A few weeks ago, an emailer challenged my reasoning about leaning on chalk as often as I do for weekly formats. This includes PGATOUR.COM’s pick-4 game. It's a great question in that I don't play against anyone per se. Sure, I'm included in the Expert Picks among staffers, but I know that many readers like to play against me. I like to consider my approach as the placebo.
At the same time, chalk won't win league championships, and this was the emailer's point. Every now and again, you need to take calculated risks. If you are currently leading your season-long format, then the chalk is your most valuable tool. Let others take plunges and make mistakes. But if you're trailing and need to make up some ground, inject a dynamic talent or two in a week like this when there are numerous such choices on the board.
Look for my choices for PGATOUR.COM’s fantasy game in Expert Picks. My one-and-done selection, analysis and season totals will appear in TOUR Report on Wednesday.
On a Roll
D.H. Lee ... Shared the lowest round of the week with a final-round 64 at Congressional; it included nine birdies. His T3 was a career-best and lifted him 38 spots in FedExCup points to 99th. Led the field in strokes gained-putting and co-led in fairways hit and par-4 scoring average. Likely very cheap in full-season formats that extend into the Playoffs.
Brendan Steele ... Top 20s in the last two weeks. Had just one top 25 in his previous 16 starts this season and had missed six consecutive cuts since the turnaround. First appearance at The Greenbrier.
Kenny Perry ... Despite a waning schedule in recent years, he's played in all previous editions of this tournament. This time he arrives on the success of his first victory in a major of any kind. His triumph at the Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS was his fifth top-three finish on the Champions Tour this year.
Horses for Courses
Stuart Appleby ... Famously won the inaugural edition in 2010 with a 59 to win by one. It was his 11th consecutive start at the time and only top 10 of the run. Could by buoyed by a T9 at the Travelers Championship two weeks ago, which was his best finish since he made history at The Greenbrier.
Ken Duke ... Faded to a T56 at Congressional where he closed with a 76. Don't give up on him yet and don't rule him out this week. While skeptics will wonder if he has enough adrenaline left in the tank now two weeks after his breakthrough victory at the Travelers Championship, he tied for seventh in his debut here last year.
Jeff Overton ... This should be a salve for his recent slump of no top 25s in his last seven starts. At fourth in all-time earnings of this three-year tournament, he's highest among non-winners at The Old White TPC. Since getting clipped by Stuart Appleby's final-round 59 in 2010, Overton has answered with a T49 in 2011 and T17 last year. He has just one over-par round of the 12.
Brendon de Jonge ... Sits sixth in all-time earnings at The Greenbrier on the strength of a solo third in 2010 and T4 in 2011. His actual scoring average over 12 career rounds on The Old White TPC is 67.58, and that includes three over-par scores.
Not So Fast
Ted Potter, Jr. ... The defending champion hasn't quite validated his victory last year. His only other top 10 before or since is a T10 at the Northern Trust Open in February.
Nick Watney ... First-timer at The Old White TPC. Ended an 0-for-3 slide with a T61 at the AT&T National. Over par in nine of his last 11 rounds.
Jimmy Walker ... Hasn't broken par in his last 10 rounds and comes off consecutive missed cuts for the first time since July of 2011.
Aaron Baddeley ... Missed the cut on the number at Congressional, extending his career-long string of missed cuts to eight in a row.
Ben Curtis ... Zero top 40s among two cuts made in his last seven starts.
Johnson Wagner ... Missed the cut at the AT&T National by nine strokes, his seventh straight start without a cut made.
D.A. Points, Trevor Immelman, Greg Chalmers, Matt Every and Daniel Summerhays ... Each has missed his last three cuts.
James Hahn and Colt Knost ... Each is riding an 0-for-4 skid.
Justin Bolli ... Five consecutive missed cuts since finishing fourth at the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
Will Claxton ... One stroke too high at Congressional. It was his 13th missed cut in 18 starts this season.
Back in the Saddle
Louis Oosthuizen (hip), Rory Sabbatini (back), Charlie Beljan (elbow), Davis Love III (hip) and Vaughn Taylor (back) ... All return from withdrawals in their previous starts.