ANOTHER week when the weather played havoc on the golf course with the Zurich Classic reduced to 54 holes in New Orleans. Unfortunately Patton Kizzire was just one shot off a place for me but didn’t do anything wrong and I will watch for him the next time he is playing.
This week the PGA Tour moves to Charlotte, North Carolina for the Wells Fargo Championship with defending champion Rory McIlroy returning to try to win this tournament for the third time.
Quail Hollow has hosted this tournament since its inaugural year in 2003 and notables such as Tiger Woods, Rickie Fowler, Jim Furyk and Rory have all won here.
In fact Rory is the only player to have won this event twice. He has three other top-10 finishes, including a play-off defeat to Rickie Fowler. Long hitters will be well worth watching and don’t necessarily have to be accurate since a lot of trees have been removed from alongside the fairways. I can’t see past Rory this week.
Patrick Reed finished T2 at the Valero Texas Open two weeks ago and I thought, “He’s back”. Then I looked at his last five tournaments and realised he has only been out the top 10 once and that was in The Masters.
He hits a long ball off the tee, is fifth in scrambling (68.18%), but and it’s a big but, his strokes gained:putting is -0.213 (158th). If he can sort his putting out for this week he will be there or thereabouts on Sunday.
Hideki Matsuyama hasn’t played since his T7 at The Masters and has a win and four top-10 finishes this year. He picks and chooses his tournaments and this will only be his 12th of the season. Like Reed he’s not the greatest putter, strokes gained:putting -0.198 (156th), but the rest of the game makes up for that.
With three top fives in last four outings Kevin Chappell has been punching above his weight. The Dustin Johnston lookalike is another long hitter and has a scrambling stat of 62.40 (43rd). His putting is a weak point but over the last two tournaments it has improved and hopefully that will continue.
3pts win Rory McIlroy (888sport, 9-2)
1.5pts ew Patrick Reed (Stan James, 30-1) paying top six
1.5pts ew Hideki Matsuyama (Paddy Power, 25-1) paying top seven
1.5pts ew Kevin Chappell (888sport, 50-1)