This Week’s Event: 2018 Quicken Loans NationalPat Mayo and Geoff Fienberg debate their 2018 Quicken Loans National picks and one and done selections from TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm. Plus, a quick look at the field in Le Open de France.
2018 Quicken Loans National — Picks and Preview | Picks/Field/Course | Picks Podcast | Golfer Stat Power Rankings | Quick Picks | One and Done | Picks Cheat Sheet | All Stats | Favorites/Tiger | Middle Range | Long Shots | All-Golf Cust Corner | Open de France Preview
Anytime Mayo: Best Sports Movies — Baseball | Football | Best Of Mayo | State/Future of New Media | Breaking Into The Fantasy Industry | Top Simpsons Episodes | Best Seinfeld Episode Bracket | Top TV Shows on Right Now
2018 Quicken Loans National: Show Index2:11 Winners/New Giveaways
7:03 Travelers Recap
25:43 Three Favorite Golfers
34:40 Quicken Loans Course/Stats
39:13 Quicken Loans Favorites
42:28 Quicken Loans Mid Range
51:17 Quicken Loans Long Shots
59:44 Quick Picks
1:01:18 One and Done
1:01:58 Open de France Preview
2018 Quicken Loans National Field120 Players | Top 70 & Ties Make The Cut After 36 Holes
First Tee: 7:15 a.m ET
Defending champion: Kyle Stanley
Tiger Woods brought this event to life in 2007, won it twice, and now he’ll tee it up one last time in the Potomac region before the Quicken Loans National makes the move to Detroit. Unfortunately, few of his friends are joining him.
Beyond Tiger, Rickie Fowler is back in Maryland one last time. When you get to be in commercials with the great JK Simmons, a part of the price is having to appear in this tournament. Marc Leishman, Francesco Molinari and Kiradech Aphibarnrat round out the top-end talent in the field, making it less surprising the tournament is moving locations. This field is about 500 percent worse than what the Hartford suburbs were able to draw last week.
Jimmy Walker, Byeong-Hun An, JB Holmes, Si WOOOO Kim, Gary Woodland, 2017 playoff loser Charles Howell III and defending champion Kyle Stanley comprise the second tier of talent. While Jamie Lovemark, Chesson Hadley, Kevin Streelman, Adam Hadwin, Beau Hossler, Kevin Na, Andrew Putnam, Gary Woodland, Billy Horschel, Bill Haas, Stewart Cink and Joaquin Niemann round out the middle tier of the field. Niemann, the former No. 1-ranked amateur needed only five professional starts to earn Special Temporary status for the remainer of the season.
Oh, Kristoffer Ventura is in the field, too. Ace’s Son. Or an Oklahoma State golfer via Norway. One of those two things are true. You’ll know which one it is when he gives post-round interviews with his butt.
Additionally, along with The Masters, Arnold Palmer Invitational, RBC Heritage, Fort Worth Invitational and the Memorial, the 2018 Quicken Loans National has invitational status. As a result, the field will be only 120 players deep yet retain the usual cut line rules. With the Top 70 and ties making the cut, at least 58.3 percent of the field will make it through to the weekend. Far more than a regular week, meaning expect to see A LOT of six-of-six DraftKings lineups this week. Unless some of the top players, or uber popular golfers miss the cut, a six-of-six lineup may not even cash this week if you don’t have a few names splattered on the leaderboard.
While we only have have one year of PGA conditions to look at from TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm, there were two Web.com tournaments on this site in 2012 and 2013. David Lingmerth won the 2012 Neediest Kids Championship, while 2018 participants Tom Hoge (T8), Sam Saunders (T8) and Brian Stuard (T13) all posted Top-15 finishes. Michael Putnam claimed the 2013 Mid-Atlantic Championship but isn’t in the field with week. However, his HOT FIYA brother, Andrew Putnam, is — T2/T20/T42/T82/T8/T32/T5 — that’s decent form. More so when you consider it’s Andrew Putnam. That year, Chesson Hadley (2), Sung Kang (T6), Jason Gore (T11) and Si WOO Kim (T11) all churned out Top-15 finishes.
Lovemark, Hadwin and Jason Gore are the only players in this year’s field to make the cut in both those Web.com events. Last season, Hadwin missed the cut at Avenel, Gore finished T13 and Lovemark took the week off.
2018 Quicken Loans National Key StatsBall Striking
Par 4s Gained (Six Holes 450-500 Yards)
Par 3s Gained
2018 Quicken Loans National CourseTPC Potomac at Avenel Farm | 7,107 Yards | Par 70
Greens: Bentgrass | 4/50 in 2017 Difficulty (+1.458)
The fourth-most difficult course on TOUR last season (+1.458), TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm is a sub 7,200-yard Par 70, with fast and firm Bentgrass greens, which will require extreme precision off the tees. It’s tight out there. Like a tiger. That crummy allusion brought to you by me being too hungover to walk across the room and grab the remote when Goldmember came on Saturday morning. That movie is legit terrible. Back to golf.
Formally the home the Kemper Open/Booz Allen Classic, TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm was redesigned in 2009 by Steve Wenzloff and Jim Hardy with consultation from Pete Dye, Gil Hanse, Tom Fazio, Davis Love III and Fred Funk. Every hole was re-done. The width of the fairways are like Erin Hills on the Keto diet, and most of the field will keep driver in the bag most of the week to ensure safe passage in the short grass. Even with a more cautious approach off the tee, driving accuracy for the event is below TOUR average (56.8 percent against the average of 60.9 percent). Venturing into the rough also led to below-average rates of greens in regulation and scrambling. Basically, miss the fairway, make bogey. No need to complicate things. Doesn’t hurt there are 89 bunkers and seven water hazards scattered across the grounds either.
Among Top 20 finishers last season, Strokes Gained: Ball Striking (SG: OTT + SG: APP) was almost doubly as weighted as Strokes Gained: Short Game (SG: ATG + SG: Putting) in the final results. Stanley actually lost 1.1 strokes on the greens last year in his winning performance. That sort of putting will always be atypical on the whole but speaks to how important proper ball striking is for the week. That, and making up strokes on the field on the Par 4s.
Six of the 12 Par 4s fall in the 450-500-yard range. All of which played over par last year. Tread water on those, make some easy birdies on the Par 5s and the drivable Par 4 No. 14, and you have the proper gameplan. Fifteen eagles were generated on No. 14 in 2017 against only eight between the two Par 5s. If you’re not scoring where the course allows it, you’re dead on arrival.
2018 Quicken Loans National Picks — Targets From Each RangeTiger Woods
If there ever was a time for Tiger, this has to be one of his best shots. Since returning from injury, Tiger really only has competed in stacked fields. The 2018 Quicken Loans National; not a stacked field. Instead of attempting to best the world’s best, he really only needs to hold off Fowler and a bunch of Web.com guys. And the course, on paper, appears to be a fit. Tiger can take less than driver off most tees and let the rest of his game do the work. Over his past 36 rounds, Woods ranks first in the field in SG: Approach and Par 4s gained — he just needs that putter to come back around. For the year, Tiger sits 89th on TOUR in SG: Putting, and that’s after losing over 13 strokes on the greens in two of his past three starts.
Streelman is becoming minor league Luke List in the stat game. The models love him every week, especially at Par 70, difficult tracks. Is that a good thing? Well, it hasn’t been for List lately. But maybe this is a perfect for Streelman. One of the premier ball strikers in the field (fifth over his past 36 rounds), he’s coming off a week where he led the Travelers in SG: Approach and continued his solid efforts on finding fairways and scoring on Par 4s. Streelman only has two career PGA wins, and both are at sub-Par 72 courses, including a victory at the tight and difficult Valspar in 2013.
Second on TOUR in driving accuracy and first in Fairways Gained over the past 36 rounds, Armour has begun to rediscover his form since a scorching run through the swing-season. He’s made four cuts in a row, mainly on the back of his improving iron game. We know he’s going to find the fairways; that’s Armour’s whole thing, gaining strokes on approaches in each of his past three starts. That’s how he can pop. Not only has he been on a positive iron run, he progressively gained more strokes on approaches over that stretch (0.2/2.4/3.8).
Gay has made five consecutive cuts, doing so, mostly, without his irons helping him in any way. Until the US Open. Gay was incredibly dialed in with his approaches at Shinnecock Hills, leading to a T20 on the year’s toughest track. TPC Potomac at Avenel Farm isn’t quite the US Open, but it did play as the fourth-most difficult course on TOUR in 2017. So, at tough tracks like this, finding the fairway is step one to avoiding bogeys. Gay’s third in fairways gained over the past 36 rounds and in the top 40 percent of the of the field in Par 4s and Par 3s gained in that period. It’s always worrisome that his hot putter can go freezing at a moment’s notice; however, when you’re dealing with a dearth of talent, it’s best to focus on one or two things a player can do really well.
Other notable names appearing near the top of stat models and the win simulator at FantasyNational.com: Kyle Stanley, Joaquin Niemann, Andrew Putnam, Byeong-Hun An, Jimmy Walker, Chesson Hadley, JB Holmes
Pat Mayo is an award-winning video host and producer of long and short-form content, and the host of The Pat Mayo Experience daily talk show. (Subscribe for video or audio). Mayo’s (@ThePME) 14 Fantasy Sports Writing Association nominations lead all writers this decade and are third-most all-time. Mayo has been recognized across multiple sports (Football, Baseball & Golf), mediums (Video, Writing & Podcasting) and genre (humor). Beyond sports, Mayo covers everything from entertainment to pop culture to politics. If you have a fantasy question, general inquiry or snarky comment, ship it to Mayo at ThePatMayoExperience@gmail.com and the best will be addressed on the show.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is ThePME) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.