The 15th of 24 contributing events for PGA TOUR Champions One & Done presented by SERVPRO is this week's Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship. It begins on Thursday. Scroll for tournament notes, 23 notables and four wild cards from the field of 78 in Highland Park, Illinois.
This isn't complicated. In fact, I went back to review previous One & Done previews for the John Deere Classic so that I didn't open with the same thought. If that's not evidence of my confidence in Zach Johnson, we're never going to understand each other.
Steve Stricker is the all-time earnings leader and three-time champion at TPC Deere Run, but ZJ is one day from being exactly nine years younger, and that counts for something when you're sizing up his equally impressive record in this tournament.
Every time I see Johnson selected during another week – well, other than Colonial – I shake my head. But I don't judge. You do you. I'll be here waiting. If the 2012 champ isn't available, pivot to Stricker and enjoy the week.
Bryson DeChambeau is defending his first title. That would normally elicit pause among prospective investors, but the experience will be closer to the inside of the box than his frequency of going about his business on the outside. In other words, he'll be fine. Like Xander Schauffele at last week's A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier, DeChambeau has rapidly risen on the list of permanent class. Fire away if you're keen.
Gamers in pursuit are overdue to burn Joaquin Niemann. That's an incredible (and accurate) assessment given the fact that he's been a professional for fewer than three months. The same strategy can be applied to Chesson Hadley, who is still simmering and filling up the box score. A T25 at last year's JDC doesn't hurt, but he's been reliable almost everywhere, anyway.
Stalwarts Ryan Moore and Kyle Stanley are sporty foils if you're looking for something just a little outside the focus. They present stronger as roster plays, but that's the reason their ownership percentages should be low in the One & Done. Smart, safe contrarians they are.
Like all of the aforementioned (sans Schauffele, who didn't commit), Francesco Molinari and Austin Cook also are in my Power Rankings. However, both present as possibly looking ahead to The Open Championship. It's never something that we can quantify or accuse beyond the general narrative, but there's always a small grouping of concerns who usually look good on the eve of a major and who you shouldn't burn in a One & Done now.
Assuming two-man gamers lead off with one of the golfers already covered, fill the blank on the back end with Kevin Tway, Scott Brown, Chris Kirk or Wesley Bryan.
RANK PANELIST PICK COMMENT 145th
Zach Johnson He’s showing some good signs as he returns to a course he loves. 185th
On the Mark
Zach Johnson I was very close to going with the "Evergreen" legend Steve Stricker, but Zach is pretty handy in the "Green and Yellow" event too. 314th
There aren’t that many near certainties in Golf but Zach Johnson playing well at TPC Deere Run is pretty close. 423rd
He's got four top-10s in just eight starts since turning pro in April. 459th
Zach is the obvious pick in this spot, but I need to deviate from the crowd if I'm going to have any chance of making a late-season push. 573rd Rob Bolton
Addition by contrition? The objective was to play the stymie as the front-runner when the JDC rolled around. Alas, it evolved into acceptance of the push. Regardless, I'm not deviating from the most obvious play of the season.
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.
Bill Haas … Wyndham (2)
Zach Johnson … John Deere (1); Open Championship (5); WGC-Bridgestone (6); TOUR Championship (8)
Ryan Moore … John Deere (3); TOUR Championship (6)
Scott Piercy … John Deere (6)
CHAMPIONS ONE & DONE
Constellation SENIOR PLAYERS Championship
Exmoor Country Club in Highland Park, Illinois, is the host. Located north of Chicago, it's a 122-year-old facility that has never hosted a professional event. The stock par 72 can stretch 7,149 yards.
Scott McCarron is the defending champion. He ended Bernhard Langer's string of three straight tournament titles, each on a different track.
This is a 72-hole competition with 78 participants. There is no cut. With a purse of $2.8 million, it's the third-most lucrative tournament on the schedule, but it's the richest of the remaining 10 contributing to the fantasy game. The winner will pocket $420,000.
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 … Boeing (2); Shaw (7)
Joe Durant … SENIOR PLAYERS (1); 3M (6); DICK'S (12); Boeing (10); Shaw (11); PURE (3); SAS (13)
David Frost … 3M (7); Boeing (5); Shaw (8); PURE (1)
Fred Funk … Boeing (6); PURE (5)
Doug Garwood … SAS (1)
Paul Goydos … 3M (1; defending); DICK'S (3); SAS (5)
Miguel Angel Jiménez … SENIOR PLAYERS (3); Senior Open Championship (4); 3M (9); Shaw (7); SAS (12)
Brandt Jobe … 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 … SAS (9)
Jeff Maggert … Shaw (5)
Billy Mayfair … Boeing (2); PURE (1)
Scott McCarron … SENIOR PLAYERS (3; defending); Senior Open Championship (10); DICK'S (4; defending); Shaw (5; defending); PURE (8)
Colin Montgomerie … SENIOR PLAYERS (2); Senior Open Championship (10); Shaw (4); PURE (7); SAS (3; defending)
Tom Pernice, Jr. … Shaw (3); SAS (5)
Kenny Perry … 3M (1); DICK'S (11); SAS (2)
Gene Sauers … SENIOR PLAYERS (6); Boeing (1)
Vijay Singh … Shaw (5); SAS (1)
Kevin Sutherland … Usable everywhere.
David Toms … Boeing (2); SAS (4)
Kirk Triplett … SENIOR PLAYERS (1); Shaw (4)
Duffy Waldorf … 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; Rocco Mediate; Scott Parel