Welcome to GOLFstats.com! You are currently viewing a special post on GOLFstats.com .
For the best experience and full access to GOLFstats.com, CLICK HERE to sign up for a $15 one month GOLFstats Ultimate account!

BlogMcGladrey Classic Preview and Picks

McGladrey Classic

October 23 – 26, 2014

Seaside Course

Sea Island, Ga.

Par: 70 / Yardage: 7,005

Purse: $5.6 million

with $1,008,000 to the winner

Defending Champion:
Chris Kirk

by Sal Johnson

Founder, Chief Data Officer, GOLFstats

E-mail me at:
sal@golfstats.com

This week’s field includes:

The field includes 5 of the top 50 in the latest Official World Rankings, with the highest rank player being #8 Matt Kuchar.   The other top 50 players are #9 Matt Kuchar, #15 Zach Johnson, #23 Chris Kirk, #19 Webb Simpson and #44 Brendon Todd.  It’s the same number as last year.

The field includes 6 of the Top 25 on the FedEx point standings for 2014.  Those players are #2 Chris Kirk, #8 Matt Kuchard, #18 Zach Johnson, #19 Russell Henley, #20 Cameron Tringale and #25 Webb Simpson.

The field includes 12 players in the top 25 in last year’s PGA Tour money list.  Those players are #6 Chris Kirk, #9 Matt Kuchar, #17 Webb Simpson, #18 Brendon Todd, #19 Zach Johnson and #23 Harris English.

The field includes all 3 of the 4 past champions: Chris Kirk (2014), Tommy Gainey (2012) and Heath Slocum (2010).

A perfect way for fantasy golfers to check on the past performance of all the players in the McGladrey Classic field is our performance chart listed by average finish.  Another way to check who is the best is through a special formula worked out in Golfstats that gives us the best average performances at McGladrey Classic in the last five years or check out our sortable 8-year glance at the McGladrey Classic.

A good cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmakers in England.

Another cheat sheet is this list of odds from the top bookmaker in Las Vegas.

 

Time to look at our who’s hot and who isn’t:

Who’s Hot in the field for the McGladrey Classic

Player Shriners Hospitals Frys.com Open Dunhill Links Wales Open Tour Champ. KLM Open BMW Champ. European Masters Deutsche Bank The Barclays Wyndham Champ. PGA Champ.
Chris Kirk
(146.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T4
(80)
DNP T36
(7)
DNP Win
(66)
T53
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
Webb Simpson
(141.17 pts)
T4
(80)
DNP DNP DNP T23
(27)
DNP T53
(0)
DNP T9
(22.5)
CUT
(-5)
T5
(23.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
Bill Haas
(139.67 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP 16
(34)
DNP T16
(17)
DNP T9
(22.5)
T15
(17.5)
T2
(33.33)
T27
(15.33)
Martin Laird
(134 pts)
T18
(32)
T3
(90)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T14
(12)
DNP
Russell Knox
(114.83 pts)
3
(90)
T68
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T23
(13.5)
DNP T26
(12)
T38
(6)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
Matt Kuchar
(113.5 pts)
DNP T21
(29)
DNP DNP 13
(37)
DNP T46
(2)
DNP T29
(10.5)
T5
(35)
DNP DNP
Ben Martin
(112.33 pts)
Win
(132)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-5)
T46
(2)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
Cameron Tringale
(105.17 pts)
CUT
(-10)
T26
(24)
DNP DNP 15
(35)
DNP T31
(9.5)
DNP T69
(0)
T2
(50)
DNP DQ
(-3.33)
Tony Finau
(93 pts)
T7
(55)
T12
(38)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Robert Streb
(87.17 pts)
T10
(40)
T31
(19)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T9
(22.5)
CUT
(-5)
T18
(10.67)
DNP
Hudson Swafford
(82 pts)
T18
(32)
T8
(50)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T67
(0)
DNP
Russell Henley
(81.33 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP 12
(38)
DNP T59
(0)
DNP T2
(50)
T61
(0)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
Scott Brown
(72.33 pts)
T10
(40)
T12
(38)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP 77
(0)
CUT
(-5)
CUT
(-3.33)
T46
(2.67)
William McGirt
(63.67 pts)
T33
(17)
WD
(-5)
DNP DNP DNP DNP 65
(0)
DNP T69
(0)
T5
(35)
T8
(16.67)
DNP
Nick Watney
(63.67 pts)
T16
(34)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-5)
T5
(23.33)
T33
(11.33)
Zach Johnson
(63.5 pts)
DNP DNP DNP DNP 21
(29)
DNP T43
(3.5)
DNP T16
(17)
T22
(14)
DNP T69
(0)
David Hearn
(57.83 pts)
T7
(55)
T68
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T43
(3.5)
T38
(6)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
Colt Knost
(56 pts)
T18
(32)
T26
(24)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Scott Langley
(55.67 pts)
DNP T17
(33)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T65
(0)
T30
(10)
T12
(12.67)
DNP
Camilo Villegas
(54.5 pts)
T72
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T20
(15)
DNP T50
(0.5)
CUT
(-5)
Win
(44)
DNP
Scott Piercy
(51 pts)
T7
(55)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T12
(12.67)
CUT
(-6.67)
Stuart Appleby
(51 pts)
79
(0)
T65
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T46
(2)
DNP CUT
(-5)
T2
(50)
T38
(4)
DNP
Charles Howell III
(50.5 pts)
T18
(32)
T71
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T36
(7)
DNP T35
(7.5)
T22
(14)
CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)
Richard Sterne
(50 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
T6
(60)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T67
(0)
T35
(10)
Carl Pettersson
(45.67 pts)
T42
(8)
T57
(0)
DNP DNP DNP DNP T31
(9.5)
DNP T9
(22.5)
CUT
(-5)
T18
(10.67)
DNP

How Player Rankings are Computed

Who’s Not Hot in the field for the McGladrey Classic

Player Shriners Hospitals Frys.com Open Dunhill Links Wales Open Tour Champ. KLM Open BMW Champ. European Masters Deutsche Bank The Barclays Wyndham Champ. PGA Champ.
Justin Hicks
(-30 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-5)
CUT
(-5)
T57
(0)
DNP
Robert Garrigus
(-29 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-5)
CUT
(-5)
T47
(1)
DNP
James Hahn
(-25 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-5)
T57
(0)
DNP
Michael Thompson
(-25 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-5)
T64
(0)
DNP
Jim Renner
(-23.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Lucas Glover
(-23.33 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
DNP
Rory Sabbatini
(-21.67 pts)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-5)
DNP CUT
(-6.67)
Zack Sucher
(-20 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP
Mark Wilson
(-20 pts)
CUT
(-10)
CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP T51
(0)
DNP
Davis Love III
(-20 pts)
DNP CUT
(-10)
DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP DNP CUT
(-3.33)
CUT
(-6.67)

How Player Rankings are Computed

The Buzz:

This year’s McGladrey has been scheduled in a weird place on the schedule.  Last year it was the first event after the Asian Swing of the CIMB and WGC-HSBC Champions.  This year it’s the week before, but in a way this spot is a bit detrimental to this event.  Reason is the length of time to get over to Asia.  If in the real world you were scheduling this, the McGladrey would be the first event followed by the Fry’s.Com and then Vegas.  There seems to be a deal in place to lead off the season with the Frys.  So the tour has to go from the west coast to the East Coast and then Asia, that hurts the McGladrey in getting good players who are going to Asia.

The McGladrey is an event in a small resort town or should we say island in Georgia which has been well received since it started in 2010.  Davis Love III got behind it and his charities are the benefactors of this event.  Love also gets behind the tournament to get his friends and fellow players to attend.  The event also has a great sponsor in McGladrey who is a tax and consulting firm.  The good thing is that folks like Zach Johnson and Matt Kuchar, who live in Sea Island are playing which helps.  But still in the future you just can’t have an east coast event followed by one in Asia, it’s too hard to get to Asia.

I still wonder about the validity of fall golf.  For the golf fan, it’s great having this wall-to-wall golf and that is the reason the PGA Tour has it.  If this event, the Shriners and Frys weren’t in October there would be some other event outside of the PGA Tour this week, so in a way the PGA Tour has to protect their ground.  Still it’s hard to get into after a stretch of the British Open, PGA Championship, WGC-Bridgestone, FedEx Cup playoffs and the Ryder Cup.  Now as I say this what I would really like to see is different events in the Fall.  Wouldn’t it be nice if the two Hawaiian events and the Humana which are played during the NFL playoffs are swtiched to November, thus not having to make those events have to go up the playoffs.  I also would love if the PGA Tour would co-sanction the Australian Open and get more PGA Tour members to go over there.  That is a national championship that is having a tough time and having the PGA Tour involved would be great.  Of course for the PGA Tour it would be a challenge, still wouldn’t it be nice.

The Ryder Cup (for one last time):

I know that a lot of you are tired of talking about it.  Last week the PGA of America came up with this task force which is going to help supposedly get the American team back to winning again.  Sorry guys, what a waste of time and money having this task force.  The first knock against it, the folks involved really don’t know much about winning the Ryder Cup.  Sorry, but the three officials on the board have never been a part of a winning American team.  I also wonder how much work Tiger Woods and other players will do in this venture, are they going to spend days lobbying the plan?  Probably not, wouldn’t it of been nice if someone would have gotten their thoughts and written a report on it?

Frankly I wish the PGA of America would have gone about this like Baseball did with its steroid problems.  What baseball did was commission former Maine senator George Mitchell to investigate the problem and inform MLB on his findings.  That is what the Mitchell report did, was talk with everyone involved and base some thoughts on what came out in their investigation.  Golf has a lot of folks in the media that are smart and are out of work.  Guys like Larry Dorman or Ron Sirak, who are widely respected in the golf industry and have handled big reports.  They could of talked with anyone involved in the Ryder Cup and get their opinions.  Not only would it be players, officials and media types, but also folks involved in team events like the Solheim Cup and Walker Cup.  I would love to hear folks like former player and captain Billy Casper give his thoughts on the subject.  Guys like Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Jackie Burke Jr., it would love to hear from them.  I would even go to lengths in talking with folks like Judy Rankin who captained two winning Solheim Cup teams.  Even those involved with the Walker Cup to get an understanding on what it would take to win back the cup.  Then after all of the folks were contacted have the writer condense those interviews into a consensus on what the PGA of America should do in future cups.  Then I would hope that the powers to be could come up with a game plan on what to do in the future.  This makes more sense than the way this task force was made up, it almost makes the PGA of America look like a weak organization that can’t make up their mind.  The one thing that you have to respect about PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, he studies the problem and comes up with his thoughts and solution to the problem.  You may not like it, and sometimes he hasn’t been right, but at least he has made a decisive decision and went with it.  Sorry, but what the PGA of America are doing is not the right way of handling this situation.

Course information:

  • The Seaside course is part of the three courses at Sea Island Golf Club.  The Seaside course which is the venue of the McGladreys is a classic Harry Colt and Charles Alison design dating from 1929. Tom Fazio completed a renovation in 1999. It’s another of those hidden gems that not many people know about, it’s a true Scottish links course near the Atlantic with ocean views that plays fast and firm.
  • The main challenges could be in the greens, which are nearly impossible to read. The layout features other notable challenges like the bunkering which is old fashion and truly memorable. They offer a variety in size and shape but they are all strategically placed to deliver a formidable test for even the most experienced players.
  • The first nine goes out and back in a counterclockwise fashion while the second nine follows a clockwise direction. Each of the four par-3s faces its unique direction which is unique for any course, so players get a different feel on each par 3 when it’s windy that is always the case at Sea Island.
  • The course meanders through marsh lands and lakes with water or marshes coming in play on most of the holes.  There are only 40 sand bunkers on the course, but they are all in strategic spots to catch drives and wayward shots to the greens that are average size of 7,000 square feet.  The course has bermudagrass all through it with a 72.3 rating and a slope of 137.
  • It’s been the venue for some significant amateur competitions over the years including the US Senior Amateur and the US Senior Women’s Amateur.

Here are some of the secrets of what it takes to play well at The McGladrey Classic:

Key stat for the winner:

This is a true links course so players will have to be able to play firm fast fairways and be good in the wind.  Hitting into the greens tend to be very tricky and for those that miss the greens getting it up and down is a key.  In looking at the first three winners they aren’t among the leaders in scrambling, Slocum in 2010 was T20th, Crane in 2011 was T41st and Gainey was T35th in 2012.  But the three have one big stat in common, and that is they all led the scrambling for the fringe stat, while last year’s winner Chris Kirk was 5th in scrambling.  So go to this page on PGA Tour.Com it’s the leaders from last year’s scrambling category, loo, and you will see guys like Brendon Todd and Chris Kirk who are on top and playing this week, they should be favored.

Here are some more key stats to look to for this week:

  • One of two stats is key, you either have to hit a lot of greens or putt really well.  Look at the three winners, Slocum in 2010 was T7th in greens hit and 39th in strokes gained putting.  Crane in 2011 was T26th in greens hit but 2nd in Strokes gained putting while Gainey in 2012 was T23rd in greens hit but 3rd in strokes gained putting.   Last year Chris Kirk was T15th in greens hit, and T11th in strokes gained putting.  So you can see what is important to win this week.
  • All four winners had one thing in common, and that was the ability of playing the par 4s.  In 2010 Slocum was 11 under on them, the next closest player was 9 under.  In 2011, Crane was 12 under, the next closet was 11 under and in 2012 Gainey was 12 under the next closet was 11 under.  Last year Chris Kirk was 6 under, the best was 10 under.  So if it’s Sunday and you’re looking for someone with the edge look at that stat.
  • Driving accuracy means nothing on this course that makes sense since it’s a resort course.  Last year it was 43rd while in 2012 it was 44th in driving accuracy, while it was T43rd in 2011 and 38th in 2010 so poor drivers could do well this week
  • Most people disregard putts per round, but this is something of importance on this course.  As you don’t have to drive the ball straight on this course to succeed, you do have to take the least amount of putts.  In the putts per round category Seaside has been 4th last year, 2nd in 2012 and 2011, 3rd in 2010.  In a way, this is because it’s a resort course but still putting is important.
  • Look for a good mix of players from Sea Island, Jacksonville and Ponte Vedra to be in the field, a bit of local knowledge.
  • Lastly, we find a course that is completely Bermuda and that is important because it takes a special player to win on Bermuda grass.  Chris Kirk (born and lives in Atlanta), Gainey (born and lives in South Carolina) and Slocum (born in Louisiana and lives in Georgia) are  southern boys that have been around Bermuda all of their lives.  Ben Crane was born in Portland and went to school in Portland, Oregon which isn’t a place to learn Bermuda, but look at Crane’s wins, three of the four have come on courses with Bermuda and he does live in Texas today.  The point is, look for a player that does well on Bermuda courses.  Also, I can’t see a player that was born, raised and lives in the North and Midwest winning.
  • One nice thing, you will not ask for any better weather that what will be at Sea Island for the whole week.  It will be perfect, each day in the mid 70s with very little humidity and more importantly, not much wind.  So look for low scoring this week.

Who to watch for at the McGladrey Classic

Best Bets:

Webb Simpson

2014 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T7 2 T12

Of course he is the logical choice base on his past record in this event, that he finished T4th at the Shiners and the fact that he grew up in the south playing courses like Sea Island.

Russell Knox

2014 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T32 T27

Played well last week, just remember he grew up in Scotland playing links style courses so he could be a very sneaky pick.

Matt Kuchar

2014 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T7 T20 T25

Another good choice since he is playing well and playing at home in a spot he knows very well.

Best of the rest:

Brendon de Jonge

2014 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T16 T4 T60 T15

A regular of this event, playing pretty well in four starts at Sea Island.

Chris Kirk

2014 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
Win T64 CUT T15

He is the defending champion making it harder to win two in a row. But is playing well plus has the track record in this event.

Bill Haas

2014 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
2

Another southern boy that was 2nd in his only start in 2010 which screams out “you should of play he before this week”.

Charles Howell III

2014 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T27 T7 T32 T6

Another boy raised in the south that should do well this week.

Solid contenders

Zach Johnson

2014 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T16 T49 CUT T12

playing at home but in the past shown that it’s hard to play at home. Can he do better, yes. Will he do better is the big question mark.

Ben Curtis

2014 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T32 T27 T48 T15

Has the tools to win this week, but his game isn’t in tip-top shape right now.

Martin Laird

2014 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
First time playing in this event

Started well in Vegas last week, could he reclaim the form this week?

Nick Watney

2014 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
First time playing in this event

Just have to wonder whatever has happen to him, could redeem himself with a win this week.

Long shots that could come through:

Aaron Baddeley

2014 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T40 T64

On paper this event should be right up his alley, surprising that he hasn’t done any better.

Brendon Todd

2014 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T16 CUT

Has the game, this could be a great place for him.

Cameron Tringale

2014 ’13 ’12 ’11 ’10 ’09 ’08 ’07 ’06 ’05 ’04 ’03 ’02
T27 CUT T26 CUT

He is the type of player that could surprise us this week.

Speak Your Mind