The Winning Element
This is where we blend Tour Level content with Tour Level data and mix in human element factors to generate this week’s top 25 leaderboard. Instead of trying to do the impossible and place every golfer in their respective finishing position, we’ve grouped them into their most likely spots with our final piece of written content each week.
1-5 Most Likely to Win
Brendan Grace (17/1 DK-$10,000 FD-$9,100) While he doesn’t jump off the page in the stats category, he has improved his results at TPC San Antonio each year, and he is coming into form with an 11th last week and 27th at the Masters the week prior. He is a world class player that is familiar with the wind and can win here.
Jimmy Walker (24/1 DK-$10,500 FD- $9,700) A former winner here, specifically in the windy 2015 edition. He finally seems to have been treated for the correct illness, Lyme Disease, which has been bothering him of late. We know Jimmy loves to play in Hawaii at the Tournament of Champions, and maybe he uses this week to punch his ticket back.
Ryan Moore (23/1 DK- $10,200 FD- $8,100) His only appearance here was a top 10, but his recent form is good. He comes in ranked 13th in birdie or better scoring percentage from less than 125 yards in.
Kevin Chappell (26/1 DK-$9,400 FD- $6,600) We’ve been waiting for him to pop this year, and it seems like we got it during the Masters. Chasing his first victory on Tour, Kevin comes back to a course where he’s twice placed inside the top 5.
Billy Horschel (28/1 DK-$8,700 FD- $7,300) The birth of newborn daughter Colbie Rae last Tuesday was surely on Billy’s mind during the RBC. With everyone home and healthy now, we expect “Bounce Back Billy Ho” to fill up his daughter’s college account come Sunday.
Ollie Schniederjans (35/1 DK- $8,200 FD- $7,300) Hatless Ollie comes in with superb form and great potential. Seeing fellow Web.com Tour Grad and PGA Rookie Wes Bryan capture his first tour victory, I’m sure Ollie would like to do the same and looks primed to do so.
1-10 Outside Chances
J. Spaun (52/1 DK-$7,600 FD-$7,000) Besides the hatless part, see above. Spaun continues his strong rookie campaign, earning another top 10 last week in South Carolina. With the strength of field being rather weak, and his form being where it is, we expect him to card another top 10 this week.
Martin Laird (61/1 DK-$7,500 FD- $7,100) Party Marty returns to a course where he’s had great success as past champion. He’s coming off a decent week @ the RBC and will look to continue that form here in Texas.
Daniel Summerhays (64/1 DK-$7,000 FD- $6,600) Danny has said that he loves this track and if they played here every week he would be ranked top 10 in the world. Obviously, he likes it here and that level of comfort will be key this week as players navigate a different golf course. His streak of four straight top 15’s here cannot be ignored.
Sam Saunders (101/1 DK-$7,000 FD-$5,300) Sam’s game has really taken a step forward with his last three tournaments reading like an elite player (11th, 20th, 5th). He is also gaining strokes on the field off the tee and, more importantly, scoring with his wedges inside 125.
10-25 Long Shots
Soren Kjeldsen (68/1 DK$7,300 FD- $6,700) K-jeld is making this list because he is a great long iron player with a strong wedge game. He also historically plays tough, windy courses well. The early on course report said he was spotted as the only player walking the course in bad weather Monday plotting his attack. Seems like Soren is mentally ready for the conditions this week.
Bryson DeChambeau (89/1 DK $7,200 FD $6,200) The talented kid with a funny hat and single length clubs is making his second appearance here and should be much better suited than last time around. Bryson is coming in with some form recently after ditching the side saddle method.
Adam Hadwin (27/1 DK $9,100 FD $8,900) This Canadian has been on a tear, and it looks to continue again this week. His MC in 2014 shouldn’t concern you too much since Hadwin is playing at a different level the past few years. His strong approach game and elite putting make him a contender.
Chad Campbell (120/1 DK $7,000 FD $5,300) A strong tee-to-green game player that gains strokes approaching the green, and if he happens to miss, he also gains strokes around the green. Solid recent form with the kind of game that knows how to save par should see Chad go well this week.
Luke List (41/1 DK $7,400 FD $6,600) Luke is a solid play this week and sets up well statistically from all the important angles this week. He will be highly owned, but you should have some exposure this week.
Cameron Percy (191/1 DK $6,800 FD $4,900) Coming off a top 25 in his last start, Percy is ranked near the top in all GIR statistics, including GIR, GIR+Fringe, GIR Other. TPC San Antonio, a course that always plays difficult and has an historical average cut of well over par, seems to fit Percy’s game well. He’s three for four here with two finishes inside the top 25.
Ryan Palmer (33/1 DK $8,600 FD $7,700) #PalmerInTexas narrative added with his recent form, and you know he’s going to be there come Sunday.
Cameron Smith (99/1 DK $7,300 FD $6,100) Putting is this guy’s claim to fame. Ranked number one on tour from putts inside 10 feet helps him stay in the mix almost every round. Again, with the expected cut to come in over par, we expect Smith to be able to play himself into the last wave of tee times come Sunday.
Billy Hurley III (155/1 DK $6,700 FD $5,200) Strong with his wedges from 125 and in and coming off a solid 22nd at the RBC, Billy is finding a bit of form just in time for a course that suits him.
Scott Piercy (92/1 DK $6,900 FD $7,200) Piercy will look to get back on track here at a course he is familiar with and has played well in the past. The windy conditions should help move Scott up the leaderboard as his game is well suited for the wind, and he scores from the key wedge distances.
Keegan Bradley (45/1 DK $7,600 FD $7,200) Keegan has shown some improved form recently and possesses the tee-to-green game that is required here. His putting woes have cleared up from last year, and he seems ready to repeat his top 10 performance here from 2011.
Chris Kirk (62/1 DK $8,000 FD $6,100) Kirk is really comfortable at this track, finishing 13th and 8th the past two years. With solid stats for scoring inside 125 yards, he is also really efficient with the greens he hits, making a birdie 33% of the time he hits a green in regulation.
Rafael Campos (109/1 DK $6,200 FD N/A) A sponsor exemption four weeks ago at his home tournament in Puerto Rico started his great run and story, earning him another sponsor’s exemption here this week. Right now, he’s 173.895 points shy of earning conditional status. This week, a solo third would net him 190 points. If not, he’ll have to earn another top 10 or earn sponsor’s exemption to keep the run going.
Sung Kang (63/1 DK $7,200 FD $5,900) Kang is hot. Similar to what we saw with Adam Hadwin before he won @ Valspar, Sung has been shooting low rounds, and if he can put 4 together, he will win and soon. Last week, all four rounds were under par, and if that trend matches up with a 65 this week, watch out.
Harold Varner III (62/1 DK $7,800 FD $5,900) Still looking for his first PGA Tour Victory, HV3 comes back to San Antonio where he picked up a top 10 last year. His recent string of cuts made, sitting at four, bodes well with his recent form. We expect another top 25, his third in his last four starts.
Annual Contenders that usually make an appearance on the leaderboard at some point throughout the week:
Bad Chalk Report:
Each week, it seems that a singular player, and often a highly-owned one sinks a perfect lineup, so our bad chalk report is here to help. We are going to bring you some additional value by helping to identify a player that projects to be highly owned but has the potential to let those that roster him down with a possible MC or a lackluster performance for one reason or another.
This week at the windy Valero it is Tony Finau. Yes, a very talented golfer, but he is having a less-than-stellar experience in 2015, finishing in 68th place in what was an exceptionally windy edition (much like this one is shaping up to be). Tony is so powerful, and he spins the ball too much for these windy conditions and could struggle a bit to control his distance. Be wary of how much exposure you have to Mr. Finau this week.
We hope you enjoyed the first edition of the Winning Element. This will be part of our “Edge” package, to check out our subscription options click here!
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