Rob Bolton lists his five against-the-grain fantasy selections for this week's event.
Michael Kim … Rested since a career-best share of third place at Silverado. For the week, he finished T16 in greens hit, fifth in proximity and seventh in strokes gained: putting. It’s an exceptional way to open his sophomore season on the PGA TOUR, but he also went 5-for-5 in the fall as a rookie a year ago. By far, his best effort of that set occurred at TPC Summerlin where he tied for 16th and ranked second in both strokes gained: putting and scrambling.
Johnson Wagner … Ending a three-year hiatus at a tournament where he’s cashed only once in four career trips and that was for a T47 in 2009. But course history isn’t his usual angle, anyway. The 36-year-old strides into Vegas with a trio of top-five finishes in his last five starts. His last resulted in a T3 at the Safeway Open where he ranked T7 in greens in regulation and fourth in strokes gained: putting.
Cameron Smith ... The Aussie captured our attention with a T5 at the 2014 CIMB Classic and T4 at the 2015 U.S. Open, but he failed to record a top 10 in 24 starts as a first-time member of the PGA TOUR in 2015-16. Now 23 years of age and back via the Web.com Tour Finals, he’s already matched last year’s high-water mark with a T11 and a balanced attack at last week’s Sanderson Farms Championship.
Ryan Blaum … As anticipated, the 33-year-old has eased into his first season with a PGA TOUR card. Scattering nine starts over an eight-season spread on the circuit can diffuse the glare in a good way. With a T26 at Silverado and a T11 in Mississippi, he’s quickly 41st in the FedExCup standings with nothing but red numbers. En route to securing status via the Web.com Tour in 2016, the product of Duke University finished sixth in birdie-or-better percentage, T6 in putts per greens in regulation and 10th in actual scoring average.
Brian Campbell … The PGA TOUR rookie survived open qualifying on Monday to secure his third start of the season. He made noise early and garnered a little TV exposure during a T50 at the Safeway Open, but TPC Summerlin better fits his profile as a scorer. He ranked on the 2016 Web.com Tour in putts per GIR, seventh in birdie-or-better percentage and T5 in actual scoring average. The sum of his parts also yielded an impressive slot of fourth in the all-around ranking.