A weekend that began with questions surrounding the Coronavirus and ended with nearby storms made for a pretty exciting landscape for Dustin Johnson to capture glory at the Travelers Championship.
If you followed last week’s guide, where we gave out Kevin Streelman (2nd place) as a dark horse pick, you’d be standing a little taller with some extra cash in your pocket.
Newcomer Nick Lashley won the inaugural Rocket Mortgage Classic last year at -25. More notable, only two of last year’s top 10 finishers ranked in the top 100 at the time! The event’s officials claim they’ve grown out the rough to penalize players for missing the fairways, but it’s impossible to know what impact that will have until Thursday.
Nevertheless, this is the first course that will expose the players to the most par 5s since the layoff. Add that to the total yardage being over 7,000 and the fear of overgrown roughs, players will be playing it safe to reach the fairways before letting their irons rip. So, this week value will be had among players who gain strokes on their approach.
Here are the Fair Value ranks among the field and who looks like they could outperform their IPO pricing:
Patrick Reed– Reed might be the best player competing this week, yet only has the 3rd highest FV rank. That’s enough of a value play for me. Additionally, he rebounded after a disastrous start at TPC River Highlands to shoot a 64 on Sunday and salvage a T24 finish. Uncle mo’ might carry Reed all the way to glory this weekend.
Sungjae Im– A popular pick to win this week, Im leads the Tour with 10 red numbers since play resumed. On a weekend where red numbers will be aplenty, look for Im to be near the top of the leaderboard.
Kevin Na– Riding a T5 from the Travelers, Na is poised to make a run this week. One of the better technicians in the field this week, Na’s weak driving (176th in distance) will be mitigated by his strong putting, scrambling, and shots gained in approach and around the green.
The Middle Tier
Rory Sabbatini– With a T3 finish under his belt at last year’s tournament and three T21 finishes already in 2020, I expect Sabbatini to overperform his 29.5 FV rank in Detroit this week. Strong around the green (34th in SG:ATG), Sabbatini should comfortably find himself in the mix this week.
Doc Redman– Consecutive weeks of strong showings (T21 and T11 respectively) and a runner-up finish at last year’s Rocket Mortgage Classic puts Redman in a great spot to outperform his 30.4 FV rank. Couple form with his prowess in shots gained approaching the green (17th on Tour), and Redman feels like a strong play.
Brandt Snedeker– The Detroit GC is a Donald Ross design, and Snedeker always performs well on Ross courses. Dating back to 2008, the vet boasts three wins at Ross courses along with three other T10 finishes, including a T5 here last year.
A Dark Horse
Jason Dufner– Strange week, strange course, strange field, let’s take a shot on a strange pick. Dufner has been meandering in the middle of the pack for years, but his lone major championship came at Oak Hill in in 2013, another Ross course. That’s enough to take a shot on his lowly 43.4 FV rank.
What do you think? Check out the rest of the field below: