Sports drama on Sunday wasn’t confined to Indianapolis as PGA Tour rookie Kyle Stanley recovered from his collapse at Torrey Pines to storm back and win the at TPC Scottsdale. The PGAtour.com story does a good job breaking down all the action if you were busy Super Sunday partying.
This week the Tour heads to Pebble Beach and welcomes back headliner Tiger Woods. With the NFL season ending, more people turn their attention to golf on Sunday afternoons and even more will focus on Pebble Beach with Tiger on the prowl.
This week’s format includes a 3 course rotation during the first 3 rounds with a 54-hole cut to top 60. The 1st 3 are at Spyglass Hill Golf Club, Pebble Beach, and Monterey Peninsula Country Club. Those that make the cut play a 2nd 18 on Pebble Beach Sunday afternoon. Of the 3 courses the Monterey is the only one that offers a distinct advantage so try to have players active on the shorter course, but it’s not a drastic enough difference to change your lineup based solely on who’s on that course.
Congrats to MT Cup who won our group last week with a stellar week of 150. MT is currently 3rd overall behind Squatney Leather and Ty Webb. You can still join our group which grows each week and right now has 13 members. My entry avoided disaster but didn’t fare too well overall last week but (110 points) with a mediocre performance from most of the guys on my roster. I slipped a little and remain in the top 25% overall. Hopefully, my picks can get it going this week at Pebble.
It’s a tough event to call with winners ranging from Phil Mickelson to Matt Gogel over the past few years. Here’s who I think is in store for a good tournament this year:
Kevin Na-Na has played well early this season and has made the cut in 3 of his 4 tournaments this year. Last week he finished tied for 5th and will try to follow up his win at the Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open during the fall series with another win here.. Na missed the cut last year but made it in his 2 prior appearances when there was a cut (2009 was weather-shortened and had no cut).
Zach Johnson- Johnson normally doesn’t play this event, but this year he’ll tee it up following his t8 at the Humana and a made cut at the Sony Open.
Hunter Mahan-Mahan has started the season well-t6 at Torrey Pines-but did miss the cut in Qatar last week. He has a good history in this event including a runner-up finish to D.A. Points last year.
Bryce Molder-Molder has 2 consecutive top-10’s in this event and top-15’s in each event he’s played this year except the Humana where he missed the cut.
Tiger Woods-Woods will doubtless be the focus this week and has a good track record at Pebble Beach. He won this event in 2000 but hasn’t played it in the last 9 years. He may be in contention on Sunday and appears to be a good bet to at least be around for the weekend. He finished T3 in Dubai in his only event this calendar year, so it’s a big of a risk, but it could be well worth it. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if Tiger won, and I want him on my team when he finally breaks through. I’ll start him on my bench to save the start if the tournament goes south for him, but I don’t think it will.
Brendan Steele- My weekly sleeper pick, Steele has only played this event once when he missed the cut last year. The California native is coming off an electric finish to last week’s tournament where he finished T5 after carding a round-low 64 on Sunday. With the other 3 guys in this group, I feel like this is an opportunity to swing for the fences and make a risky pick. Last year I did the same thing and picked a golfer with momentum named D.A. Points for my team who won the tournament. I don’t think Steele will do that this week, but he’s definitely playing well coming into the week.
Aaron Baddeley-“Badds” has had a solid start to the 2012 season making the cut in all 4 of the tournaments he’s played. He hasn’t cracked the top 20 yet this year, but has finished twice in the top 20 in this event including a tie for 6th last year.
James Driscoll-Driscoll has made 3 cuts in a row to start the year and finished t13 for his second career top 15 (t14 in ’08) at the AT&T. The Boston native wore a Teddy Bruschi jersey on Saturday in Phoenix which is pretty cool even though it didn’t necessarily help him or the Patriots.