TWELVE months ago the TPC Potomac returned to the PGA Tour schedule after an 11-year absence and a major refurbishment.
The $20million job had input from notables such as Pete Dye, Fred Funk and Davis Love III and left no hole untouched and a dozen holes with major changes.
There is no easy stretch here and not much chance to get momentum going with the exception of 12-14 where last year all three averaged under par. So there seems to be no let-up and will be tough going.
Looking at the figures from last year when Kyle Stanley won the Quicken Loans National stats that could be important are Driving Accuracy, Greens in Regulation and Proximity to Hole.
- Course: TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm, 7107 yards, par 70.
It’s hard to believe Rickie Fowler hasn’t won since the Honda Classic in February of last year. I’m beginning to despair if he is going to win this year at all. A horrendous third round 84 in the US Open a couple of weeks ago put paid to any chance of success.
However, his form hasn’t been that bad – it’s just not been good enough to win. From 14 starts he has had a couple of seconds among eight top-20s. Last year here he finished with a five under-65 to be T3 so he can score here and if he can just get off to a fast start he will be in the mix on Sunday.
- Driving Accuracy: 64.81% (T48th). Greens in Regulation: 69.93% (21st). Proximity to Hole: 6’11” (T38th).
BYEONG HUN AN
I really like An’s chances this week. He’s being playing a lot more on the US Tour the last couple of years and has had some good results which included a T2 at the Memorial earlier in the month.
A good result will probably see him get into the world’s top 50 (presently sitting 58th in the OWGR), which will see him get invites to The Open plus the WGC Bridgestone Invitational, so there’s plenty of incentive this week.
A breakthrough in America is well within him and and a win in 2015 at Wentworth shows he can win on tough courses. He as six top-15 finishes worldwide since January so form is good. He has a good short game and is excellent with his approach shots which will suit him here.
- Driving Accuracy: 63.28% (T75th). Greens in Regulation: 67.82% (63rd). Proximity to Hole: 7’0” (T44th).
Every time I’ve looked at the field for this week my eyes always go back to Na. Apart from a T2 at the Genesis Open back in February Na hasn’t had a very good season but a T6 at the Byron Nelson followed by a fourth at the Fort Worth International seems to have brought his year back on track.
He did miss the cut at the Memorial at the beginning of this month but hopefully three weeks off will rejuvenate him. I have reservations about him this week but last year a T22 finish at TPC Potomac included three sub-70 rounds which was only spoiled by an opening 75. Looking at his stats he looks like this could hopefully be a good week for him.
- Driving Accuracy: 64.51% (55th). Greens in Regulation: 65.06% (117th). Proximity to Hole: 5’11” (2nd).
- 2pts win Rickie Fowler (Coral, 7-1)
- 1.5pts ew Byeong Hun An (Coral, 40-1) Pays 7
- 1.5pts ew Kevin Na (Betfair, 33-1) Pays 7