Bud Cauley ... One of many former Southeastern Conference golfers in the field, he shared 10th place at the SEC Championship in 2011. That was the same year that he secured PGA TOUR status via non-member earnings. The route to his card included a T15 at The McGladrey Classic that fall. In his return trip to Sea Island, he shared the 18-hole lead with a 62 and finished T20 despite beginning the final round just three strokes off the lead. His experience projects another solid week, but a slow start to 2013-14 lands him here instead of in the Power Rankings.
Will MacKenzie ... Parlayed a strong run through the Web.com Tour Finals into a terrific start to the season. After sharing ninth place at CordeValle, tied for 15th at TPC Summerlin. Eight top 25s in his last 10 starts across both circuits. Only cut made in two starts at Sea Island resulted in a T59 in 2010, but his form demands the endorsement. Currently 11th on the PGA TOUR in strokes gained-putting, ninth in average distance of putts made and seventh in the All-Around.
Billy Hurley III ... He opened with a 66 at last year's McGladrey Classic but settled for a share of 57th place. That was largely due to the fact that he ranked second-to-last in greens in regulation. Still, he had little trouble once he found the putting surface, registering a strokes gained-putting split of 0.996, good for 12th-highest. He also ranked seventh in average distance of putts made. To open his sophomore season on the PGA TOUR, the 31-year-old tied for ninth at the Frys.com Open.
Blake Adams ... Something will give for the Georgia native this week, but his history at Sea Island suggests that the balance will tilt in his favor. While he missed the cut at the Frys.com Open in his first start since having surgery on his left hip early in the year, he's also 0-for-4 since closing out the 2012 season with a missed cut at Disney. The last time he played 72 holes was at The McGladrey Classic last year. He tied for 15th in what was his third cut made in as many starts in the tournament and he enters this week's edition with an active streak of nine red numbers on the course.
Kyle Reifers ... The co-medalist at the open qualifier has been without PGA TOUR status since the 2012 season, but he worked his way into four starts in 2013 and already competed in the Shriners this season. Ever since he broke through for victory in a playoff (after a final-round 61) in his debut on the Web.com Tour in 2006, he's had a knack for going low. It's a weapon that can serve him well on a track like the Seaside Course where he tied for 15th last year, ranked fifth in proximity to the hole and went 61-for-62 from seven feet and in.