Jason Day and Marc Leishman are good picks for one-and-done challenges this week. (Lecka/Getty Images)
By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Insider
For pretty much all intents and purposes, Jason Day is the play this week. He's 3-for-3 at the HP Byron Nelson Championship with a victory (2010), a solo fifth (2011) and a T9 (2012). His actual scoring average in 12 rounds at TPC Four Seasons is 68.67 with nothing higher than a 72.
Day is also one of just four golfers in this week's field in the top 12 in all-time earnings at the tournament. He ranks fifth. Scott Verplank (first), Vijay Singh (second) and Rory Sabbatini (fourth) are the others, but none resonate in one-and-done formats.
Because of his breakthrough title here three years ago, Day has earned more at this event than any other in his career. With that, I rest my case. He's my pick. Yet, if you're playing from behind and prefer to holster the Aussie for later, pencil in possibilities at the AT&T National and Deutsche Bank Championship.
Meanwhile, Marc Leishman is likely to be a popular play as well this week. With top 10s in his last three starts entering this week and three top 15s in four trips to TPC Four Seasons, his results successfully defend the argument. The 2009 Rookie of the Year has risen to a new level, a rarefied air relative to his career path, so there has never been a better time to piggyback on this Australian. Conservative gamers (i.e. the skeptics) will wonder how long the tidal shift in form will last, but I'd be more concerned if he didn't already make noise at this event.
If you've burned Day and don't want to ride Leishman, the chalk of the week is Jimmy Walker. Consecutive cuts made streaks are chic in mainstream conversation this year, but they've always been a handy reference point for gamers. The San Antonio resident leads the PGA TOUR with 22 straight. This season's set of 13 including four top 10s and another four top 25s. Given his trend, it would require an absolute shutting down of his focus not to continue to pound on the door.
Two-man one-and-dones are advised to give looks to Ryan Palmer and Jordan Spieth.
Last week: Sergio Garcia; T8; $237,500.00
Overall Record: 18-for-20
Top 5s: 5
Top 10s: 10
Top 25s: 14
Missed Cuts: 2
The par-3 17th hole at TPC Four Seasons might reward aggressive shots on Sunday. (Carroll/Getty Images)
By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM Contributor
As part of the overhaul at TPC Four Seasons in 2007, the 17th green got new contours in an effort to bring more weekend birdies to an amphitheater setting designed for drama but too often had players happy to play for par.
Five years of results, though, show there hasn’t been a marked difference.
Only once, in 2009, has the 198-yard hole produced a weekend birdie total above the numbers No. 17 had produced in the three years before the makeover. And though last year produced a final-round best of 17 birdies, only one came from the final six pairings.
“You’ve still got to hit the shots,” said J.J. Henry, who served as a consultant to D.A. Weibring’s course makeover. The TCU alum took a one-stroke lead to No. 17 last year, but flew the green and wound up with a costly double bogey.
The traditional Sunday pin, before and after the revamp, is a front-right spot near the water that separates tee from green. Over the years, though, officials learned players weren’t often willing to take on the challenge. Two putts from the middle of the green was satisfactory.
“With that pin you never felt like if you were one or two behind [the lead], you could stuff it in there. Everything bounced away from you,” said Harrison Frazar, who also consulted Weibring on changes.
Weibring reshaped the green to allow a greater variety of shots to funnel toward that pin position. “You can take it off the slope and feed it down to the hole,” Frazar said. “So a good shot is going to be rewarded.”
Said Henry: “It’s a hole that always attracts a lot of people and a lot of excitement, especially on the weekend, and we wanted to try to incorporate that a little bit.”
Whether enough players choose to take on the challenge, though, remains to be seen. No. 17 ranked eighth in difficulty at last year’s Nelson; it fluctuated between fourth and sixth in the years before the redo.