Power Rankings: True South Classic

July 17, 2012
Rob Bolton, Fantasy Columnist

For the second consecutive year, the True South Classic will be contested opposite the British Open. It's a somewhat familiar spot since it ran concurrently with the season's third major from 1994-1998. However, the added value today exists in the FedExCup points up for grabs.

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Defending champion Chris Kirk parlayed his breakthrough on the PGA TOUR into a season-ending 33rd in the standings. He'd go on to advance to the third leg of the Playoffs to cement a strong rookie year.

Annandale Golf Club returns as host for the 18th time in 19 years. (Saturated, unplayable turf canceled the 2009 edition.) With benign conditions and preferred lies in play all week in 2011, the field had its way with the Jack Nicklaus design.

The track played to a scoring average of 69.810 a year ago, easiest among all par 72s that serve as singular hosts for TOUR stops. The greens-in-regulation split of 72.04 percent set up a birdie average of 4.26. As if those numbers aren't tantalizing enough, Annandale forfeited a scrambling percentage of 67.15, by far the highest on TOUR all year.

Rain and boomers are in the forecast throughout the week. High temps could range from the mid-80s to the low 90s. Winds will do zero to take the edge off the steam bath, but the aggregate conditions will allow for aggressive golf. Expect confident iron games and fearless putting to rule the roost.

Power Rankings: True South Classic
Rank Player   Comment
Won the Rockford (Ill.) Pro-Am on Monday for the second time (2007). Six top 10s this year, one in every month since February. Ranks 31st on the PGA TOUR in birdie average. Top 25s in each of his last three appearances at Annandale.
Top 15s in his last two trips to Annandale, including a T3 in 2010. Has survived 13 consecutive cuts, five of which have gone for top 20s, including three of the last four. Twelve of last 15 rounds have been sub-70. Ranks 10th in greens hit.
He's posted four of his 18 career top 10s at Annandale, the most recent of which a T8 in 2008. Placed T25 at last week's John Deere Classic thanks to a closing seven-birdie 65. It was his fifth top 25 among seven cuts made in just 11 starts this year.
Extended his career-best consecutive cuts made streak to nine with a T25 at the John Deere, his fifth top 25 during the stretch. Tied for ninth in his debut at Annandale last year; ranked T5 in greens hit. Currently 34th on TOUR in birdie average.
The defending champion has been relatively quiet this season, logging just two top 20s among 10 cuts made in 17 starts. Took five weeks off in early spring after becoming a father for the first time. Sits 54th on TOUR in greens in regulation.
Arrives on the coattails of a T13 at the John Deere Classic, his third top 20 in seven starts. Hit only 49 greens (T64) at TPC Deere Run but buried 20 birdies (T17). En route to a T7 at Annandale last year, carded only four over-par holes all week.
It's been over three years since he connected top 35s, much less top 10s, but he's projecting toward ending that drought this week. Shared eighth place at last week's John Deere. Three top 20s in his last five starts at Annandale (dating back to 2006).
Successfully navigated open qualifying for the fifth time this season. While he's 4-for-7 overall with just one top 30 (T24, New Orleans), the experience he's mounting is invaluable. Moreover, this week's shootout could play out like a four-spotter.
Possesses one of the strongest records pound-for-pound here, with four top-12 finishes in five starts, including a win in 2006. Unfortunately, the supporting evidence ends there, as he hasn't cracked a top 40 in his last 15 starts this year.
With a share of fifth place at the John Deere Classic, the recently turned pro beat all other non-winners in the field. He opened with a bogey-free 65 and closed with a field-low 64. Two starts, two top 20s. Actual scoring average in eight rounds is 68.125.

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