Sleeper Picks: Wells Fargo ChampionshipKevin Stadler heads to Charlotte after breaking out of his mini-slump last week.April 30, 2013
By Rob Bolton: PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Columnist
Henrik Norlander ... The 26-year-old PGA TOUR rookie and Augusta State University product had been knocking on the door for weeks. It finally opened just enough for him to secure a T15 at TPC Louisiana where he ranked ninth in distance off the tee and T10 in greens in regulation. A bogey-free, 7-under 65 in the third round set the stage for his first top-40 finish among six cuts made in 10 starts. He ranks 11th on TOUR in total driving, 14th in GIR and 45th in the all-around. He's also T12 in par-5 scoring average, which isn't surprising given how strongly he played the par 5s on the eGolf Professional Tour throughout 2012. Although dialed in and surviving cuts, his confidence is the X-factor, and it's probably rising. Kevin Stadler ... Ended a six-start drought without a top 25 with a T8 in New Orleans where he ranked T10 in greens in regulation, second in proximity to the hole and T1 in par-5 scoring average. Overall, he's 17th on TOUR in total driving, third in GIR, ninth in par breakers and 25th in adjusted scoring. His best finish at Quail Hollow among two cuts made in six starts is a T25 in 2008. Steve LeBrun ... En route to a T18 at Harbour Town two weeks ago where he shared the 36-hole lead, the rookie acknowledged that he's simplified his approach at the game. That's always easier said than done, but he's been converting. He arrives at Quail Hollow riding a modest consecutive cuts made streak of four that includes three top 25s. Ranked fourth in strokes gained-putting at TPC Louisiana where all 59 of his attempts from seven feet and in disappeared. He's 35th on TOUR in total driving and 45th in greens in regulation. Matteo Manassero ... We'll quickly learn if he can find an extra gear off the tee, but he'll find fairways and should thrive on the greens. The Italian ranks 27th on the European Tour in driving accuracy, 64th in greens in regulation and 56th in putting. In eight qualified rounds on the PGA TOUR this season, he's logged a gaudy strokes gained-putting split of 0.828. Entering his debut at Quail Hollow, he's posted top 25s in nine of his last 12 stroke-play starts, including a T16 in his most recent in Spain. The three-time Euro Tour champion turned just 20 years of age on April 19. Peter Tomasulo ... Fresh off a T15 in New Orleans, his career-best finish on the PGA TOUR. He led the field at TPC Louisiana in total driving and ranked T10 in greens hit. Overall, he leads the circuit in total driving and ranks second in GIR; also fourth in proximity to the hole and T22 in par-5 scoring average. While all of those angles play into his inclusion here, perhaps most intriguing is that he'll be competing with everything to gain. Assuming he doesn't withdraw prior to his opening-round tee time, this will mark his last start via a medical extension in the graduate reshuffle category. To retain status, he needs no worse than a two-way T3. To secure conditional status at worst would require at worst a two-way share of 17th place.