Tom: Brandt Snedeker followed his strong U.S. Open performance with a T11 effort at the Travelers. Add in an affinity for the Blue Course, where he has notched three top 10s in four appearances at Congressional. Now add a T11 at the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional, and you’ve got yourself a safe bet.
Jon: I, too, will follow course and, for all the reasons listed above, go with Brandt Snedeker. Consistency will be the name of the game this week as Congressional is a longer course. More fairways hit equals a better chance for victory, plain and simple.
Dark Horse for the Week?
Tom: Despite being a perennial late-round pick, BYU grad Daniel Summerhays always seems to find his way into fantasy relevance by sporadically popping up on the leaderboard throughout the season. If you’ve ever had him on your fantasy team, you know that several times he’ll be leading the pack on Thursday and Friday, or your only hope on the weekend. While I have no grand insight behind this pick, Summerhays simply seems to find his way onto the leaderboard when you least expect it.
Jon: Picking a dark horse this week is like blind-folding yourself, standing on one leg and throwing a dart for a bullseye with your non-dominant hand. The experts have picked all sorts of sleepers this week, and it seems nearly impossible to pick a real dark horse to win (see: Streelman last week); thus, I’m going with Carl Pettersson. In his last two tournaments, the Travelers and the St. Jude, the Swede shot under par every round netting him a T7 and a T3, respectively. Hopefully he can carry that momentum into the Quicken Loans National.
Unexpected Player to Miss the Cut?
Tom: This course seems like it should perfectly fit the eye of a dart-thrower like Jason Dufner… Which is exactly why he’ll do what you least expect and blow a few easy shots and short putts to miss the cut.
Jon: I’m not sure if my pick is “unexpected,” but the collective media be scrambling when Tiger Woods isn’t playing on Saturday and Sunday. As hyper-competitive as Tiger is, something tells me – actually, Tiger told us – that he rushed back to make this tournament, benefiting his foundation, and won’t be at full Tiger strength this week.
Favorite to Win?
Tom: With Tiger Woods back, there is one player who can recently relate to receiving mass amounts of scrutiny. With many of those eyes turned back to Tiger, Jordan Spieth will get back to playing his game – the game that took him to a near Masters title, a top 5 in the Players, and three other top 10s on the season. He’ll be playing the first two rounds with Tiger, but the pressure will be partly off his shoulders.
Jon: It seems like everyone is picking Jason Day to win this, but I’m pulling double-duty with the Sned man. For all the same reasons listed above, Brandt has to return to the winner’s circle sometime, so why not at Congressional?
Tom: Jordan Spieth, Kevin Chappell, Gary Woodland, Billy Horschel
I’m going with some young bombers on a course that demands it this week. And before you crucify me for not betting on my own “safe bet,” know that I wrestled with this list. I still think that Snedeker is the safest bet this week based on logic, but logic seems to fail me week after week in this crazy little thing called fantasy golf. Billy Horschel, like Sneds, has turned it on as of late and is poised to continue his streak of high finishes, Gary Woodland is a threat any time the big stick is required, and Kevin Chappell is a newer name who has had success on this course and throughout this season, albeit on a limited basis.
Jon: Brandt Snedeker, Jordan Spieth, Justin Rose, Jason Day
I think I’ve exhausted my Sneds talk as clearly Tom and I both think he’s the favorite to win. Where Tom is going with some young guns, I’m going with some seasoned veterans – except Jordan Spieth, who I just can’t seem to bet against. Justin Rose has been playing well as of late and Jason Day has proven both Tom and I wrong in the past two weeks for being in better shape than we thought. Between the two of us, we’ve got to get at least one of these picks to land this week.