It would be irresponsible to open without a reminder that the Genesis Scottish Open is the only tournament this week that contributes to PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf, and that it will begin on Thursday at 7:15 am local time. This translates into a roster deadline of 2:15 am ET in the United States. For those of us on the left coast, that’s Wednesday at 11:15 pm PT. Adjust per your time zone.
RELATED: Horses for Courses, sleeper picks
This means that you can’t wait another sleep to set your lineup. It also means (presumably) that you should be awake late enough to adjust for any 11th-hour withdrawals.
Speaking of which, NOTABLE WDs below opens with a disclaimer about the movement in both the Genesis Scottish Open and the Barbasol Championship. I focused only on PGA TOUR members who withdrew from at least one of the tournaments and will not be playing the other. If you follow me on Twitter or monitor the ROB BOLTON TWITTERFEED on the FANTASY page of the desktop version of the website, then you’ll be surprised at how few guys qualify for my criteria for that attention, because this week’s experience has been unlike any other in my career.
In other news, this is the last checkpoint of the season when the Korn Ferry Tour Finals graduates will be reordered. With only the Barracuda Championship (played opposite The Open Championship) and three 156-man opens remaining, even the guys at the bottom of the category should have a reasonable chance of playing every week. The impact of the final reorder is greater on the golfers with conditional status and in the Past Champions/Veteran Members category.
POWER RANKINGS WILD CARD
Victor Hovland (+175 for a Top 20) … You’re unlikely to find value because of his star power, but the native of Norway hasn’t connected for a top 20 in stroke-play competition since a T19 at THE PLAYERS in mid-March. It’s not that he’s slumped, though. If anything, the zany cadence of the variety of formats can be more challenging despite how fresh they can feel. It’s tough for anyone to find a rhythm, but especially a 24-year-old no matter the skill level. His talent should play up in his debut at The Renaissance Club, but the same could have been said at most other stops in the last three months.
Hideki Matsuyama (+150 for a Top 20) … First start since finishing fourth at the US Open. As that indicates, he’s an example of how big players make big plays in big games. This week (and next, for that matter) are more opportunities to double down on why he’s always an attractive investment no matter your fancy.
Joaquin Niemann (+200 for a Top 20) … Like Matsuyama, the Chilean is making his debut at The Renaissance Club. He’ll forever have the statement title at Riviera on his résumé, but the 23-year-old still is finding comfortable footing for the most discerning of onlookers. While it’s not a formula he should follow, it would be fun for fans (read: not gamers who wish not to sweat) to watch him put his imagination to work around these greens. He’s strong on approach, but his touch is a difference-maker. Lots of value here, gang.
Billy Horschel (+200 for a Top 20) … you love to see it.
Max Homa (+240 for a Top 20) … Lots of similarities in his approach to Horschel’s. So much positivity and energy directed into the right places. Oh, and lest we forget that Homa is navigating life with the Nappy Factor riding shotgun.
Matt Kuchar… (+300 for a Top 20) … On ball flight alone, he’s worth a unit. The form has been improving for months, so that helps us nap while Scots are sleeping. And how about the fact that the 44-year-old leads the PGA TOUR in both scrambling and Strokes Gained: Around-the-Green!
Aaron Rai (+275 for a Top 20) … I’m opening PGA TOUR Pick ‘Em Live as my outright. Read the Preview here.
Haotong Li (+400 for a Top 20) … He has the belief again and he’s coming off his latest victory just two weeks ago in Germany. Also 1-for-3 at The Renaissance Club with a T14 in 2020.
Odds sourced on Tuesday, July 6th at 5 pm ET. For live odds visit betmgm
Min Woo Lee … A cursory review of his performances on the DP World Tour compared to the PGA TOUR reflect a predictable regression. Sure, he’s only 23 years of age, but we’ve seen this before. It does n’t help that he appeared in many of the strongest fields in the US, and that should elevate his game (in theory), but it’s also fair to wonder if it’s done any short-term damage to his confidence. He’s the defending champion but he presents as a trap without much to show for his efforts for months.
Keith Mitchell … Whether it’s previous success, a comfort level or whatever energizing vibe that only he can feel, there are stops at which a guy can almost count of finding his game. The opposite of that is when a guy who’s playing well exits that zone in favor of the next off-speed pitch on a fastball count. He’s had an outstanding season with six top 10s and another four top 20s, including in his last three starts, but he’s yet to establish himself on linksy layouts like The Renaissance Club and St. Andrews (where he’s already exempt). So, the play here is as a contrarian based on form but consider only a fraction of a unit.
Marc Leishman … The Aussie leans into the former of the comparison cited in Mitchell’s capsule above. Seaside tests like the two lined up in this fortnight should bring out the best in him and his legendary strength in wind, but the form upon touchdown is, eh, not so much. He’s also cashed in just one of the last three Opens (60th, 2018), proof that every superhero has his Kryptonite.
Tyrrell Hatton … He’s gone 3-for-3 in the majors and placed T13 at THE PLAYERS, but the struggle is real of late. Use this week as a litmus test for the possibility of next week.
Erik van Rooyen … Strong record at The Renaissance Club but just 1-for-6 and three unexplained early withdrawals since the Masters.
Si Woo Kim
RETURNING TO COMPETITION
Tyler Duncan … Called it quits during his second round of the Deere due to a sore back. He’s clinging to a Playoffs spot at 121st in FedExCup points, so hopeful owners are counting on him to play out the string. That said, if it’s a serious injury, he has the insurance of fully exempt through next season via his win at The RSM Classic in the fall of 2019.
Roger Sloan … He withdrew from the John Deere Classic after signing for an opening 81. An explanation wasn’t released. He’s now gone seven straight starts without a payday, and he’s cashed in only seven of 24 this season. At 176th in the FedExCup, he’s a virtual lock for the Korn Ferry Tour Finals, so the pressure rests solely on he not having to need that series to retain his card.
Taylor Pendrith … If at first, second, third or fourth, you don’t succeed, try, try, try and try again. That’s been his narrative since sitting out since THE PLAYERS with a fractured rib. All set to return at the John Deere Classic, that was thwarted by a positive COVID-19 test. Still 110th in the FedExCup, though! It’s not how he expected a strong first half to matter, but it all counts towards the same ultimate objective.
NOTABLE WDs – GENESIS SCOTTISH OPEN
Because of the flurry of moves in Scotland and in Kentucky, it’d be easiest to just direct you to my Twitter, but a few who are taking the week off deserve stand-alone treatment per usual here.
Harold Varner III … His tournament debut remains on ice. The decision grants him his first break in four weeks. Currently 52nd in the FedExCup and poised for his third start at The Open Championship.
Sahith Theegala … As noted in the latest edition of Qualifiers, he climbed to first alternate for The Open with a T16 at the John Deere Classic. Should he sneak in, he’ll be making his debut in the major. Boosted by a pair of recent top fives, the rookie is 36th in the FedExCup.
Chez Reavie … Committed to and withdrew early from both of this week’s tournaments. It hasn’t been the noisiest season for the 40-year-old but he’s clawed his way to 95th in the FedExCup. A trio of top-15 finishes since May has all but solidified his card for 2022-23.
Danny Lee … Would’ve been returning from a hip injury that knocked him off TPC River Highlands during the first round of the Travelers two weeks ago – his seventh mid-tournament WD since the 2020 US Open. At 76th in the FedExCup, he can afford to wait as long as necessary to get back inside the ropes. The oft-injured PGA TOUR winner will turn 32 on July 24.
Andrew Putnam … At 90th in FedExCup points and having played the last three weeks, this is a sensible time for a break. Assuming he returns next week, he’ll be lined up to take on Old Greenwood for next week’s Barracuda Championship where he finished solo second last year.
Matthias Schwab … This is surprising given that he’s a member of both tours and opened 2022 with a pair of starts on the DP World Tour’s Desert Swing. However, at 105th in the FedExCup, the PGA TOUR rookie from Austria isn’t officially safe to qualify for the Playoffs, and he didn’t qualify for The Open, so the week off aligns with his economical approach that’s yielded only 18 TOUR starts juggling his schedules this season. the busiest of his class have made at least 23.
Martin Laird … It’s impossible to know how many of the golfers committed to both tournaments actually had serious plans to travel to Scotland at the last minute if any gained entry as an alternate. However, given that he’s a native of the host country, it’s still mildly surprising that he opted against the possibility even after sliding in as 14th alternate. Perhaps if he was exempt for The Open Championship, but we’ll never know. As it stands, he’ll have the week off at 119th in the FedExCup.
NOTABLE WDs – BARBASOL CHAMPIONSHIP
JT Poston and Emiliano Grillo … The respective winner and co-runner-up at the John Deere Classic earned exemptions into next week’s Open Championship, so their schedules have changed.
Brandt Snedeker … With only one top 45 among just four paydays in his last 14 starts, the 41-year-old finds himself 173rd in the FedExCup. He is not yet fully exempt through next season but at 22nd on the all-time money list and in little jeopardy of falling further than even one spot by the conclusion of the Wyndham Championship, he’s in position to burn a top-25 career earnings exemption for 2022-23. Certainly, that’s never a “goal,” but it’s a realistic scenario given the reality of today.
Andrew Landry … The 34-year-old suffered a setback with his shoulder last week. He couldn’t finish his second round at TPC Deere Run as a result of ongoing discomfort. Impingements in both shoulders sidelined him for three months until he returned (and missed the cut) at the Travelers two weeks ago. Currently 156th in the FedExCup but fully exempt through next season. So, while the carrot of qualifying for the Playoffs was incentive to return sooner than later, ultimately it won’t cost him his job if he sits out for another extended period of time.
Nick Hardy … Electing to rest for the first time in five weeks. Although he still has work to do at 135th in the FedExCup, it’s a well-earned respite given his red-hot pace of the last couple of months.
RECAP – JOHN DEERE CLASSIC
Power Ranking Golfer Result
1 Webb SimpsonMC
2 Adam HadwinMC
3 Sahih Theegala T16
4 Lucas GloverMC
5 Denny McCarthy T6
6 Scott Stallings T4
7 Nick Hardy T30
8 JT Poston Win
9 Kevin Streelman T41
10 Maverick McNealy T8
11 John HuhMC
12 Nate LashleyMC
13 Man Long T13
14 Christiaan Bezuidenhout T2
15 Adam Svensson T24
Wild Card Jason Day DNP
Golfer (Bet) Result
Scott Brown (+450 for a Top 20) MC
Kevin Chappell (+450 for a Top 20) MC
Cam Davis (+190 for a Top 20) T8
Kelly Kraft (+500 for a Top 20) T24
Sam Ryder (+350 for a Top 20) T60
Bet: Hayden Buckley (Top 30) – +260
BIRTHDAYS AMONG ACTIVE MEMBERS OF THE PGA TOUR
July 5 … Chesson Hadley (35)
July 6 … none
July 7 … none
July 8 … Kevin Chappell (36)
July 9 … none
July 10 … none
July 11 … Sean O’Hair (40)