What a finish last week at the Travelers!
Corey Pavin, Bubba Watson, and Scotty Verplank in a playoff, with Watson taking the cake after Verplank let the second playoff hole really get away from him. I am not sure he would have elected to putt from 15 feet off the green if given the opportunity to turn back time.
Verplank cost us big time last week, as he was 40/1 odds of winning. Instead we cash a 10/1 ticket for getting a top five finish.
Producer of the radio show Red Heat (Sirius Channel 98) Rob Pizzola, had a great week last week as he had BOTH Verplank AND Watson in his six pack. That marks the third week this year that Pizzola has nailed down multiple tickets in the same six pack. Nice work Rob!
This week we head to the revived AT & T National. The event will no longer be held at Congressional in Bethesda, MD even though the US Open will be taking place there next year. Instead we head off to Newtown Square, PA to the Donald Ross designed Aronimink Golf Club.
Aronimink is littered with long holes, even though on the Tour there are only two par fives. Seven of the par fours are 430 yards or longer, so this week long approach shots will be a solid key to success.
Let’s update my Yahoo Fantasy Golf standing. I now have 3552 points on the year. I am up to the 71st percentile in my group FOHM and am now in the 77th percentile overall. I still trail three Yahoo Experts and lead only one. I am ahead of Eric Planer by 12 points. I trail Greg Vara by nine points, Mike Arkush by 43 points, and Matt Romig leads me by 211 points. I am catching up…
This week’s lineup looks like this:
Start Tiger Woods
Bench Scott Verplank
Start Dustin Johnson and Jim Furyk
Bench Robert Allenby and Bo Van Pelt
Start Ricky Barnes
Bench Ben Crane
Here are my honorable mentions that did not make the final cut for the six pack: Crane 30:1, Moore 40:1, Overton 50:1, Rose 30:1, and Verplank 40:1
Let’s move on to the six pack and crack open a winner this week…
Young Rickie is my favorite golfer in the field this week. In his last five tourneys he has missed two cuts and finished 38th, second and 13th.
So far in 2010 he has made 11 of 17 cuts. In those 11 made cuts six have been top 25 finishes and five of those were in the top ten! Rickie has finished second twice this year. So far in his inaugural season he has pocketed just over $2.0 million.
Look at these numbers:
- Fifth in GIR at 69.83 percent
- 12th in Total Driving
- He is the best Ball Striker on tour
- Fifth in approaches from 250 – 275 yards with an average distance of 50’ 4”
It is simply a matter of time before this kid wins and the sports books are getting keen to his ability. Even in this fairly strong field I could only find him at 30:1 odds. $25 will yield you $750, so I’m giving it a shot.
Robert Allenby has been a little up and down this year, but I think that this track in Pennsylvania is going to set up well for him.
His last five events have been a bit of a hodgepodge seeing him finish 17th, second, CUT, WITHDREW, and 29th. He has made 11 of 15 cuts on the year with eight of those being in the top 25. Four of those top 25 finishes have been in the top ten and he has two second place finishes here in 2010.
Allenby, the 14th ranked player in the world, has played well at the AT & T National in the past finishing 13th, sixth and third. But remember, it’s a new track this year so we’ll see how he fares.
Check out these stats on Allenby:
- Fourth in All Around Ranking
- 15th in Scoring Average with 70.13 strokes per round
- First in Putting from 20 – 25 feet at 25.64 percent
- 25th in Par Breakers at 21.86 percent
I am going with Allenby as my number two this week. He is also 30:1 odds of winning.
At first when the other white Ricky started to play well, I thought it would be short lived, and he would come crashing back to earth like Sputnik did back in the 70’s. I am rethinking that now.
Barnes is having the best year of his young career and may be carving that niche into the PGA that so many people speculated he could have. My main concern with Barnes is when he has the lead, he seems to buckle under the pressure exposing his swing flaws to new levels. He seems mentally tough enough to overcome his woes.
So far this year Ricky has only missed three cuts in 18 attempts. Eight of those finishes have been in the top 25, while six of those eight have been in the top ten. His best finish this year was a tie for third at The Memorial at Jack’s Place.
Barnes doesn’t have the flashiest numbers, but they are solid.
- 21st in Scoring Average at 70.26 percent
- Third in Total Birdies with 250
- Fifth in Par Three Performance with minus three on the year
- Second in putting from five to ten feet at 65.55 percent
Look for Ricky Barnes to be in contention this week. He is a decent 40:1 odds of winning this week.
It looks like Vijay has turned the corner on his early season woes and is in prime contention to make a move in the final third of the year.
In Singh’s last five efforts he has finished CUT, 33rd, 12th, 40th, and 13th. He usually performs well in this event, and I think has what it takes to conquer this new course.
Vijay has missed six cuts in 16 tries this year. He has only four top 25’s and his best effort was a tie for fourth at The Honda Classic.
Vijay’s stats have suffered this year due to his poor start, but some things are promising:
- 33rd in Driving Distance at 291.3 yards
- 14th in approaches from 200-225 yards
- 30th in Scoring Average at 70.39 strokes per round
Let’s face it, Vijay is one of the greatest golfers to ever play the game. Now that he is healthy and his putting has improved, look for him to make a bid for a couple of victories to finish out 2010.
Vijay delivers some alright value at 40:1 odds this week.
I am not sure what has happened to Mr. Leonard this year, but he is WAY over due for a significant turnaround. Let’s not sugar coat it. This year Justin Leonard has been a mere shell of the golfer that he really is.
This year Justin already has missed more cuts than he did in 2008 and 2009 combined. He has only made four finishes in the top 25 with his best being a surprising tie for 14th at the U.S. Open. He has accumulated $443k in earnings which is a mere 19.8 percent of what he made in ’08.
In Leonard’s last five events he has placed 64th, 26th, CUT, CUT, and 14th. I am looking for Leonard to tap into that momentum he established with his good finish at Pebble Beach for the US Open and to bring out his best game this week.
Although this has certainly not been his best year, he still always finds the fairway form the tee:
- Ninth in Driving Accuracy at 70.38 percent
- went from 12th in All Around Ranking in ’09 to 104th this year
- went from 11th in Birdies made in ’09 to 140th this year
Leonard will begin his comeback march for 2010 at this week’s AT & T National. He offers stellar value and is my co-longshot at 80:1 odds.
Finally we get to my other longshot this week in a man who can absolutely spank the golf ball. JB Holmes has had a great year so far and looks poised to compete for a win here at Aronimink.
This year Holmes has only missed one cut in 15 events played. He has seven top 25 finishes with his best two finishes being a T2 at Pebble Beach and a T3 at the Northern Trust Open.
The fact that Holmes bombs the ball plays to his advantage this week. The last five events that JB played in he finished 13th, 13th, 43rd, 28th, and 59th. He appears to be trending down, but he has only played in two full events in June. I think the rest will help him and we will see a terrific bounceback form him this week.
Check out his digits:
- Fourth in Driving Distance at 302.4 yards
- Tenth in Scoring Average with 70.03 strokes per round
- 16th All Around
- 19th in Putts Per Round with 28.33
- Second in Par Five Performance at -87 on the year
I love that his putting has improved so much this year, and at 80:1 odds you are getting value central, so lay it down and win with JB Holmes.
No matter who you like, enjoy the week and hit ‘em straight!