Two big things: Stricker and Poulter have both withdrawn from this event. It’s too bad for the PGA, but it’s a pretty weak field in New Orleans. However, there are still some choices to be made.
NIKE GOLF: Two to Watch
Stephen Ames – Only two this week, because not many Nike boys are in it, but Ames, who put together some solid rounds last week, has been playing well. I’m still weary because he hasn’t played here that much or has had MC’s in recent years. T7 in 04 at least.
David Duval – A bit of a stretch here. We know he’s been streaky, but I think he can take advantage of a field with less star power. He’s a super sleeper here also with no history. But really, who doesn’t want Duval to do well?
THE FIELD: Four Who Are Hot
KJ Choi – He was the sexy pick last week and finished ok, but I look for him to rebound this week and he has some history here.
Justin Rose – MC at Arnold Palmer, but other than that his 3 starts have all been Top 15’s. I think he’ll do well here.
Steve Marino – Three straight T15’s and a T5 last year is enough for me.
Steve Stricker’s Substitute – Brandt Snedeker – Did we all forget about Brandt? His last two starts have been MC’s, but that’s only because he was on fire with 8 straight made cuts. Long shot, but I look for him to rebound.
THE FIELD: Four Who Have History
Jerry Kelly – He played well last week and I see a Top 10 from him as the defending champion.
Charles Howell III – History and hot. The only times he’s played in this tourney he has been T2 in 09, T2 in 06, 59 in ’05 and T5 in ’04. He’s a no-brainer.
Stuart Appleby – He’s probably played this course the most on Tour. He finished T4 in 06 and has a couple other Top 25’s.
David Toms – He’s a Louisiana boy with a T5 here last year. His last start was a T14 at Augusta and hopefully he’s healed up well.
FINAL FOUR: Steve Marino, Charles Howell III, Jerry Kelly, David Toms
Picks were tough this week. Sadly, I’m not giving a spot to Ames in the Final Four. Also, if Stricker and Poulter were still in it, they would be locks. Let’s hope for the best!
Pick with your heart,