2014 The Greenbrier Classic Preview, Picks + Predictions, Plus the Driver-Off-The-Deck BOLD Play of the Week #OldWhite

I wrote these thoughts last year, but they’re so fitting and serve as such a great intro that I’m rolling with them again for this year’s tourney preview- Here are the things that come to my mind when thinking of the Greenbrier:

–        Stuart Appleby (bizarro world name = Apple Stuartby) and his 59

–        A wicked awesome clubhouse and something about the Cold War

–        The coolest name of any TPC course (Old White TPC)

–        Also possibly the coolest city name where a PGA Tour event is held- White Sulphur Springs, WV

–        A tournament director (Jim Justice) who pays players under the table to play in his event…oh wait, did I just say that out loud? #coughcoughTigerWoodsACoupleYearsAgo

–        The 18th hole being a par 3 (nope, it’s not an executive course)

–        A rocking fireworks show that I need to attend someday.

–        #birdieplethora

–         Lastly- I wish I wasn’t always out of town on July 4th weekend so I could actually watch the tourney.  Guessing I’m not alone there…

A mighty solid week of picks from yours truly last week at the Quicken Loans National at Congressional as my two Lockzillas and my Semi-Flier all finished in the top 11 (Spieth t-11th, Todd t-5th, Horschel t-11th).  I also spot-on nailed Aaron Baddeley missing the cut after his hot week at the Travelers Championship.  Time to keep the good momentum rolling, now let’s hop into some picks for this week:

LOCKZILLAS (Last Week: Spieth t-11th, Todd t-5th)

Webb Simpson
Webb Simpson
– With the obvious exception being the fact that he’s a major champion, Webb seems to make the majority of his Benjamins during weeks with watered down fields.  Ok, so this field isn’t overly diluted, but it frankly it just screams Webb to me.  His current form is decent with a t-30th last week at Congressional and a t-3rd just two starts prior at the FedEx St Jude Classic and he finished t-7th here in ’12 and t-9th here in ’11, all of which make him an absolute LOCKZILLA pick this week.

Nick Watney
Nick Watney
– The reason that Butch Harmon quit Twitter is because of a tweet that he made commenting that Watney must be having “personal problems” because of a poor round that he was having a little over a year ago (Harmon is Watney’s swing instructor).  I found the comment quite funny, but also accurate as Watney’s swing and overall talent are too good to play such inconsistent golf.  Despite a rocky start to this season, Watney is rounding back into form of late with a t-11th at the Travelers Championship and a t-30th at Congressional in his last two starts (despite two rounds of 75).  His putting finally seems to be coming around (ranks a measly 118th on Tour in Strokes Gained-Putting for the season), and I expect him to be in contention again this week.

SEMI-FLIER (Last Week: Horschel t-11th)

Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano
Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano
– The guy whose name rolls of the tongue all too well has been playing the majority of his golf on this side of the pond this season for the first time in his career, and is beginning to round into form by making the weekend in four of his past five events, including a t-26th in his last start at the Travelers Championship.  According to his Twitter account, he got in a nice vacation to his native Spain last week before playing in a long string of events, starting this week at Greenbrier.  This is a gut feeling as much as anything as this is his first go round at the Greenbrier, but I really see him playing well this week.  Take the flier, and thank me later.

HOSEL-ROCKET BUST (Last Week: Baddeley MC)

Marc Leishman
Marc Leishman
– If recent form were the only indicator, I’d be crazy to call for Leishman as my BUST pick of the week, as with six consecutive cuts made, including finishes of t-8th + t-11th in his past two events, he’s clearly rolling hot right now.  Two reasons I’m picking Leishman as my bust this week- the first being that his recent course history here at Greenbrier is poor, with a t-73rd in ’12 and a MC in ’11 (he did finish t-16th in ’10).  The second being that I don’t believe that he can keep his current run going.  Since 2010, only once has he strung together more than six consecutive cuts made (summer of ’12, when he burst through to win the Travelers Championship).  Other than that, it’s been mainly just 3 or 4 week bursts of solid play, followed by several missed cuts for each of his past four years on Tour.  Basically, he’s just not that consistent of a player overall, and add in the fact that he struggled on the weekend at Congressional last week (shot 73,74) and I expect his big run to come to a screeching halt this week.

DRIVER-OFF-THE-DECK BOLD PLAY OF THE WEEK (Last Week: Pettersson t-55th)

Brendon de Jonge
Brendon de Jonge
– Those of you loyal 4 Deep Golf readers know that Brendon is my definition of insanity- doing the same thing repeatedly (picking him) and expecting different results.  As I’ve said before, de Jonge is just too damn talented to not eventually break through out here on the big boy circuit.  Leading the PGA Tour in total birdies for a season and shredding the competition at the Presidents Cup prove that he has the talent, and that it’s just inevitable that he’ll break through at some point- Call me crazy, but I’m outright calling for it to be this week.  I love his current form (t-8th last week at Congressional) and his past success here- t-17th last year, t-4th in ’11 and solo 3rd in ’10.  Book it.  Brendon de Jonge is your Driver-off-the-Deck BOLD play of the week!

#isitThursdayyet

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf

Comments

  1. John H. says:

    Soccer over – back to baseball and golf.

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