2014 Tour Championship at East Lake Picks + Predictions, Plus the Driver-Off-The-Deck BOLD Play of the Week #DollarSigns

Ah, and then there were 30….well, 29 actually since Dustin Johnson chose hitting the coke over a chance at $10 million big ones in the FedEx Cup.  Anyway, following Billy Horschel’s impressive bounce-back victory at the BMW Championship, the FedEx Cup Playoffs field has been trimmed from 70 to 30 (29) for this week’s Tour Championship at East Lake. 

The top 5 in the FedEx Cup Standings- Chris Kirk, Billy Horschel, Bubba Watson, Rory McIlroy, Hunter Mahan- are guaranteed the FedEx Cup trophy and its bangin’ $10 million prize with a victory at East Lake, whereas anyone outside the top 5 will likely need a victory and a eight keno wilds from the top 5ers to take home the big payday, or something like that.

A mostly solid week for my picks overall, as My Lockzillas Jim Furyk + Jimmy Walker finished t-4th and t-20th respectively, and my Driver-off-the-Deck BOLD play of the week Chesson Hadley finished a sneaky solid t-12th.  I also nailed Chris Kirk having a letdown of a finish following his Deutsche Bank Championship win, as he finished t-36th this week.

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

LOCKZILLAS (Last Week: Furyk t-4th, Walker t-20th)

Jim Furyk
Jim Furyk
– Biggest no-brainer of the week here, Jimbo’s last victory came right smack here at East Lake (2010) and his solid play has continued of late with five top 10s in last seven starts, including a t-4th last week at Cherry Hills.  Not expecting a win here, but frankly I’d be absolutely shocked to not see him on the first page of the leaderboard come Sunday afternoon.

Bubba Watson
Bubba Watson
– Bubba seemed to remember to take his happy pills at Cherry Hills last week, as his solo 2nd place finish was his first top 15 in two months.  Bubba isn’t afraid to admit his sheer passion for the Ryder Cup and safe to say his game is beginning to peak at the right time.  Also, throw in that he finished t-5th here in his last appearance at East Lake (2012) and boom, really liking for Bubba to contend again this week.

SEMI-FLIER (Last Week: Zach t-43rd)

Webb Simpson
Webb Simpson
– With Billy Horschel’s win at the BMW Championship last week, the to-be-expected questions have begun to arise on should Webb Simpson really have been a Ryder Cup captain’s pick.  I’m of the belief that he should not have been (sorry, going 1-4 in cuts made at the majors, just four top 5s on the season and only one win back last fall isn’t Ryder Cup worthy IMO), but I believe that Webb will do some “validating” so to speak this week.  Webb finished t-5th here in ’12 and solo 4th here last year, which included a final round 63.  Expect the birdies to be flying East Lake style for Webb this week.

HOSEL-ROCKET BUST (Last Week: Kirk t-36th)

Russell Henley
Russell Henley
– Exciting, dynamic and passionate, but, volatile, scrappy and inconsistent- all of these are accurate words describing young Henley’s game.  His t-2nd at TPC Boston is his only top 25 in his past eleven starts.  Always boom or bust, and this week in his East Lake debut will continue to be more of the latter.

DRIVER-OFF-THE-DECK BOLD PLAY OF THE WEEK (Last Week: Chesson t-12th)

Bill Haas
Bill Haas
– Obviously it’s mostly impossible to find a true “sleeper” for this DOTD BOLD play in an elite field of 30 (29), but despite Haas’ stellar play of late, he continues to fly well under the proverbial radar.  He’s followed his t-2nd at the Wyndham Championship with finishes of t-15th, t-9th and t-16th so far in the FedEx Cup Playoffs, with only one round above 70 (opening 72 at Cherry Hills).  Steady, solid and under-the-radar and oh yeah, a past champion here = me likey.  Bill Haas is your Driver-off-the-Deck BOLD play of the week!

#isitThursdayyet

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf

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