Power Rankings: Frys.com Opentext sizeOctober 07, 2013
By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Columnist
And just like that, a new PGA TOUR schedule is upon us. It was only three weeks ago when Henrik Stenson ended the 2013 season in style by winning the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola and the FedExCup.
Beginning the 2013-14 slate at the Frys.com Open is but a formality in accounting. More relevant to the field of 132 at CordeValle Golf Club in San Martin, Calif., is that FedExCup points are on the table, as is a berth into the Masters for the winner. These perks apply to all six events in the fall for the first time.
CordeValle is a par 35-36=71 topping out at 7,379 yards. The Frys.com Open is in its seventh year, but CordeValle has been on board only since 2010. The nines are reversed for the touring professionals and the sixth hole is played as a 480-yard par 4 instead of the par 5 of the same length the members try to tackle. The only official change in yardage over the last three years affects the par-4 13th hole, now listed at 418 yards, a bump of nine yards.
The field at the 2012 Frys.com Open averaged 70.256, lowest in its three stops at CordeValle and third-easiest of all par 71s that season. The course is set up for ball-strikers as distance averages are always among the shortest (281.8 yards in 2012) while hitting fairways is among the more challenging factors (60.12 percent in 2012; 19th-lowest on TOUR). CordeValle's greens-in-regulation percentage in 2012 was 68.72, a beefy number thanks to targets that average 8,300 square feet. Its par-4 scoring average checked in at 3.99 last year, one of only seven (of 49 courses played) under par.
This week's winner will not be defending at CordeValle in 2014 as Silverado Resort will assume host duties. The tournament's migration will allow CordeValle to prepare for the 2016 U.S. Women's Open.
After a season in which Mother Nature held the PGA TOUR hostage, the forecast for the 2013-14 lid-lifter is favorable. Dry and sunny conditions with high temperatures in the upper 60s to upper 70s are expected. Winds could play a role at times as they sweep in and out of the Santa Clara Valley.
NOTE: For similar characteristics among all three winners of the Frys.com Open at CordeValle, please look for "Stats Suggest" in the Stats Report on Wednesday.
Power Rankings: Frys.com Open Rank Player Comment Gary WOODLAND Surged late in the season with a win in Reno to solidify a spot in the FedExCup Playoffs. Capitalized with a T2 at The Barclays that all but clinched a spot at East Lake where he placed T22. Tied for ninth at CordeValle last year. Billy HORSCHEL Ended a slump with a T18 at the BMW Championship and T7 at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. Finished the season at 30th in adjusted scoring and eighth in the all-around. Tied for seventh at the Frys.com Open in 2011. Hideki MATSUYAMA The only Asian at the Presidents Cup went 1-3-1 in a losing debut, but he's been money all year otherwise. Now a PGA TOUR member, he seeks to extends his streak of eight straight top 25s worldwide. Won in Japan a month ago. John PETERSON Soared to the money title at the Web.com Tour Finals and concluded that circuit with five consecutive top 5s. Led the 2013 Web.com Tour in GIR and scoring average. Already 11-for-15 on the PGA TOUR with a pair of top 10s. Jonas BLIXT The defending champion didn't pick up another top 10 until winning again at The Greenbrier in July. He then added a solo fourth at the PGA Championship. Led last year's field in strokes gained-putting and par-4 scoring average. John HUH Getting his first look at CordeValle, which should suit his eye given his tee-to-green proficiency. Ranked 14th on TOUR in fairways hit and 45th GIR in 2013. Also 65th in adjusted scoring. Top 25s in three of his last four starts. Rory SABBATINI He's 0-for-3 at CordeValle but he registered top 20s in seven of his last nine starts, including a T11 at the BMW Championship where his Playoffs run ended. Finished the season at 23rd in GIR and 44th in adjusted scoring. Seung-yul NOH Sat out the Web.com Tour Championship after winning the third leg of the Finals, but he begins in the 2-hole of the reshuffle. Safe to say swing changes clicked late in the season what with four top 15s on two tours in seven starts. Tim CLARK Failed to qualify for the Presidents Cup after finishing the season with no top 25s among four cuts made in eight starts, but CordeValle is a great fit for a guy best known as a horse for courses. In his only appearance, placed T6 in 2010. Jimmy WALKER Polished off his 2013 season with a T11 at Conway Farms where he ranked T7 in greens in regulation, ninth in strokes gained-putting and fourth in scrambling. Closed a share of fourth place last year with a course-record-tying 62. Bryce MOLDER The 2011 champ answered with a T11 in his title defense. Hasn't topped that since but logged eight top 25s and went three events deep into FedExCup Playoffs. Finished 10th in strokes gained-putting and 46th in adjusted scoring. John MERRICK Fresh off his best season thanks to a playoff victory at the Northern Trust Open, but he sustained form throughout the year. Concluded with a T18 at Conway Farms for his sixth top 25 and sixth consecutive cut made. Patrick REED Hit a wall after his breakthrough victory at the Wyndham Championship, but tied for 11th at the Frys.com Open last year. Closed with a 63 and led the field in par-5 scoring average at 4.17 (2 eagles, 6 birdies, 4 pars). Russell KNOX The 28-year-old Scot who shot 59 on the Web.com Tour in Boise in July returns to the PGA TOUR full-time, although he fared well on partial status in 2013. Owns two T9s on TOUR, the first of which occurred at CordeValle last year. Chesson HADLEY Rookie debut. Starts atop the Web.com Tour graduate reshuffle after winning the Web.com Tour Championship. That the success is still fresh is valuable. At 6-foot-4, he owns the modern game -- long off the tee and a great putter.