The course was redesigned in 2007, but is still considered one of the worst courses on tour, according to the yearly player vote. If you look at the top 10 players every year, you pretty much need to score -6 or better on the Par 5's for the week if you want win. Since there are only 2 Par 5's, it means you must birdie them 75% of the time. The winning score varies here a great deal, but the average is around -12, however, -19 has won before, as well as -3 (crazy weather conditions). Par 5 scoring will make up half your score, so whomever you pick this week better be good at it. Also, there is a 323 yard drivable Par 4, which is usually birdied 3 of 4 times on the week by the winner as well. Above, I mentioned that we'd talk about some big names, and we'll get there, and this will lead us to it, we promise. Before this course was redesigned, it had a history with long hitters having an advantage. Now you'll get a mixed view from prognosticators on who has an advantage at this course. Long hitters or Accuracy players? If you look at the winners since the redesign: Scott Verplank, Adam Scott, Rory Sabbatini, Jason Day, Keegan Bradley, Jason Dufner, Sang Moon Bae, Brendon Todd, and Steven Bowditch. It's a mixed bag. If you look at the top 10's since 2010 -2015, it's also a mixed bag. However, from 2007 -2009, it was predominantly shorter hitters playing well. Why? Not many true 300 yard hitters were playing those years, but when a few more started showing up, the split happened. This finally gets us back to the big name players. Most of the big 300 yard hitters were star players. Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Charl Schwartzel, Keegan Bradley, Graham Delaet, Gary Woodland, and they had a field day. The legit 300 yard hitters that were in the Top 10 last year included: Charley Hoffman, Jimmy Walker, Dustin Johnson, Daniel Berger, Tony Finau and Ryan Palmer.
The point we're trying to make? When you look at the fields, every year for the last 5 years, percentage wise, the long hitters are more dominant. Hitting Greens is important for the week, based on Top 10 history. Players hit greens at a high clip at this place. So yes, long hitters are dominant, but only around 1/12th hits it 300 yards plus. So you'll also need a mix of short hitters too.
Since we think short hitters are at a disadvantage, but that doesn't mean they won't do well. We like players that are Par 5 Scorers, and solid putters. For the shot hitters, we'd rather have ones that hit fairways, even though we don't mind if the longer hitters miss. Shorter hitters with solid records here are: Matt Kuchar, Jason Dufner, Jordan Spieth Robert Allenby, Ben Crane, Jerry Kelly, Danny Lee, Ian Poulter, John Huh, Brandt Snedeker, Zach Johnson, and Ken Duke.
So we're taking a two pronged approach this week, with two sets of characteristics, as mentioned above. Plus, As always, we always love form, history and great putters.