Fantasy Insider: HP Byron Nelson ChampionshipMay 14, 2013
By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Columnist
Once upon a time, oh, say, as recent as seven days ago, Tiger Woods didn't deserve to be on our radar at THE PLAYERS Championship. Wow, have times changed.
When he returned from his reconstructive knee surgery and off-the-course distractions, we knew that he'd have to partially reinvent himself to keep up with the latest wave of talent that hasn't been emotionally burdened by his presence. Sure, he had already won six times previous to last week's triumph -- three last year and three this season -- but none could be classified as a surprise given the venues where he's enjoyed repeated success.
The latest version of the world's top-ranked player is that of a tactician but with a bottomless arsenal of experience into which he can tap on cue. It's now our turn to keep up. In the past, he was a borderline-but-calculated no-start for the U.S. Open, but the mold for that model has been broken.
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 the TOUR Report on Wednesday.
On a Roll
Jeff Maggert ... Hasn't made a cut at TPC Four Seasons since a T8 in 2009, but he's fresh off an inspiring co-runner-up at THE PLAYERS where he ranked T12 in greens hit, second in scrambling, T1 in par-3 scoring and T4 in par-4 scoring. Overall, he's fourth on TOUR in driving accuracy and second in proximity to the hole.
Casey Wittenberg ... Secured a T8 at THE PLAYERS despite a closing 75. He wouldn't have even been exempt into that tournament based on his play this season, but the Web.com Tour money leader is rewarded with a berth every year.
Boo Weekley ... Riding a career-tying-high consecutive cuts made streak of 12. It's featured a trio of top 10s. Sits third in total driving, eighth in greens in regulation and T34 in par-4 scoring average.
Henrik Norlander ... Probably one of the hotter pickups in recent weeks thanks to five consecutive cuts made capped off by a T15 in New Orleans and a T16 in Charlotte. The rookie's splits are impressive virtually across the board.
Robert Karlsson ... Had the week off following a T4 at the Wells Fargo Championship where he ranked T14 in greens hit, T1 in scrambling and first in par-4 scoring.
D.H. Lee ... The rookie has emerged as a force of late with a T8 in New Orleans and a T16 at Quail Hollow. He ranked inside the top 20 in fairways hit, greens in regulation and strokes gained-putting in both efforts.
Horses for Courses
John Rollins ... A potential difference-maker this week. The local resident has five top 25s in 11 appearances, including in each of the last two editions. He's recorded a top 25 in seven of his nine cuts made this season.
James Driscoll ... Top 20s the last two years at TPC Four Seasons. Recovered from an opening 75 at TPC Sawgrass last week to finish with a share of 26th place. Ranked T12 in greens hit for the week and didn't miss on any of 58 chances from six feet and in.
Scott Verplank ... The 2007 champ and all-time earnings leader of this tournament is poised for his 26th appearance. He's just 2-for-7 this season with no better than a T65 in Houston, but the 48-year-old qualifies as a flier deep in weekly formats.
Steve Marino ... If there's a site where he's going to populate a leaderboard again, TPC Four Seasons is on the short list. He's 3-for-3 with a T10 in 2007 and a T16 in 2009. Ended a two-month skid with a T61 at Quail Hollow two weeks ago.
Not So Fast
Charles Howell III ... Shot 77-76 after the cut at TPC Sawgrass to finish in a tie for 66th place. Just one top-30 finish in nine appearances at TPC Four Seasons (T20, 2011).
Scott Piercy ... Something will give this week. He arrives with just one cut made in his last four starts (T54, Masters), but he's survived his last two cuts at TPC Four Seasons. Last year's resulted in a T15. Ranks 164th in fairways hit and T164 in greens in regulation.
Chad Campbell ... The Texan is making his 12th consecutive appearance at this event. He's logged three top 25s among eight cuts made, including a T24 last year when he sat one stroke off the 36-hole lead, but he hasn't posted a top 40 in 14 starts this season. Eight resulted in a missed cut.
Y.E. Yang ... Prior to missing the cut at last week's PLAYERS -- his third straight MC -- he admitted on Twitter that he's retooling: "Took up some new tips for swinging. Will expect some trial and error for a while." He's fully exempt through 2013-14, so he has some time with which to play to improve his game without worrying about status.
Brian Stuard ... After opening the season with eight consecutive cuts made (including three top 10s), he's gone 0-for-5. He's scored 73 or higher in nine of his last 11 rounds.
Erik Compton ... Missed the cut by six strokes in his debut at THE PLAYERS. Since withdrawing during the Shell Houston Open with an illness, he's missed four straight cuts.
Robert Streb ... Since he was low rookie at the Shell Houston Open with a T22, he's missed four consecutive cuts by an aggregate 19 strokes.
Tom Gillis ... He's sandwiched two early withdrawals with five missed cuts dating back to the Tampa Bay Championship presented by EverBank.
David Mathis ... He's missed the cut in nine consecutive starts. He tied for 15th at TPC Four Seasons last year, but he had also tied for 15th the week prior at THE PLAYERS.
Tag Ridings ... Since the conclusion of the Florida Swing, he's missed five cuts in as many starts.
Charlie Beljan, Troy Matteson, Greg Owen, Ben Kohles, Scott Langley and Nicholas Thompson ... Each has missed the cut in his last three starts.
Back in the Saddle
Colt Knost ... Withdrew before his second round of THE PLAYERS due to a back injury. Acknowledged on Twitter that he sustained the injury before his opening-round 79.
Jonas Blixt, Bob Estes (illness), Luke Guthrie, Dustin Johnson (battled injuries to left wrist and lower back the last two weeks), Matt Jones, David Lingmerth and Chris Stroud ... All are exempt into next week's Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial.