The 10th of 24 contributing events for PGA TOUR Champions One & Done presented by SERVPRO is this week's Regions Tradition. It's the first of five majors, all of which are contested over 72 holes and begin on Thursdays. Scroll for tournament notes, 22 notables and four wild cards from the field of 78 in Birmingham, Alabama.
No matter what you think you know, you don't, you know?
With proper and deserved respect to open qualifier Ryan Baca and North Texas PGA Section representative Brian Norman, neither are likely to generate enthusiasm for even two-man gamers at the AT&T Byron Nelson.
See, they are the only two in the field of 156 with competitive course experience at Trinity Forest Golf Club in Dallas. At the 2017 Texas State Open, Baca placed T10 and Norman finished T53.
The 47th edition of the esteemed competition also included recognizable names like former PGA TOUR members Edward Loar (T15), Hunter Haas and Craig Kanada – the latter two of whom withdrew mid-tournament -- among a handful of other blasts from the past for the truly hardcore (e.g. Brady Watt, Stuart Deane and "Mr. 57" Curtis Reed). Certainly, our own Sean Martin could have penned a Power Rankings for that event and made me blush.
The moral of this story is that none of those guys are One & Done-worthy, but they're the golfers with the muscle memory and some idea of where to miss on the collaboration by Bill Coore and Ben Crenshaw.
At the head of the class among short-listers in PGA TOUR Fantasy One & Done presented by SERVPRO are locals Jordan Spieth and Beau Hossler, but only Hossler demands serious consideration. Sorry, Sean, but the massive unknown favors the field.
Your advised strategy is to review how you'd arrange available golfers on your board for later stops. It's the essence at the core of the existence of Future Possibilities below. However, you still need to leave yourself with a chip for the AT&T Byron Nelson.
I've already burned Marc Leishman, but he'd be the most logical at Trinity Forest. Aside from his reputation in the wind, he's proven comfortable and confident on links-style tracks. And with four top 10s in 2018 alone, he presents no reason to wait.
Jimmy Walker is back on the rise and doesn't line up exceptionally strong the rest of the way. The Texan is the epitome of striking while the irons are hot and while we're essentially in the dark. Form over everything else, gang.
Like Walker, Adam Scott is the kind of chalk to which we can turn just to sleep better. A top 20 would be a net-positive as the Aussie continues to grind through relative adversity. He could emerge as a candidate again later, but the blank canvas of this week serves as a sensible time to circle him now.
Billy Horschel is the defending champion on a different course. His recent uptick after finding magic with a familiar putter furnishes all the confidence we need to latch on, but his record at the FedEx St. Jude Classic is phenomenal and should be embraced. Holster.
Because I view Matt Kuchar as a wild card who fits in almost everywhere but often doesn't win tiebreakers, he's my pick. As I wrote in the Power Rankings, he placed second at the 2017 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale, which Jordan Spieth used as a comp to Trinity Forest. Sold.
Martin Laird and Branden Grace are seriously tempting. Laird is a beast at the Barracuda Championship contested the same week as the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational where fellow Barracuda go-to's Gary Woodland and Brendan Steele will be competing. Grace makes more sense at Trinity Forest and easily could have slotted higher than No. 11 in my Power Rankings.
Since two-man gamers won't be flipping a coin between Baca and Norman, saddle Hossler into the back seat.
RANK PANELIST PICK COMMENT 196th
It’s a big risk taking such a big name, but you have to win boldly to win. 200th
On the Mark
I have a hunch Leish will fare well around the Coore-Crenshaw design. 352nd
The Texan found something with the putter. I think he's a worthy selection on a new track. 454th
In the absence of an available top-10 machine, I'm relying on my man-crush for something special. His patience and overall experience should deliver a positive result. And when the winds blows, his low ball flight is most favorable.
Links style course & the immediate pressure to qualify for the U.S. Open will bring the champion out in the Australian. 704th
After watching him up close en route to his T2 finish at THE PLAYERS last week, he looks ready to break into the winner’s circle again. His impressive putting from off the greens last week will serve him well at the new links-like course in Dallas.
NOTE: Select golfers committed to the tournament are listed alphabetically. Future tournaments are sorted chronologically and reflect previous success on the courses on which the tournaments will be held in 2017-18. The numerical values in parentheses represent the order of relative confidence of where to use each golfer if multiple sites are listed (e.g. 1 for strongest, 2 for next-strongest and so on). To present weighted confidence in real time, numerical values will not change all season no matter how many tournament remain listed for each golfer. All are pending golfer commitment.
Sergio Garcia … Open Championship (1); TOUR Championship (4)
Branden Grace … U.S. Open (4); WGC-Bridgestone (3)
Bill Haas … Wyndham (2)
J.B. Holmes … Greenbrier (5)
Billy Horschel … St. Jude (1); TOUR Championship (4)
Russell Knox … Dell Technologies (7)
Matt Kuchar … Fort Worth (6); Memorial (2); Canadian (3); WGC-Bridgestone (7); THE NORTHERN TRUST (9)
Martin Laird … Barracuda (1)
Marc Leishman … Fort Worth (7); Memorial (5); Travelers (2); Open Championship (1)
Hideki Matsuyama … Memorial (10); U.S. Open (6); WGC-Bridgestone (8; defending)
Graeme McDowell … WGC-Bridgestone (3)
Kevin Na … Memorial (10); John Deere (9); Wyndham (3); THE NORTHERN TRUST (11)
Ryan Palmer … Fort Worth (2); St. Jude (6)
Scott Piercy … John Deere (6)
Adam Scott … U.S. Open (10); Open Championship (8); WGC-Bridgestone (3); Dell Technologies (9); TOUR Championship (6)
Brandt Snedeker … Fort Worth (11); U.S. Open (5); Travelers (6); Canadian (3); Wyndham (4)
Jordan Spieth … Fort Worth (2); Travelers (6; defending); John Deere (7); Open Championship (9; defending); WGC-Bridgestone (10); TOUR Championship (4)
Jimmy Walker … Greenbrier (8); Dell Technologies (7)
CHAMPIONS ONE & DONE
Greystone Golf & Country Club in Birmingham, Alabama, hosts for the third consecutive year. It's an unusual par 72 in that there are five par 3s and five par 5s. It'll tip at 7,277 yards.
Like all majors on the PGA TOUR Champions, it begins on Thursday. However, it's one of only two majors (Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship) for which there is no cut.
Bernhard Langer is the two-time defending champion. He's also the PGA TOUR Champions' most recent winner at the Insperity Invitational, which came on the heels of consecutive playoff losses in the previous two tournaments. As a result, the 60-year-old sits atop the Schwab Cup money list.
Total prize money for the Regions Tradition is $2.4 million. The champion will pocket $360,000. This is the most lucrative event of the season thus far. It's fourth-most overall behind the U.S. Senior Open Championship ($4 million), the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship (estimated $2.8-$3.0 million) and Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship ($2.8 million).
NOTE: Select golfers committed to the tournament are listed alphabetically. Future tournaments are sorted chronologically and reflect previous success on the courses on which the tournaments will be held in 2018. The numerical values in parentheses represent the order of relative confidence of where to use each golfer if multiple sites are listed (e.g. 1 for strongest, 2 for next-strongest and so on). To present weighted confidence in real time, numerical values will not change all season no matter how many tournament remain listed for each golfer. All are pending golfer commitment.
Stephen Ames … Principal (8); U.S. Senior Open (6); Boeing (2); Shaw (7)
Joe Durant … Principal (2); American Family (8); U.S. Senior Open (7); SENIOR PLAYERS (1); 3M (6); DICK'S (12); Boeing (10); Shaw (11); PURE (3); SAS (13)
David Frost … U.S. Senior Open (4); 3M (7); Boeing (5); Shaw (8); PURE (1)
Fred Funk … Regions Tradition (3); Boeing (6); PURE (5)
Doug Garwood … SAS (1)
Paul Goydos … 3M (1; defending); DICK'S (3); SAS (5)
Lee Janzen … U.S. Senior Open (2)
Miguel Angel Jiménez … Senior PGA (6); Principal (10); U.S. Senior Open (5); SENIOR PLAYERS (3); Senior Open Championship (4); 3M (9); Shaw (7); SAS (12)
Brandt Jobe … Senior PGA (2); Principal (3; defending); U.S. Senior Open (4); SENIOR PLAYERS (1); 3M (5); Boeing (8)
Jerry Kelly … Boeing (1; defending); Shaw (5); PURE (2); SAS (4)
Bernhard Langer … Usable everywhere. Defending five titles.
Tom Lehman … Regions Tradition (5); Principal (1); U.S. Senior Open (3); SAS (9)
Jeff Maggert … American Family (3); Shaw (5)
Scott McCarron … Regions Tradition (2); Senior PGA (11); Principal (1); SENIOR PLAYERS (3; defending); Senior Open Championship (10); DICK'S (4; defending); Shaw (5; defending); PURE (8)
Colin Montgomerie … Senior PGA (1); U.S. Senior Open (6); SENIOR PLAYERS (2); Senior Open Championship (10); Shaw (4); PURE (7); SAS (3; defending)
Tom Pernice, Jr. … Principal Charity (2); Shaw (3); SAS (5)
Kenny Perry … Regions Tradition (5); Senior PGA (6); 3M (1); DICK'S (10); SAS (2)
Gene Sauers … Regions Tradition (3); U.S. Senior Open (5); SENIOR PLAYERS (6); Boeing (1)
Vijay Singh … Senior PGA (3); U.S. Senior Open (2); Shaw (5); SAS (1)
Kevin Sutherland … Usable everywhere.
David Toms … Regions Tradition (3); Boeing (2); SAS (4)
Duffy Waldorf … Principal (6); Shaw (5)
WILD CARDS (short list of golfers not included above but on the rise or still building portfolios after recently turning 50): Bob Estes; Steve Flesch; Scott Parel; Steve Stricker