Fantasy Insider: AT&T NationalAngel Cabrera is sometimes an all-or-nothing pick, but his style might be a benefit at Congressional.June 25, 2013
Rob Bolton, fantasy columnist,
It’s not often that one golfer becomes rookie eligible in the middle of a season, but two teenagers from opposite ends of the world will share that rare distinction this week.
Nineteen-year-old Jordan Spieth will be making his 10th PGA TOUR start since accepting Special Temporary Membership. That means that he'll officially qualify as a rookie and contend for Rookie of the Year honors. Look for him to be added to my weekly Rookie Ranking published on Monday.
South Korea's Si Woo Kim was one of 26 graduates of qualifying school at the age of 17 years, 5 months and 5 days. Membership bylaws require members to be 18 years of age. Kim's 18th birthday is this Friday. He's not scheduled to compete at the AT&T National, but he'll be added to the graduate reshuffle in advance of next week's Greenbrier Classic. He's 0-for-2 on sponsor exemptions this season.
Look for my choices for PGATOUR.com's fantasy game in Expert Picks. My one-and-done selection, analysis and season totals will appear in the TOUR Report on Wednesday.
On a Roll
Chris Stroud ... If he had any success at Congressional, he would have appeared in the Power Rankings, but there is no sidestepping an endorsement here. Five top 20s on the season, including a career-best P2 last week in Connecticut. Ranks third in scrambling, T10 in par-4 scoring and 41st in adjusted scoring.
Charley Hoffman ... Continues to pour it on. His T7 at TPC River Highlands where he opened with a career-low 61 was his fifth top 10. That ties a single-season record (2006, 2010). Ranks 34th in strokes gained-putting and 21st in adjusted scoring. He's 4-for-4 at Congressional with two top 25s, including a T22 last year.
Angel Cabrera ... Polarizing investment fits the medium-high risk/medium-high reward potential as current form has nothing on the Argentine. Closed with a field-low 63 on Sunday at TPC River Highlands after surviving the 54-hole cut on the number. Sneaky flier to complement your chalk.
Stuart Appleby ... Despite 11 previous cuts made, hadn't fared better than T35 (RBC Heritage) this season until sharing ninth place at the Travelers Championship where he was under par in every round. It was his first top 10 in 27 months and best finish since winning The Greenbrier Classic in 2010.
Patrick Reed ... After a couple of months on the top-125 bubble, he's 93rd in FedExCup points thanks to a solo fifth in Memphis and a T18 in Connecticut.
Horses for Courses
Brendon de Jonge ... Finished outside the top 35 in his last three starts. That's a mini-drought that he hadn't experienced since early spring of last year. Don't expect it to last. Tied for 11th at Congressional a year ago.
Jeff Overton ... Congressional could offer a soft landing after six straight starts sans a top 25. He placed T9 at the AT&T National in 2008. Also finished T22 last year and went 45-for-47 from six feet and in.
Not So Fast
Ken Duke ... No matter who or how old, you have to expect a letdown of some degree after a breakthrough victory. He emerged with the title at the Travelers Championship despite ranking T62 in greens in regulation. The 44-year-old leads the PGA TOUR in fairways hit and proximity to the hole, so it wouldn't be wise to invest against him, but TPC River Highlands and Congressional are on opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of playability and length.
Jeff Maggert ... After surviving the 36-hole cut on the number at TPC River Highlands, he played the weekend in 7-under 65-68 en route to a T9. It's just his second top-45 finish of the season, but both have occurred in his last four starts (T2, THE PLAYERS). Now 49 years of age, he's already banked more in 2013 than in any of the last six years. It's because of that long-term trending that limits his usage to deeper full-season formats.
Nick Watney ... He's missed three consecutive cuts for the first time since his rookie year of 2005. His actual scoring average over his last seven rounds is 76.00.
Robert Garrigus ... He's failed to make a cut in his last four starts, a slide that's run concurrent with the birth of his second child on May 29. When he regains form, it could be at a track like Congressional that rewards length.
Sang-moon Bae ... Since breaking through at the HP Byron Nelson Championship, he's finished T76 at Colonial and missed his last three cuts.
Brian Stuard ... Experienced a virtual roller-coaster ride this season. Co-led the TOUR early with two top 10s en route to eight consecutive cuts made, but he's gone 2-for-10 since. In the process, he's tumbled 40 spots in the FedExCup standings to 69th.
Lucas Glover ... Arrives at Congressional having missed four straight cuts. Hasn't broken par in any of his last 10 rounds, but cut him some slack as he's a first-time father as of May.
James Hahn ... Back after a two-week break. Still hasn't found the handle since the TOUR migrated east nearly four months ago. Since a T3 at Pebble Beach, he's fallen 74 spots in FedExCup points to 85th.
Charlie Beljan ... He's missed six of his last seven cuts (T43, HP Byron Nelson).
Aaron Baddeley ... By falling two strokes outside the 36-hole cut line at the Travelers Championship, he established a career-long streak as a professional of seven consecutive missed cuts.
Sean O'Hair ... Has missed his last four cuts and posted seven consecutive scores over par, all on par-70 tracks.
Y.E. Yang ... No telling how long it will be before the swing changes click. He's 0-for-7 since a T30 in Puerto Rico. It could happen at Congressional where he has good memories, finishing T3 in the 2011 U.S. Open.
Johnson Wagner ... After missing the 36-hole cut at the Travelers Championship by 14 strokes, his drought without a cut made extends to six in a row.
Colt Knost ... Riding his second 0-for-3 skid of the season. Sits 181st in FedExCup points with just one top 40 among seven cuts made in 18 starts.
Troy Matteson ... He's missed seven consecutive cuts and ranks 184th in FedExCup points.
Justin Bolli ... Since a solo fourth at the HP Byron Nelson Championship, he's missed four consecutive cuts. His MC at TPC River Highlands was his fourth at that venue in as many starts.
Back in the Saddle
Gary Woodland ... A back injury forced him to withdrew before his second round at last week's Travelers Championship. It ended a consecutive cuts made streak at nine that was capped by two top 20s.
Richard Sterne ... Scheduled to return at The Irish Open on the European Tour. Out since the BMW PGA Championship. Took a pass on the U.S. Open shortly after his wife gave birth to the couple's first child.
Justin Rose ... Withdrew on Monday. Released the following statement: "I'm disappointed to withdraw from the AT&T National, but the last three weeks have been extremely demanding both mentally and physically. This tournament has been very good to me -- especially in 2010 -- and I would play if I felt I could." Rose won the first of two editions at Aronimink Golf Club in 2010.