Ernie Els ... The Big Easy hosted the sixth annual E4A (Els for Autism) Pro-Am on Monday at PGA National. In his latest blog entry, he cited that the professionals that participated may have represented the "strongest ever line-up." As it pertains to Copperhead, the 44-year-old South African returns for the first time since sharing fifth place in 2012. He also placed T6 in 2006. Despite where he is on the career bell curve, his Hall of Fame greenside touch remains strong. Currently 34th in strokes gained-putting and 40th in scrambling. That was on display in his second round of the Match Play three weeks ago where described his up-and-down to defeat Justin Rose in the second round as "one of those once-in-a-lifetime shots."
Danny Lee ... Born in South Korea but moved to New Zealand as a boy. He's been on the global scene for so long that it's difficult to comprehend that he's only 23 years of age. When he won the U.S. Amateur in 2008, he was the youngest champion (18) in the event's history. The following year and still an amateur and still 18, he took the title at the Johnnie Walker Classic (in Australia) on the European Tour to become the circuit's youngest-ever winner. Both marks have since been broken, but Lee came close to adding his name to the list of victorious young guns on the PGA TOUR last week. His solo second at the Puerto Rico Open is a career-best.
Freddie Jacobson ... Returns to Copperhead for the first time since 2004. Currently eighth on TOUR in strokes gained-putting. It's a skill that bails him out of trouble often as he's outside the top 100 in distance off the tee, fairways hit and greens in regulation. It's also a lucrative asset evidenced with three top-12 finishes on the season, including in his last start at The Honda Classic (T12). The Swede will turn 40 years of age in September.
Camilo Villegas ... Authoring a case example of how to survive on the PGA TOUR. He's yet to record a top 25 this season (and 16 straight dating back to July of 2013), but because he's registered eight cuts made, the 32-year-old Colombian sits 82nd in the FedExCup standings. Forever at war with his putter (T124 in strokes gained), he's created enough opportunities to remain afloat. Currently 13th in greens in regulation and 52nd in adjusted scoring. Also fanatical about cycling, he's unfortunately backpedaled to missed cuts in the last two editions of the Valspar Championship.
Brian Davis ... Still winless in 288 PGA TOUR starts, the Englishman finds a groove at least once every year and rides it to his next PGA TOUR card. While he's 7-for-10 this season with a pair of top 25s, the 39-year-old has yet to lock in. Despite ranking 10th in fairways hit and 27th in strokes gained-putting, it's unlikely that he'll connect at Copperhead given hasn't recorded a top 25 in nine trips.