PGA Tour: 10 Players to Watch at the McGladrey Classic

Justin RunionContributor IIIOctober 12, 2011

PGA Tour: 10 Players to Watch at the McGladrey Classic

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    The 2011 PGA Fall Series makes a stop this weekend in Sea Island, Georgia at the McGladrey Classic.

    This year's tournament features a star-studded field: Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera, former green jacket winner Zach Johnson, 2009 Open Champion Stewart Cink, 2003 US Open Champion Jim Furyk and many more.

No. 10 Kyle Stanley

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    Stanley has had a very solid season on the PGA Tour, where he has done everything but hoist a trophy.

    He has made the most cuts (20) of any rookie on tour this year and has placed in the top 25 in four straight appearances.

    Stanley is 135 strokes under par on par 5's this season, ranking 3rd on tour.

    If he wins, he would be the first rookie since Marc Turnesa to claim his first title during the Fall Series.

No. 9 Rickie Fowler

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    Well, we all know that Fowler will win the title for Gaudiest Attire, but can he perform as well this week as he did last week?

    We'll soon find out.

    Fowler finally shut the critics up by winning his first professional tournament last week at the Korea Open, where he beat reigning US Open Champion Rory McIlroy by an impressive six strokes.

    Although Fowler's game doesn't really suit the Seaside Course, he is courting Lady Momentum at the moment; that just might be enough.

No. 8 Bryce Molder

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    Much like Fowler, Molder will enter this week's event a satisfied man after a grueling playoff at CordeValle where he emerged as a champion.

    He has five top-tens in his last nine starts, but he ranks 5th on the tour in tendency to hit the ball left. That could mean danger for Molder if he loses control, as that would bring water into play on several holes.

No. 7 Bo Van Pelt

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    I really like Van Pelt this week, as he finished last year with back-to-back 66's, which led him to a T6 finish.

    Van Pelt ranks 8th on tour in total driving, 11th in ball striking and 27th in GIR.

    He is coming off of two top-10 finishes in the playoffs and his game fits the Seaside Course well.

No. 6 Matt Kuchar

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    Although he has failed to raise silver this season, I like Kuchar's chances in the McGladrey.

    He is the most consistently high finisher on the PGA Tour and may very well have won the Fed Ex Cup last year had he not been battling an illness.

    In 2011, he has played in 23 events and finished in the top 25 in 18 of them.

    If that's not consistency then I don't know what is.

No. 6 David Toms

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    Man, he just keeps on trucking, doesn't he?

    The 44-year-old already has a victory in 2011 at the Crowne Plaza Invitational and is still one of the most skilled putters on tour.

    He finished T3 here last year, and he will be looking to trump that in 2011.

No. 5 Paul Casey

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    Everyone is in agreement that it was a travesty that Paul Casey was left off the European Ryder Cup team last year, correct? Good, now let's put that issue to bed.

    Although he hasn't regained full health, it didn't seem to matter two weeks ago when he won in South Korea. He finished T7 last week and has assured the press that his health is heading in the right direction.

No. 4 Zach Johnson

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    2007 Masters Champion Zach Johnson would love to win in front of a hometown crowd. However, wanting to win is just not good enough.

    His controlled approach will benefit him greatly, as the Seaside Course is not one of the longer courses on the tour, he ranks twelfth in total putting and has 11 top-25 finishes in 22 starts.

No. 3 Jonathan Byrd

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    Byrd is really the only player on this list who had a poor showing last year, finishing T66.

    However, Byrd will have hometown support just like Johnson, the only difference is Byrd's season has been more successful with a win at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and a narrow loss to Lucas Glover at the Wells Fargo.

    Plus, wouldn't it be something if Byrd could open and close the season with a win?

No. 2 Webb Simpson

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    Simpson got progressively better here last year as the tournament continued, shooting 69-68-67-67.

    There hasn't been a hotter player on tour this season than Simpson, who has two wins and two second place finishes.

    I think that he wins this week and effectively wraps up the 2011 PGA Tour POY.

No. 1 Bud Cauley

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    Even though I picked Webb Simpson to win this week, there is no doubt that Bud Cauley is the player most worth watching this week at Seaside.

    He is 21 years old and already one of the best iron players on tour. He has two top 5's in seven starts this year, one of which was at the Frys.com last week.

    There is no doubt in my mind that Cauley has a strong shot to win this one, and he will be a very interesting player to keep an eye on over the next few days.