third.
He also has four top ten finishes on the year, so when he makes the cut, odds are he is going to be on page one of the leaderboard.
Donald has played Sawgrass seven times and missed three cuts early in his first few attempts. He finished runner up in 2005 and had a nice tie for 16th in 2007.
Donald isn’t the longest driver, and is not the best ball striker, but he is the very best scrambler and sand player on tour. Check his digits:
- tenth in Putts Per Round with 28.17 per round
- first in Sand Save Percentage at 85.19 percent
- first in Scrambling at 71.11 percent
Donald can also putt well, which will be essential this weekend. Sign me up for a ride on the Value Express with Luke Donald at 40:1 odds.
No. 5 Kevin Na
This freakin’ guy has to win sometime, so why not this weekend?
Na has had his ups and downs this year on tour, but at the moment he appears to be on an upswing.
In his last five tourneys Na has finished 72nd, second, CUT, 35th, and 14th.
He missed the cut his first few years at Sawgrass, yet finished third here last year thanks to his superior putting.
Like Luke Donald, Kevin is not the best ball striker from tee to green, but his scrambling and putting make up for his shortcomings. Take a peek at some of Na’s numbers:
- 14th in Putts Per Round with 28.24
- 12th in Final Round Scoring Average with 69.33 strokes
- second in Scrambling at 69.37 percent
If Na is anywhere near the leaderboard on Sunday morning, he could be poised to make a move towards his first victory. At 66:1 odds, I like his chances.
No. 6 Bo Van Pelt
Chances are good ‘ol BVP is going to miss the cut, as he has only made it once in five attempts at TPC Sawgrass. Hence, he falls into my long shot category. Incidentally, that one time he did make the cut, he placed eigthth!
What I DO like about BVP this week is his red hot play coming into the event.
His last five finishes have seen him go 55th, 14th, CUT, third, and fifth.
Be aware that he is having a banner career year and he has some numbers to back that up:
- fourth in GIR at 71.43 percent
- third in Total Driving (combo of distance & Accuracy)
- first in Ball Striking
- fifth in Total Birdies with 170
If BVP can forget his past demons here, and remember the wings of the angel that guided him to his eighth place finish back in 2006, he will be there. Focus on the now Bo, carpe diem brother!
No matter what, I have to take a stab at BVP this week. After all he is a whopping 80:1 odds of victory.
Good luck this week folks!