Jason Kokrak ... Sat out three months after THE PLAYERS for a sports hernia and surgery to repair it, and then capped off his return with a T16 at the Deutsche Bank Championship where he ranked T7 in proximity to the hole and seventh in scrambling. Finished the season with a career-best 10 top 25s and ranked 32nd in strokes gained: tee-to-green and 35th in adjusted scoring. His pop off the tee at Silverado -- a course with little rough -- could set the table for his first PGA TOUR victory.
Scott Brown ... Probably not the first guy that would come to mind if asked who among non-winners in 2013-14 had four top-five finishes in events awarding a full allocation of FedExCup points, but that's exactly what he achieved. It began with a T3 in this event at CordeValle a year ago. Hitting fairways has been his forte, but he's improved consistently across the board in other areas of his game. He also survived 21 cuts last season, one more than the previous two seasons combined.
Michael Thompson ... Now in his fifth season, he's teed it up only 22 times in each of the last two and hasn't played in more than 25 in any. But when you're among the best putters annually on the PGA TOUR -- he ranked 14th in strokes gained in 2013-14 -- you can afford to be choosy with sites that you think will showcase that skill set. He has nine top 10s and 26 top 25s in just 97 career starts as a professional.
Kevin Kisner ... Beginning his fourth year with a PGA TOUR card but first exempt from the reshuffle. Hit the gas in the last phase of the 2013-14 reshuffle, preceding a pair of top 10s with a T20. Ranked 21st in strokes gained-putting and third in three-putt avoidance. And you can't rule out the intangible of motivation as a University of Georgia product after he watched so many of his fellow alums hoisted trophies last season.
Patrick Rodgers ... Armed with a fresh set of seven sponsor exemptions for 2014-15, the former standout at nearby Stanford has everything to gain. After qualifying for the Web.com Tour Finals with non-member FedExCup points, he placed 33rd among the 25 chasing the cards on the table, finishing just $6,311.66 outside the bubble. An oblique injury may have slowed him down a bit, but he'll have had nearly three weeks to recover since his last start. Tee-to-green specialist with a healthy dose of distance. Dangerous anywhere, but especially on a track where the putting surfaces are unfamiliar.