The AT&T National was the last of the invitationals this season. It signals the official home stretch for the rank and file. With four 156-man non-majors and two opposite events remaining in the regular season, the majority of the fully exempt will play full-time through the Wyndham Championship. Therefore, if you're looking for some talent, dipping into the pecking order in the reshuffle is of little relevance until the Fall Series.
After a perfect week at the Travelers Championship in PGA TOUR Matchups on Facebook, I settled for a 3-2-0 slate at the AT&T National. I'm now 57-46-2 with 122 points on the year. At the top of the overall leaderboard, Chris Stolle went 4-1-0 at Congressional (missing only Tiger Woods over Hunter Mahan) and continues to hold the slimmest of margins over a threesome in second place, 142-140.
My picks for the AT&T National:
Power Rankings Distribution for Yahoo! (rank)
Sleepers Distribution for Yahoo! (rank)
Group A ... none
Group B ... Robert Castro; D.A. Points
On a Roll (Yahoo! Group)
Charley Hoffman (B) ... Stayed on track following a disappointing finish at TPC River Highlands, posting a T22 at Congressional last week. Sits 14th on TOUR in total driving, 39th in greens hit and 32nd in birdie average. A good call if you like riding the hot hand.
Greg Owen (C) ... A T17 at the AT&T National extended his streak of consecutive top 20s to three. He ranked inside the top six in greens in regulation in all of them. Currently eighth on TOUR in GIR, 13th in birdie average and 27th in adjusted scoring.
Brian Harman (C) ... Ended a two-month skid with a T24 at the Travelers and T11 at the AT&T National. Six top 25s among 13 cuts made in 20 starts. Love his fearlessness, too.
Daniel Summerhays (C) ... Continues to shine on difficult tracks, evidenced yet again with a T17 at Congressional last week. He ranks 51st on TOUR in fairways hit and 13th in greens in regulation. Gobble him up if he's still somehow a free agent in your format.
Horses for Courses (Yahoo! Group)
Brian Davis (B) ... Led the field in putting en route to a tie for 18th here last year. Recorded his most recent of three T4s this season at the Travelers Championship two weeks ago. Sits 11th on TOUR in fairways hit and 48th in adjusted scoring. If you're investing in Yahoo!, it's due to the possibility of a low round, not a top-three finish.
Cameron Tringale (C) ... His T4 at last year's Greenbrier remains a career-best finish on the PGA TOUR. (He'd match it at this year's Farmers Insurance Open.) Ranks 21st in total driving, 52nd in greens hit and 16th in birdie average, so it makes sense why he's fared well. A smart inclusion for Yahoo! gamers.
Chris Stroud (B) ... Withdrew on his ninth hole (No. 18 at Congressional) during his second round of the AT&T National due to an illness. (It's not known if it was heat-related.) Regardless, he's worth a look this week given a T9 here in 2010 and a T18 in his return. I'd like to see more consistency entering the week but he's posted eight top 25s among 10 cuts made.
|Rob's Yahoo! lineup|
Bob Estes (C) ... His return to fantasy relevance began with a playoff loss here a year ago. He played his final 33 holes of regulation in bogey-free 12-under. Since earning a status promotion via a Non-exempt Medical Extension early this season, he's survived seven of his last nine cuts. Despite the statistical support, he's still more of a flier than a calculated risk, however, just because he's contended on occasion, not regularly enough. Bona fide value in long-term formats.
Leaking Oil (Yahoo! Group)
Spencer Levin (A) ... Enters having missed his last three cuts. First time he's hit that kind of skid since late 2010. Given he ranks outside the top 140 on TOUR in both fairways and greens hit, he puts more pressure on his putting than a 13-for-20 season with three top 10s would suggest. I'm expecting a rebound this week, however, as he's been a good fit overall for The Old White TPC. He finished T21 here in 2010 and sat inside the top 20 after 54 holes last year before freefalling to a T64 with a Sunday 77.
Colt Knost (C) ... He's missed seven consecutive cuts during what is arguably the most difficult stretch for scoring on the schedule. Hasn't broken 71 in any of his last 14 rounds. Ranks 12th on TOUR in fairways hit but 162nd in greens in regulation, 171st in birdie average and 162nd in adjusted scoring.
Kris Blanks (B) ... Only one top 25 among 10 cuts made in 21 starts this year. In his last eight, he's missed five cuts and withdrawn once (St. Jude).
Tim Herron (B) ... He's 10-for-20 on the year with just one top 20 (T11, Bay Hill). Missed five of his last seven cuts.
Ryuji Imada (B) ... He's missed 12 of 18 cuts and hasn't posted a top 50 all season.
Matt Bettencourt (C) ... Zero cuts made in his last nine starts. His actual scoring average over that stretch (16 rounds) is 74.88.
Mark Anderson (B) ... Since a run of eight consecutive cuts made, the PGA TOUR rookie has missed his last six.
Ted Potter, Jr. (B) ... Since a one-month sabbatical, the rookie has missed the cut in both of his PGA TOUR starts, extending his slide to 0-for-5.
Steve Wheatcroft (B) ... After missing five straight cuts, he withdrew during the Travelers Championship due to personal reasons. Returns this week but hasn't broken 70 in over three months.
Matt Jones (C) ... Limited to 10 starts due to conditional status, he's made four cuts with one top 30 (T5, Puerto Rico). He's missed his last three cuts and owns an 0-for-2 record at The Old White TPC.
Danger (Yahoo! Group)
Keegan Bradley (A) ... Even if he fared well at The Irish Open (instead of missing its cut), it would be difficult to endorse him this week. While he continues to lead the PGA TOUR in the all-around ranking, the results haven't been there. He's made it abundantly clear in his short career at the game's highest level that when he's on, he stays on. Alas, he's missed five of his last nine cuts worldwide and hasn't posted a top 20 since the Shell Houston Open (T4).
K.J. Choi (A) ... Even to the casual observer, it was obvious that something wasn't right with his iron game at Congressional. It had him chuckling at times, seemingly in dismay. He split 19 (of 28) fairways last week but landed only 18 greens in regulation. He also totaled 62 putts.
Camilo Villegas (A) ... Showed some form early at the Travelers Championship where he sat one off the 36-hole lead before fading to place T29. Then shot 78-75 at the AT&T National to miss the cut by five strokes. Zero top 15s in his last 18 stroke-play starts worldwide, a span measuring over eight months.
Gary Woodland (B) ... He tied for fourth here last year but he's yet to record a top 20 in 15 starts this season. It's somewhat predictable given he's been hammering through some swing enhancements with Butch Harmon.
Medic! (Yahoo! Group)
Scott Stallings (B) ... With two herniated discs in his back, he's day-to-day in the truest sense. He's been great about keeping fans updated via his blog and on Twitter, and makes "no promises" of his ability to defend his lone title on the PGA TOUR this week.
Brandt Snedeker (B) ... Out a month due to a strained rib. Because he's shown on multiple occasions that he sheds rust after injuries arguably better than anyone else, do not rule him out to contend this week.
Notable WDs (Yahoo! Group)
Matt Every (C) ... Has withdrawn from each of his last four commitments. At the Valero Texas Open in mid-April, he said that his wife was seven months pregnant, but it is unknown if birth-related priorities have prevented him from teeing it up since a U.S. Open sectional qualifier on June 4.
Steve Marino (B) ... Second consecutive early withdrawal since limiting a practice round at Congressional last week to nine holes.
Michael Bradley (B) ... Withdrew before his second round of last week's AT&T National due to a hip injury, then withdrew from the Greenbrier on Tuesday.
Peter Tomasulo (C) ... Won the United Leasing Championship on the Web.com Tour on Sunday in just his second rehab start from a pair of surgeries including a repair of a torn labrum in his left hip. Has 11 starts remaining on a Major Medical Extension on the PGA TOUR.