Valero Quicken Loans preview with Skeeter McGillicuddy
The Quicken Loans will have to serve up something this week to live up to last week’s efforts by Speith. Wild off the tee – left and right – and lucky to boot, Spieth then holded a putt he thought he’d missed to limp into a playoff against an old rival in Daniel Berger. Speith them dumped his shot into the bunker in the playoff and then holed it. That is the genius of Spieth. To be fair he used about a years worth of breaks on the back nine and while luck is agnostic you have to feel he’ll get his comeuppance soon enough.
The Quicken fails to live up to its title for me with its dearth of top players but we’ll live with that if we get a man into contention.
The 11th running of this event will be played to TPC Potomac for the first time but even with Tiger as host it looks a low quality field. Ricky heads the betting and deservedly so but he’s failing to win events when in contention and despite a win and four other top fives in his last ten starts I can’t have him at the general 9/1. Justin Thomas came back to his early season form at the US Open – much as Matsuyama did – but faded and then promptly missed the cut last week. Third in the betting is Patrick. He too has found something of his best lately but hasn’t won forever and is too short for wagering purposes.
While the course hosts this event for the first time it has been used before via the Booz Allen Classic and therein perhaps lies the clues as to what’s needed. Lee Jansen, Stricker, Leonard, Appleby, Estes and Ben Curtis amongst the winners suggest a steady, accurate player who has a great putting week. The course has undergone some changes since then and has ranked 2nd and 1st in terms of difficulty on the Web.com tours, 2012 / 2013 – enough said.
Billy Horschel: 1pt win at $55 on
Bud Cauley: 1 pt win at $65 on
Billy Horschel missed the cut at the US Open when carrying our money but the underlying reasons for being on him remain the same. He’s back and in form. A win and two top fives in the last 3 months illustrate his game is nearing its best. Some mixed performances thrown in only serve to enhance his price. Any amount of statistical argument can be made for Billy – he was the top dog in the ALL ROUND rankings at the Byron – but the core with him will be his putter. On a good week he will hit a lot of greens in challenging conditions and this course looks like you need to hit greens. So for Billy it’s about the flat stick and recently he’s been a lot better.
Bud Cauley flattered to deceive last year and he makes his stable debut here. Why? TPC Potomac screams hit greens and putt well and here’s a massive cheque thanks very much and this guy is hitting greens and putting well. Three top 10’s in his last seven starts is impressive. He missed the cut at the US Open but we’ll forgive him that as he was in good company. This place looks made for him and he has a 62 on tour which you don’t get unless you get hot with the putter.