Workday Charity Open (TOP 30)
By James Dalthorp III
BEAST DOME NATION.
2020 just got even more spooky and golf fans (especially fantasy golf fans) should absolutely love it. We’ll have 2 straight weeks at the same freaking golf course these next two weeks … which is unheard of and wild. But as a golf fan, this is a win-win. You’re getting two looks at one of the mystical courses in golf – Muirfield Village in Ohio. This Is the famed event which truly reflects the personality and legacy of Jack Nicklaus. So we’ll be seeing the best fields in the game come back. I’m actually shocked that some of the game’s big names are skipping this one.
This course is long, it’s narrow. It requires major championship patience. However, the greens will be not too unlike last week in Detroit. They’re poa annua… which favors a lot of the guys who played well last week who will be here (and the California and Australian guys- who should be used to putting on that type of grass year round).
Winner – Collin Morikawa :
Poa annua greens where it’s hard to get it close. A West Coast kid who just had a week off. A fairly new event for him where the tone will be lower than the following week. Long irons and precision. There’s something eerie about it. This summer Memorial setup should be a bit more of a shootout and yet the boring grinder will be rewarded . With that in mind, Morikawa’s game is a perfect match.
2. Ryan Armour –
This course brings the best out of guys who tend to be a little underrated. Charley Hoffman comes to mind. It’s a place where steady journeyman thrive in the mystic Ohio hills. Armour just fits the storyline. He’s a great sleeper because he’s white hot but I doubt many will expect him to contend again. He just had a great week. I think a guy of his caliber is in his prime and this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to make his mark.
3. Hideki Matsuyama –
Bryson skipped this event but I have to acknowledge how impressive he was last week. I was jarred at how well he handled himself emotionally. The BIG takeaway for me from last week, though, was the state of Matsuyama’s game. He has struggled with his putter. But he looked way more poised with the flat stick and his wedge/iron game looked excellent to me.
4. Kevin Streelman –
past history at this event is silky smooth. Top 20 finishes and plenty of good results. Coming off a second place finish. Clearly a good setup for him. No brainer of the week in my opinion.
5. Ryan Palmer –
The theory on this course is that generally, a good ball striker can survive simply by not missing greens and climb the leaderboard. Palmer does well at courses like that – and tends to be a beast on the par fours. That’ll serve him well and he’s been really streaky this year. It’ll come together soon.
6. Harold Varner –
Gotta love the consistency from Varner since the restart. Have to imagine his confidence is high and he plays well on these classic courses. He briefly had the lead at Riviera this year on Sunday, was a contender at Colonial – and has been a bright star of late in the game.
7. Matthew Nesmith –
Don’t forget about NeSmith. He’s not a great driver of the ball and this course is a little more forgiving off the tee. Should be a good dark horse pick.
8. Sung yul noh –
His stock is way up – after some solid and steady play lately that included a birdie barrage last week. He’s only a mystery because of his country’s military service which has kept him out of the game for a while. He’s a sign of the times – clearly an interesting storyline if anything. His game looks steady as hell. He’s not making less bogeys than the winners.
9. Rickie Fowler –
Rickie’s back in solid form. This is a course he’ll want to win on. If I had just watched a fellow USA teammate tear up my Rockiet Mortgage event like it was the mini putt off the freeway, I’d probably come out the next week less worried about making the cut and far more concerned with setting a course record. Rickie’s game looks very good. As I’ve been preaching, he’s playing better than his scores. It would be interesting to see him win without fans there.
10. Maverick Mcnealy –
One of the young guns of the game that I’ve got my eye on to get that first win. This set up should suit him pretty well. He’s been strong tee to green on these great course of the PGA Tour like Pebble and what not. I’m expecting another solid week.
11. Scott Stallings –
Good course and history for Scott here. He’s been quietly consistent and has the length to make this place look silly.
12. Justin Rose –
A rare European past champion of this event and has been in a lot better form since the restart. I’ve seen Rose go through some interesting changes over the past 2 years with his Honma equipment change and now back to a regular company. I mean, it’s kind of like what Bubba went through with Volvik and Titleist. I think he’s in a renaissance and a little bit off kilter. But he’s Golf’s olympic gold medalist. PIck him.
13. Marc Leishman –
This course sets up perfectly for Leish in terms of the high fade setup. He’s got the closest thing to a modern Nicklaus ball. Expect him to come here refreshed and ready.
14. Viktor Hovland –
The guy’s clearly a machine. But there’s 2 reasons I have doubts about a top 10 this week. Historically, this course requires MUCH more expertise with the finesse shots around the green if you miss. He’ll struggle with that. Second, Hovland’s modern game is somewhat an odd fixture on the clearly fade friendly designer’s course. But guys who draw it have won here and I don’t see why he can’t contend. Lukewarm.
15. Matthew Wolff –
Didn’t make the putts under pressure to get the job done and catch Bryson last week. Well, I don’t know too many players who could’ve caught that performance. I don’t see how the “loss” will be bitter for Wolff or effect him going forward. He needed a week in the spotlight and he got it. Ride the hot hand.
16. Joel Dahmen –
Kind of like the young version of Ryan Armour. At a less formal event, Dahmen’s got a fair shot to contend. I don’t know if Memorial is a breakthrough event for him, but he should be a logical choice.
17. Bo Hoag –
This is a course and an event that should give this young rookie a chance to show off. Being a local, the guy’s due to make something happen. Knowing his strengths and the fact he’s been dormant, it might be the week he shows up.
18. Cameron Davis –
Aussie should be comfortable on these greens. He’s not a great putter but he strikes it like the best of them. This course should be a good fit. I’ll take Cam Davis here 9/10 times. He’s my favorite sleeper pick to win. Lately, it’s been a list of Whose Who Champs on the leaderboard. Davis might break the mold.
19. Cameron Tringale –
Poa greens will give him a break. Good course for a strategist. Course should be a little more gettable than normal. That’ll give a guy like Tringale a chance to show off.
20. Bubba Watson –
He’s been playing really well. I don’t think Bubba will need to putt well to win here if he plays like he did last week. He’s been struggling with the putter but if he just whiffs a few birdies in, he can make this event a real turnaround for his career. He’s really not far off. It’s all mental. You never really know with Bubba. I think he’ll have a good week.
21. Max Homa –
Good course for Max. I think he’ll be comfortable on these greens. I think this course reminds me of the course he got his sole win on, too (Charlotte). Max is reliable if the fairways are running fast. I’ve just got a theory that he’s strong at a course that plays this length. He thrives on courses with long par threes and tough par fours.
22. Henrik Norlander –
Been a steady player and not making a ton of noise. This course doesn’t require the putter to be on fire with all the humps and swales. If an American doesn’t win, he’s one my top picks to handle the extreme undulations.
23. Patrick Reed –
As always, everyone is going to look for reasons to hate him or love him. Reed’s been insanely consistent. I think he’ll bounce back from a missed cut with more vengeance than you’d expect. If it comes down to the putter, he’ll be dangerous.
24. Luke LIst –
I’m still not backing down on Luke List as a prime pick right now. He’s a much better player than his results the last couple weeks. I’ve been following his Shotlink results like crazy and it’s just coming down to the putter. He’s striking the ball fine. He’s coming off a decent week where he had enough opportunities to contend. A recent KF winner, his confidence should still be in tack.
25. Bronson Burgoon –
A course that Bronson should play well on. He’s had some good experience here. He’s good on second shot golf courses with lots of green side bunkers. I could see him breaking through here.
26. Bud Cauley –
T10 last year. Solid at getting his irons pin high or the right distance. He’s been a cool story coming back from his car accident and I think he’ll play well here again.
27. Charley Hoffman –
Just historically a machine here. It’s a course that he plays well on and that’s all I know. Not a big Hoffman fan, but he has to be rostered here. He must have a good folklore story about why he plays well here but who really knows. It’s just sensical to roster him. He doesn’t putt like the best but he hits it well with his irons. Much like Augusta, he can contend here or at least put 3/4 killer rounds together.
28. Brooks Koepka –
I don’t see Brooks missing the cut and that’s important among these big picks. Brooks is the back to back major champ. He doubles down better than anyone else in the game. With two weeks at the same course, why not keep Brooks in your back pocket? There’s plenty of great ball strikers I don’t have on this list. I think Koepka is your safest bet among the high profile strikers. Sunjae Im is a close second. Brooks is a steady pick to start your list with.
29. Zach Johnson –
If it’s firmer than normal, expect one of the shorter guys to come alive. Zach seems very due to me. At whatever his price will be, he’s wonth the trouble. I like veterans on this course if anything gets goofy.
30. Jason Kokrak –
This is my longshot. He’s not a dark horse, he’s deep ocean bass. The runner up at the first restart event was special, but he’s notoriously inconsistent. Dude is a super long hitter and if you buy into long courses suiting longer hitters, Kokrak should be on your radar. I think Jason’s getting a little more consistent and this is a course that I could see him doing well on. long bombers like Cameron Champ tend to actually struggle on these longer tracks. I think Kokrak is the odd bird that matches up to the length with ease.
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