One & Done: Barracuda Championship
July 23, 2019
By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM
- Martin Laird has played very well over the years at the Barracuda Championship. (Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
If you play the full season, you're accustomed to doubleheaders, but no one is immune to forgetting to submit two picks, especially this deep into 2018-19. As long as you remember to scroll on the gaming platform, this should be a no-brainer.
This is the fifth and final week with two tournaments. Each gets stand-alone treatment for One & Doners – here's that for the World Golf Championships-FedEx St. Jude Invitational – but the analysis for the Barracuda Championship doesn't spread as wide.
If Martin Laird is one of the 132 to commit to the last additional event on the schedule – and he is this week – he's our guy. As we holster him for Montrêux Golf and Country Club, where he's 5-for-5 with two top fives in the old stroke-play format along with a T6 (2014), a T7 (2016) and a T15 (2018) since it's measured performance using Modified Stableford scoring, we're holding our breath that he doesn't qualify for the concurrent WGC. (Members who qualify for WGCs cannot play in the opposite events the same week.)
Of all of the other usual suspects in the field in Reno, Nevada, Brendan Steele also would jump off your glowing rectangle, but he's mired in an extended slump. In his five appearances, all during the Modified Scoring era, he's recorded four top 10s and a T25. This is his first appearance since 2016, but only two-man gamers willing to assume the risk should be kicking his tires.
Bill Haas is the third of the three golfers in the field who appears in Futures Possibilities below. In his only appearance in the last 11 years, he missed last year's cut. While I must acknowledge that he might be worth saving for next week's Wyndham Championship, and it'd be a surprise if he's not in the field, there's a remote chance that he doesn't qualify or receives a sponsor exemption. The field won't be official until 5:00 p.m. ET on Friday, so I can't confirm that he'll be making his 14th consecutive start at Sedgefield, but I'll hedge that way. Still, he's on a heater right now and not yet inside the top 125 of the FedExCup standings (currently 137th). If you're in pursuit, ride the hot hand at the Barracuda.
Ryan Palmer might be the most household of names in the field, until you realize that Martin Kaymer is as well. Both are solid if you need to pivot.
Collin Morikawa easily is the sexiest pick on the board, and he should flourish in the scoring system. Pairing him with Laird is the golden ticket for two-man formats.
Rank Expert Pick Comment 38th
Martin Laird I've earned the opportunity to play the stymie, and I'm thankful that Laird committed, but I was tempted by Collin Morikawa. 44th
Martin Kaymer It’s not often you get a player in this field who owns two majors and a PLAYERS. He’s experiencing a bit of a resurgence, as well. 56th
On the Mark
A high ball hitter at altitude. That works. A high-ball hitter, who has been playing well, at altitude... that works even better. 66th
Veteran ball-striker hasn't finished worse than T15 in five starts at Montreux and closed with 63 last weekend. Just edged out Russell Henley and Bill Haas.
Martin Laird Bolton will block me, but I can't give him a free kick to an even bigger lead. Scotsman to win. 589th
So impressive. Could win right away, too.
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 2018-19. 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 tournaments remain listed for each golfer. All are pending golfer commitment.
Bill Haas … Wyndham (6)
Martin Laird … Barracuda (2)
Brendan Steele … Barracuda (3)