2014 Quicken Loans National at Congressional Preview, Picks + Predictions Plus the Driver-Off-The-Deck BOLD Play of the Week #ReturnOfSirRedShirt

Tiger’s back……has been healed with more HGH and he’s returning to competition at this week’s Quicken Loans National at Congressional CC.  Boom, like that one?  Kidding aside, it’s good to have sir red shirt back in competition, juiced up bod and all.

Congressional CC is a beast, as at 7,569 yards the Blue Course is the second longest the players have seen this season (Torrey Pines being first in the line of behemoths).  Recall it as the host course for Rory McIlroy’s U.S. Open romp from 2011, albeit under very soft, dart-throwing and un-U.S. Open-like conditions.  It’s long, with thick rough and blazing fast greens.  Throw in that temps are forecasted to be in the 90s all week and it’ll be one giant sweaty grindfest.

In addition to sir HGH, Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose, Brandt Snedeker, Jason Day, Hunter Mahan, Keegan Bradley, Webb Simpson, Jason Dufner, defending champion Bill Haas and others are teeing it up this week in Bethesda, MD.

A somewhat decent week for my picks last week at the Travelers Championship as my Lockzilla Ryan Moore held the lead heading into Sunday, ultimately finishing t-5th.  I also predicted that Dustin Johnson would run out of gas in his 7th straight start, which he did in shooting 71-71 on the weekend to fade to a t-31st place finish, although my other picks Bubba and DeLaet made the cut, but were relatively disappointing in their overall finishes (t-31st and t-51st respectively).

Now, let’s hop into some picks for this week:

LOCKZILLAS (Last Week: Moore t-5th, Bubba t-31st)

Jordan Spieth
Jordan Spieth
– I read somewhere recently that Jordan Spieth doesn’t do anything really good- he’s does everything very well.  I couldn’t agree more.  It may not completely show in his stats, as he ranks outside the top 100 on Tour in both GIR and driving accuracy- but with 14 top 20s on the PGA Tour season (14!), including in 6 of his last 7 events and he’s just downright as solid as they come these days.  Add in his solo 6th here last year (and the fact that I could totally just see him winning Tiger’s first event back, especially since it’s Tiger’s host event), and boom, Spieth is the biggest lockzilla on the board this week.

Brendon Todd
Brendon Todd
– It’s hard to believe that finishes of 1st, t-5th, t-8th and t-17th in his past four events means that you still had to look twice as to who I’m referencing here, but make no mistake about it- this Georgia boy has some serious game.  That victory of course came at the HP Byron Nelson Championship, and that t-17th was at Pinehurst at the U.S. Open (his first ever major), in which he was one of less than a handful of players to fire three rounds in the sixties, with unfortunately a 79 on Saturday killing his chances at serious contention.  Todd has clearly been on a seriously good roll lately and he finished t-13th here last year, making him a total lockzilla for this week.

SEMI-FLIER (Last Week: Hunter MC)

Billy Horschel
Billy Horschel
– He of the octopus pants has been mighty solid of late, going t-26th at the PLAYERS, t-15th at the Memorial, t-6th at the FedEx St Jude Classic and t-23rd at the U.S. Open in his past four starts.  Throw in that he played solid here last year, save for a third round 79 (68-72-72 in the other three rounds) and I love for Billy Ho to keep things rolling again this week.

Also keep an eye on Nick Watney this week.

HOSEL-ROCKET BUST (Last Week: Dustin t-31st)

Aaron Baddeley
Aaron Baddeley
– Badds played some might solid golf last week at the Travelers, firing all four rounds in the sixties en route to a solo 4th place finish meaning that he’s peaking and now is the time to ride the wave, right?  Eh, not so much.  Badds’ game is built for the short, birdie plethora tracks like TPC River Highlands, not for beasty behemoths like Congressional.  Badds ranks an awful 183rd in Driving Accuracy and 174th in GIR on Tour this year, which will doom his chances this week (sorry, being 1st in Strokes Gained-Putting can’t bail him out this week).  Badds also missed the cut here last year and in the 2011 U.S. Open here.  Stay away from the shaggy Aussie this week.

DRIVER-OFF-THE-DECK BOLD PLAY OF THE WEEK (Last Week: DeLaet t-51st)

Carl Pettersson
Carl Pettersson
– The self-proclaimed Swedish Redneck has rediscovered his game to the tune of a t-3rd at the FedEx St Jude Classic and a t-7th at the Travelers Championship in his last two starts.  In fact, his last eight rounds on Tour go something like this: 67,67,69,69,68,67,66,68    Yep, I’ll drink a milkshake or two to that.  A definite under-the-radar, solid, yet BOLD play indeed.  Carl Pettersson is your Driver-off-the-Deck BOLD play of the week!

#itisThursdayyet

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf

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