To preview the 2013 PGA TOUR season, PGATOUR.COM is counting down the Top 100 Players to Watch in 2013. For an archive page with the top 100 players and for an explanation on how the list was compiled, click here .
2013 PREVIEW: Troy Matteson found a good time to get hot last year -- posting all three of his top-10s in a five-tournament span heading into the FedExCup Playoffs on the way to a career-best finish of 45th. Finding consistency throughout the year will be the key in 2013.
2012 DEFINING MOMENT: Matteson started his surge into the FedExCup Playoffs with a playoff loss to Zach Johnson at the John Deere Classic. After opening with a 61, Matteson drained a 52-foot eagle putt on the 71st hole of regulation to force sudden death, eventually losing on the second extra hole. –- Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
ALBERS’ QUICK TAKE: I walked with Mattesson the final round at John Deere where he lost a playoff to Zach Johnson. It took one of the great shots of the year out of Zach -- out of a fairway bunker for tap in birdie during the playoff -- in order for Johnson to win. I wondered at the time if the defeat would encourage Troy or leave a scar. Troy went on to miss just one more cut during the regular season. Troy Mattesson is a mentally disciplined player. -- Fred Albers, SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio
BOLTON’S FANTASY OUTLOOK: Not sure there's another guy on TOUR that requires as much patience. Since his rookie year of 2006, he's averaged 12.71 missed cuts per season, but he's also averaged 29.43 starts. Notoriously streaky. Conservative gamers might have a spot for him, but they might not mind taking a pass on the absence of production for the majority of the year. Meanwhile, like most things counterintuitive in fantasy golf, his unpredictability week-to-week translates into known value since he's repeatedly proven that he'll solve his problems before painting himself into a corner. -- Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy expert
2012 QUICK REVIEW
Regular Season ranking
Final Playoffs ranking
|Best finishes||2nd||John Deere Classic|
|By the Numbers Starts: 32 Cuts made: 17 Rounds played: 98 Top-10 finishes: 3 Money List rank: 77th||TOUR ranking Driving distance: 26th Driving accuracy: 182nd Greens in regulation: 124th Strokes gained-putting: 66th Scoring average: 134th|
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN What is your prediction for Troy Matteson in 2013? Fill out the form below and let us know
Five players -- Troy Matteson, Bo Van Pelt, Jhonattan Vegas, Stuart Appleby and Charl Schwartzel -- currently share the clubhouse lead at 5-under 65 in the opening round of the RBC Canadian Open, where they’re playing lift, clean and place after an overnight storm swept through the area and soaked the golf course.
Here’s what some of the leaders had to say about the opening round:
Vegas on the course conditions: “It is really soft. You can really throw anything at the pins and it's going to stop there.”
Vegas on how much of a difference there is between playing lift, clean and place and playing the ball down: “You take the doubt out of your mind. When you have your eye on the ball, you don't know which way the ball is going to go. So cleaning it takes it completely out of your mind. You can put a good spin on it, and usually you can get a result. It's huge.”
Appleby, who shot a 59 in the final round to win at The Greenbrier two years ago, on the similarities between that course and this one: “The greens, probably similar speed. The topography of this course is a lot hillier, a lot more demanding I think on the tee shots. The golf course now at Greenbrier is a lot more demanding than it was when I shot it.”
Schwartzel on being healthy again after missing a month between the U.S. and British Open due to a rib injury: “Before I had the injury, that second Masters before the British Open I thought that was the best I've hit the ball in my career. I hit it so good. Then the injury came and I was pretty upset about it because I thought I was really close to breaking through and winning again. I had to sit around for three weeks, three-and-a-half weeks without being able to hit a ball. I had sort of a rushed recuperation for the British Open, wasn't quite 100 percent. But at the British Open I didn't hit it as good as I did when I took off, but I kept practicing, and on Monday when I came here, things started falling into place.”
By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
At an average of 305.1 yards per drive for the week, runner-up Troy Matteson had the highest driving distance among the top 15 finishers at the John Deere Classic.
It took a little work to get there from an equipment standpoint.
Matteson, a two-time winner on the PGA TOUR, came to TPC Deere Run telling TaylorMade reps he was ‘killing’ his RBZ fairway wood but was not able to hit a power draw on command with his driver. Instead, he was hitting pulls.
Matteson’s original driver, an 8-degree TaylorMade R11S, had been tuned to a lower position while the ASP sole plate was in the closed setting – in short, a low-lofted driver with a open face, setting up closed. To help fix, TaylorMade reps gave him a higher-lofted driver with a closed clubface that appeared square, shortened by an inch to get the club more vertical and promote the draw.
In the end, going from a 7.5-degree/2-degree open face to an 8.5 degree/1-degree closed/1-inch shorter club immediately promoted more ball speed, higher launch and a higher spin rate, allowing the ball to stay in the air and turn right-to-left.
How much the switch pay off? In the first round at the John Deere, Matteson made 10 birdies in a round of 61 and ultimately lost in a playoff to Zach Johnson.
ANSER MEN: At the other end of driver spectrum was Ping, a holdout in the adjustable driver craze – until earlier this month. Ping’s new Anser driver is its first entry into the adjustable market, with lofts able to be tuned a half-degree up or down.
Louis Oosthuizen (pictured at right) put a Anser driver in the bag at last week’s Scottish Open and brought it to the British Open, where he’s the defending champion. Former Masters champion Angel Cabrera has been working with an Anser 3-wood.
SPECIAL DELIVERY: Callaway’s X Utility Prototype irons have been hot on TOUR and will continue to be this week at the British Open, where accuracy is far more important than distance. The company has been frantically shipping clubheads from its PGA TOUR trailer overseas; clubmaker Roger Cleveland even traveled to England with five 18-degree X Utility Prototype heads in his baggage.
BAG BITS: K.J. Choi won the 2011 PLAYERS with Miura irons; last week he finished T13 at John Deere with Callaway RAZR Musclebacks. … Blake Adams switched from steel shafts in his TaylorMade Tour Preferred MC irons to Aldila-prototype graphites at the John Deere. Most PGA TOUR pros prefer steel in irons. … Chez Reavie first began working with a TaylorMade Ghost Spider belly putter at the AT&T National, finally putting it into play at TPC Deere Run and finishing T68.
SCRIPT: You know you’re important when your apparel supplier dresses you. Check out how Sergio Garcia, Dustin Johnson and Justin Rose are scripted by TaylorMade-adidas.
WINNER’S BAG: Johnson at the John Deere
Driver: Titleist 910D2 (Mitsubishi Diamana Blue Board, 9.5 degrees)
Fairway woods: Titleist 910F (15.0 degrees) and 909 F2 (18.5 degrees)
Hybrid: Titleist 909H (21 degrees)
Irons: Titleist AP1 (4) and AP2 (5-9)
Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design (48, 54, 60 degrees)
Putter: SeeMore FGP
Ball: Titleist Pro V1x
Check out the top five shots of the week from the John Deere Classic and Utah Championship featuring highlights from Zach Johnson, Troy Matteson, Sam Saunders, John Senden, and Steve Stricker.
Following his third-round 66, Troy Matteson reflects on his play with Doug Bell from SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio.
Hopefully, Troy Matteson isn't triskaidekaphobic. This is, after all, a man who finished 36 holes at the John Deere Classic in 13 under -- on Friday the 13th, no less.
The 68 Matteson shot in the second round of the John Deere Classic allowed him to remain on top of the leaderboard when he finished although his three-shot lead had dwindled to one. The veteran was pleased to have made another positive move after opening with a sterling 61.
"It's just always tough when you shoot a low one to come to the golf course the next day," Matteson said. "I got here early. You get a little out of sync because you're anxious to get out there and play and see what you do. But, you know, all in all I felt pretty good with what we did today. Because we did hit the loose shots that we hit, we got away with most of 'em."
Matteson isn't sure that he'll be leading at the end of the day, though. TPC Deere Run is being extremely generous and he wouldn't be surprised to see someone post a number like he did on Thursday.
"I'll be shocked if it's still in the lead by the end of the
day," Matteson said. "I think a guy at 7 could easily shoot 8 or
9. Easily. Or at 6. I know there are some guys going
pretty low out there right now.
"It's out there every day. I mean, somebody could shoot a 59 today if they get it going. ... There are opportunities out there today. I wouldn't be surprised if somebody got to 15."