2016 Quicken Loans National Picks, Including the Driver-Off-The-Deck BOLD Play of the Week #isitThursdayyet

Following the debacle that was last week’s U.S. Open, and the incompetent and incoherent way that the USGA handled the whole Dustin Johnson ball-moving “penalty,” it’s quite the relief to leave that in the rear-view mirror and head onto greener pastures.  This week it’s the Quicken Loan National at The Blue Course at Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Maryland.

The course is a bit of a beast, tipping out at 7,569 yards for this week’s play.  Recall that Congressional has been the site for multiple majors, most recently the 2011 U.S. Open when Rory assaulted the overly-saturated course to the tune of 16-under-par (by far an all-time record) and an 8 shot victory.  When things aren’t so soft, it plays much tougher, as the average winning score the last three QL trips here has averaged a winning score of -8 (recall that Troy Merritt’s victory at this tourney last year came at the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club, not at Congressional).

My picks last week at the U.S. Open were mighty solid, as my Lockzilla on Sergio Garcia and Semi-Flier on Branden Grace both finished t-5th, and my BOLD play of the week on Marc Leishman finished t-18th, even despite a terrible Saturday round.  Time to keep the momentum rolling!

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

LOCKZILLA (Last week: Sergio t-5th)

Gary Woodland
Gary Woodland
– I doubt that missing out on only his second U.S. Open since 2008 will sit lightly with Gary, as he possesses the inherent talent where he should be qualifying for all 4 majors each season.  He was rounding into fine form, finishing t-12th at the Byron Nelson and t-4th at the Memorial, before he surprisingly missed the cut the week before the Open at the FedEx St Jude Classic.  Have no fear, it’s time to jump back on the Woodland train at a course where his length will be a tremendous asset: t-46th here two years ago, which would’ve been a lot better if not for a final round 78, t-16th in ’13 and t-23rd at the ’11 U.S. Open.  Stock up on some Woodland this week and thank me later.

SEMI-FLIER (Last week: Grace t-5th)

Webb Simpson
Webb Simpson
– To no surprise whatsoever, Webb struggled last week at Oakmont on the greens, which to some may seem like it slightly derailed his positive momentum that he had achieved after notching back-t0-back finishes of t-3rd at Colonial and t-11th at Memorial, but I’m hopping back aboard as overall his putting has been improved of late.  Webb finished t-30th here at Congressional just two years back and even though I believe that he’s already past his peak as a player on the PGA Tour, I still won’t hesitate to dip into his shares from time to time on courses that I see as a good fit, Congressional being one of them.

HOSEL-ROCKET BUST (Last week: Thomas t-32nd)

Roberto Castro
Roberto Castro
– I’ll keep this one short and simple: Don’t.  Just don’t even dare talk yourself into taking any Castro this week.  Zero career consistency and very limited upside.  End of story.

DRIVER-OFF-THE-DECK BOLD PLAY OF THE WEEK (Last week: Leishman t-18th)

Patrick Rodgers
Patrick Rodgers
– The soon-to-be 24-year-old has been abysmal this calendar year after a stellar fall swing; however, he’s beginning to round back into form, and given that he’s burned so many gamers these past couple months now is the ultimate time to strike.  He was a very solid +3 thru 3 rounds at Oakmonth last week, before ballooning to a Sunday 77 and a t-46th overall, but the positive momentum will carryover into this week.  He also does have some previous Congressional experience, finishing t-55th in 2014.  This is the week that Patrick rediscovers that top 10 form.

#isitThursdayyet

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf

 

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