PGA: Five Players Who Will Be In the Mix at the Open

Ron FurlongAnalyst IIOctober 14, 2010

PGA: Five Players Who Will Be In the Mix at the Open

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    This week's Open will be played at the CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, California. The Robert Trent Jones Jr. design, built in 1999, is a par-71, 7,300-yard course with dramatic contours and elevation change. Jones remodeled his own original design earlier this year.

    Troy Matteson won the event a year ago. The field, although lacking the top players in the world, is fairly strong for a mid-October event.

    Here are five players I think could walk away with the title on Sunday.

5. John Daly

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    Predicting when John Daly will do well at a golf tournament is a bit of a crapshoot. He's hardly predictable.

    Daly can either be on or way off. There isn't a lot of in-between with Big John.

    Although Daly has made 12 of 18 cuts so far this year, which isn't bad for him, only once in those 12 times has he finished in the top 25. That is not so good.

    So, to say this is a long shot is not an exaggeration. But sometimes you just get a hunch.

    I've got a hunch.

4. Tim Clark

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    This pick is not quite the long shot Daly is.

    The South African Clark has had a nice year on tour. One win, one second place, six top 10s and 19 of 23 cuts made.

    Clark's win came at the Players Championship. He should do well this weekend.

3. Ricky Barnes

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    Barnes has quietly had a good 2010: 21 of 26 cuts made and six top 10s.

    His best finish was a third place at the Memorial. Ricky would like nothing more than to add his first PGA victory to his resume during this fall series of the PGA season.

    Ricky had a top-10 finish at the Masters, and the only major he missed the cut at was the PGA Championship.

    He should be a factor this weekend.

2. J.B. Holmes

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    Holmes has a fairly remarkable stat going for 2010: He has made 22 of 24 cuts. Pretty impressive.

    However, he has only three top 10s out of those 22 cuts made. A second-place finish at both the AT&T Classic and the Tavistock Cup, and a third place at the Northern Trust Open.

    J.B. seems to excel at courses like CrodeValle, and may be a sleeper pick this weekend.

1. Rickie Fowler

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    Fresh off his Ryder Cup heroics in the singles that nearly saved the day for the Americans, Fowler is beaming with confidence.

    The rookie is primed for his first win, and he has to be considered the odds-on favorite here.

    This may put a little added pressure on Fowler. Can he handle it? Well, just go back and look at the last hole of his Ryder Cup match to see if he likes pressure.

    Five top 10s and two second-place finishes in 2010. He is ready.