October 16 2013
By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM
My decision to shelve Gary Woodland and Billy Horschel last week paid off as both missed the cut, but they'll surely command our attention again later. Meanwhile, riding the hot hand of Hideki Matsuyama was a wise decision, one that I fully endorse if he's available to you at this week's Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. He simply doesn't fail.
Zach Johnson is No. 1 in my Power Rankings, primarily due to his exceptional form in recent months, but I'm considering tabling him until the John Deere Classic. After all, Steve Stricker's reign as the go-to won't last forever, and it's always wise to keep alternates in mind.
So, while I'm tempted to roll with the birdie machine otherwise known as Brendon de Jonge (No. 3 in the Power Rankings) at a tournament known for surrendering low numbers -- his solo second at TPC Summerlin last year is a career-best -- I'll go ahead and burn a resurgent Nick Watney, who sits second in the Power Rankings. Watney lives locally and he's finished inside the top 10 in each of the last three editions of the tournament. He's also parlayed his recent switch to coach Todd Anderson into top 15s in three of his last four starts.
If you read this space regularly, you know that I tend to stick with chalk throughout the season; that is, since there are 45 tournaments in 2013-14, I'll eye only those inside the top 50 in the Official World Golf Rankings, multiple winners on the PGA TOUR, etc. However, all bets are off in shootouts, especially in Las Vegas, so I have no reservations of endorsing John Peterson and Kevin Na. It's unlikely that you'll turn to either again in the short-term, Peterson has been red-hot and Na owns a tremendous record at TPC Summerlin; it's where he picked off his only PGA TOUR victory two years ago. It's also convenient that Na tied for third at last week's Frys.com Open. (Peterson tied for 21st.)
Consider Spencer Levin and Brooks Koepka as complements in two-man games.
Frys.com Open: Hideki Matsuyama; T3; $240,000.00
Overall Record: 1-for-1
Top 5s: 1
Top 10s: 1
Top 25s: 1
Missed Cuts: 0