The 20th of 24 contributing events for PGA TOUR Champions One & Done presented by SERVPRO is this week's Shaw Charity Classic. It begins on Friday. Scroll for tournament notes, 16 notables and four wild cards from the field of 78 in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
Bryson DeChambeau is everything but a scrappy middle infielder just happy to be on the roster, but when he goes two months without doing any damage, sending him to the plate at THE NORTHERN TRUST and asking him to clear the wall was everything we want when we target swinging for the fences.
However, his victory – by four strokes at that – also isn't what we can expect. DeChambeau slotted 25th overall with an ownership percentage of just 0.90 at Ridgewood, so the apathy was evident. Gotta love golf and you gotta love the timing of the crack of the bat. With 2,000 FedExCup points rewarded to each of the four winners in the Playoffs, it's so, so, sweet when one goes yard.
A relatively unfamiliar track like Ridgewood figures to yield that outcome more than, say, TPC Boston. As stated in my Power Rankings on Monday, since the inaugural edition of the Dell Technologies Championship won by Adam Scott in 2003, only Phil Mickelson (2007) has prevailed in a first appearance.
Despite your best arguments, that fact rules out the likes of percolating Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Alex Noren, Beau Hossler, Peter Uihlein and 13 others; that is, if all you're chasing is the trophy. If that goal sounds obvious, then you're new here. My objective in every tournament is a top 10. Top fives are bonuses and victories are worthy of celebration. Even some contenders late in the season don't need a win events for league championships.
Webb Simpson, McIlroy (twice), Henrik Stenson and Justin Thomas all have emerged victorious at TPC Boston since Mickelson. All are short-listers who will have your attention this week, but only McIlroy and Thomas deserve it.
Simpson has been on fire but only in the context of this season. Since 2015 at the DTC, he's gone T44-MC-T75. That positions him similarly to the previously scuffling DeChambeau, but I'd rather ride Simpson on courses like Aronimink and East Lake where his tee-to-green proficiency enhances his chances.
Stenson is still nursing a sore left elbow. He's an easy pass. Same goes for Wyndham champ Brandt Snedeker, who sat out last week with back spasms. And it was warm at Ridgewood.
McIlroy is healthy but he's getting in his own way, so to speak. As a two-time winner and all-time earnings leader of this tournament, we have to expect a renewal of comfort as he reconnects with conviction and confidence. As stated in this space last week, he's perfect for chasers.
Front-runners can empty the chamber. Course history is your ally.
Thomas defends with Brooks Koepka, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Tony Finau, Adam Scott and Patrick Reed also standing by waiting for the call.
Patrick Cantlay, Jon Rahm and Paul Casey are secondary selections for various reasons and all have delivered at TPC Boston at least once before. Do not hesitate regardless of recent form, good or indifferent.
When Justin Rose misses a cut at a joint like Ridgewood, you know the course is fair, but his leash is one of the longest. The only issue is that he's warranted restraint at TPC Boston throughout his career. He'll regain our attention (and devotion) in earnest at Aronimink where he's won before.
Two-man gamers should focus on surging Billy Horschel and Cameron Smith, the pair at T3 at Ridgewood. A little deeper, the likes of Charley Hoffman and Keegan Bradley should contribute.
RANK PANELIST PICK COMMENT 111th
Justin Thomas The defending champion’s FedExCup defense is mirroring his Cup-winning season of 2017. I think that will include another win at TPC Boston. 119th
On the Mark
For the last few seasons Henrik Stenson has been my "go-to" in Boston. Honestly it took a lot of mental gymnastics to shelf him but the nagging elbow injury concerns me. Tyrrell is a worthy replacement. 170th Rob Bolton
Jason Day Sticking with the guy I've holstered for this tournament for months. It helps that I'm peaking, but I'll put his sturdy record at TPC Boston against all comers. #CmonAussie
Justin Thomas It’s time for the reigning FedExCup champ to make his move. 412th
Jordan Spieth I was saving Rickie Fowler for this week and Jordan Spieth for the TOUR Championship. Fate is telling me to play last year’s Dell Technologies runner-up this week. 620th
Jordan Spieth Had him penciled in for this week since the beginning of the season. Time to see if it pays off.
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.
Paul Casey … Dell Technologies (2); TOUR Championship (3)
Kevin Chappell … Dell Technologies (3)
Jason Day … Dell Technologies (5)
Jason Dufner … TOUR Championship (7)
Billy Horschel … TOUR Championship (4)
Dustin Johnson … Dell Technologies (11); TOUR Championship (6)
Zach Johnson … TOUR Championship (8)
Russell Knox … Dell Technologies (7)
Rory McIlroy … Dell Technologies (5); TOUR Championship (3)
Ryan Moore … TOUR Championship (6)
Louis Oosthuizen … Dell Technologies (3)
Patrick Reed … Dell Technologies (2)
Justin Rose … TOUR Championship (2)
Adam Scott … Dell Technologies (9); TOUR Championship (6)
Jordan Spieth … TOUR Championship (4)
Henrik Stenson … Dell Technologies (9); TOUR Championship (2)
Justin Thomas … Dell Technologies (6; defending); TOUR Championship (3)
Jimmy Walker … Dell Technologies (7)
Bubba Watson … TOUR Championship (4)
CHAMPIONS ONE & DONE
Shaw Charity Classic
Canyon Meadows Golf & Country Club in Calgary, Alberta, hosts the sixth edition of the tournament. It's a par 70 with five par 3s and three par 5s.
Scott McCarron is back to defend a one-stroke victory over Miguel Angel Jiménez. McCarron converted three eagles and 15 birdies against five bogeys en route to 16-under 194.
The $2.35-million purse is the largest of the last five tournaments. The winner will pocket $352,500.
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 … Shaw (7)
Fred Couples … Usable everywhere.
Joe Durant … Shaw (11); PURE (3); SAS (13)
David Frost … Shaw (8); PURE (1)
Doug Garwood … SAS (1)
Miguel Angel Jiménez … Shaw (7); SAS (12)
Jerry Kelly … Shaw (5); PURE (2); SAS (4)
Bernhard Langer … Usable everywhere. Defending five titles.
Jeff Maggert … Shaw (5)
Billy Mayfair … PURE (1)
Scott McCarron … Shaw (5; defending); PURE (8)
Colin Montgomerie … Shaw (4); PURE (7); SAS (3; defending)
Tom Pernice, Jr. … Shaw (3); SAS (5)
Vijay Singh … Shaw (5); SAS (1)
Kirk Triplett … 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): Steve Flesch; Scott Parel; Tim Petrovic; Wes Short, Jr.