This week we get a PGA Tour sanctioned event that’s not part of the Fall Series. Also, the earnings from this event to not count towards the official PGA Tour Earnings and Money List. It’s a unique event that boasts a much better field than any Fall Series Event. Also, the purse is huge! A $6 million dollar purse (the same for the Waste Management Phoenix Open and the Arnold Palmer Invitational) for a field of 40 players is great. While the winner’s share is a cool million, everyone should enjoy a good payday with no cut in place.
The breakdown for the field of 40 is as follows:
- Top 25 available players from the PGA Tour FedEx Cup Points List
- Top 10 available players from the Asian Tour’s Order of Merit
- 5 sponsors exemptions
While that looks enticing, the biggest players in the field are
- Robert Allenby
- Tim Clark
- Ben Crane
- Luke Donald
- Ernie Els
- Rickie Fowler
- Retief Goosen
- Thongchai Jaidee
- Ryan Moore
- Seung-yul Noh
- Adam Scott
- YE Yang
- And Nike’s own, Carl Pettersson
Click here to check out the full field
Here are 3 players who I think can win it
LD is far and away my favourite player in the past year. 7 Top 10’s on the PGA, 3 more in Europe and a win. He’s been lights out and is always a favourite to win in my mind. His game goes anywhere.
I think Fowler feels he has a lot to prove this week. He’s played very well since the Ryder Cup, but I think he will really thrive overseas and with a better field. He still wants to prove he’s one of the best in the world and this is just the stage for him to do so. I’m just worried that he’s getting tired and maybe the travel won’t help him.
This kid is the Asian Tour. He’s 19 years old, finished T28 at the 2010 PGA Championship, has a European/Asian Tour win at the Maybank Malaysian Open. He’s also sitting in 1st place for the Asian Tour Order of Merit. He’s also on 4 straight Top 10’ on the Asian Tour.
I would give the nod to Els here too, coming off his win at the PGA Grand Slam and his finish at the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, but Els has been generally disappointing to finish the season after starting big and holding the FedEx Cup lead all season. I just don’t give him that much credit. Also, the other 3 players I selected have much more to prove.
As for Pettersson’s chances, I think he may pick up a Top 40 (ha!). He should be well rested and ready to perform. Since his win at Canadian Open, he’s picked up 2 Top 30’s and 4 missed cuts. He had a shot at the Viking Classic, sandwiched a 69-66 with a 75 and 76. Most recently, he missed the cut at the McGladrey Classic 3 weeks ago. Hopefully he’s put in some work with his new VR Pro Combos and is ready to contend in a small field.