2015 Quicken Loans National Picks + Predictions, Plus the Driver-Off-The-Deck BOLD Play of the Week #IsitThursdayyet

Back stateside for the first time in three weeks, the PGA Tour rolls into Gainesville, Florida Virginia for this week’s Quicken Loans National.  It’s the ninth edition of the event, but the first contested at Robert Trent Jones Golf Club. 

It is the first time that RTJ GC has hosted a stroke play/regular season PGA Tour event, but it’s not totally unfamiliar territory for some in the field as it played host to the Presidents Cup in ’94, ’96, ’00 and ’05.  So yeah, advantage Tiger Woods—I mean, he’s played here before in the Prez Cup, he’s the event host this week, so definite advantage to him…except that he’s in full post-HGH breakdown mode, he can’t hit a fairway and the way he’s going might soon have his face on the side of a milk carton.  Anyway, back into some relevant things about this week.

Last week at the RBC Canadian Open my Lockzilla pick on Matt Kuchar was fairly solid as he finished t-7th and my BUST pick on Fabian Gomez was spot on as he MC Hammered, but my other picks on Steve Stricker, Hunter Mahan and Greg Owen were all relative disappointments.

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

LOCKZILLAS (Last Week: Kuchar t-7th, Stricker t-63rd)

Gary Woodland
Gary Woodland
– This beastly fella’s game has been lacking a bit on the consistency side of things this season, but with seven top 25s this calendar year on the PGA Tour, including a runner-up at the WGC Match Play and a t-4th at the Wells Fargo Championship his upside is still sky high.  I’m liking the thought of targeting long-hitting, quality ball-strikers on the “new” course this week, and that’s exactly what Gary brings to the table.

Pat Perez
Pat Perez
– Ten straight made cuts, a whopping eight of them going for finishes of t-26th or better, most recently including a t-18th at last week’s RBC Canadian Open.  Aside from Tony Finau, there’s no non-top-tier player having a hotter summer than Perez…yet somehow, he continues to be overlooked.  Lock and load with confidence this week.

SEMI-FLIER (Last Week: Owen MC)

Michael Putnam
Michael Putnam
– Sticking with the long-bombing hot hand here, as Putnam comes in off the heels of three straight made cuts, including a t-28th two weeks ago at the John Deere Classic and a t-11th last week at the RBC Canadian Open.  Time to strike while the iron is hot.

HOSEL-ROCKET BUST (Last week: Gomez MC)

Steven Bowditch
Steven Bowditch
– No question about it, the oddly named Aussie is having a banner season on the PGA Tour, with a win at the AT&T Byron Nelson Classic, along with a handful of other top 25s.  But, sprinkled into his big year are a slew of missed cuts, 11 of ‘em to date to be exact…and I’m not buying that he suddenly has found a consistent game.  He’s volatile and due for another rough stretch.  Steer clear of the Aussie this week and thank me later.

DRIVER-OFF-THE-DECK BOLD PLAY OF THE WEEK (Last Week: Mahan t-63rd)

Martin Laird
Martin Laird
– The 32-year-old Scotsman let me down last week in missing the cut up in Canada, but I’m not jumping ship just yet.  In his event prior to last week he notched a solid t-15th at the Travelers Championship for his fifth top 15 of this PGA Tour season.  His top level form is seemingly never more than a few swings away, and if you believe in history repeating itself—Laird has won three times on Tour.  Once in ’09, once in ’11 and once in ’13.  2015 is winding down quickly.  This very well could be the week.

#isitThursdayyet

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf

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