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The 7 most underrated players at the Quicken Loans National

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This week’s Quicken Loans National is the last invitational field of the PGA Tour season and DraftKings is putting out a $350,000 contest at a $3 entry fee for Tiger’s event.

The winner earns $100,000, with second garnering $10,000 and third place a cool $5,000.

Enter the $350,000 contest here!

This week we’re switching it up to give you some value picks on your roster. To be clear, these are not my favorites to win, but rather seven players I feel have far more potential this week than their DraftKings salaries indicate.

Without further ado, I give you my all-underrated group of performers that could bolster the middle and backend of your roster and send you straight to the top!

The Course

www.rtjgc.com

www.rtjgc.com

OK, a quick sojourn into the course.

The Quicken Loans National has largely been contested at Congressional, but this week the host site is the Robert Trent Jones Golf Club in Gainesville, Va.

The layout famously hosted four Presidents Cups (1994, 1996, 2000, 2005).

The Robert Trent Jones Golf Course is a mixed bag off the tee. The fairways are kind of generous, but the rough can get gnarly. I get the sense that this can be a really good course for a bomber who is striping his driver because there are several holes where a wide fairway and a much shorter approach shot awaits anyone who cuts a little corner and carries the fairway bunkers at 280 to 300 yards.

There are plenty of defenses (many bunkers) around the greens, but this track is really the most demanding on the approach and on the greens. Robert Trent Jones Sr. believed in “greens-within-greens” as in undulations that cut up a putting surface into distinctive segments. You find that a lot at this course, which makes approach shot accuracy key, as players will need to find a specific small portion of a green to be in good position. When players don’t get it in the right portion, we’ll really get to see great putters display their skills.

Shawn Stefani ($8,800)/Steven Bowditch ($8,400)

Shawn Stefani

Shawn Stefani

My course profile points to a great iron player and putting maven. Accuracy and distance off the tee are both helpful, but not paramount. A potency from fairway rough is also encouraged.

I’ll mostly limit myself to one underrated pick for the $8,000+ salary group, but this week I’m offering up two because I can’t leave one of these guys off.

Both are priced in the top-15 range when they should be pushing top five. Stefani has been a stud all year and Bowditch acquired that title in his run from the Byron Nelson on. Both are great fits for this layout, especially Stefani.

And even if his runner-up finish at last year’s event was at a different course, Stefani’s positive memory of that can’t hurt.

Scott Langley ($7,600)

His average compatibility with the layout doesn’t really sway my decision here. Langley’s just been on a roll of late with a T25-T13-T35-T16-T22 stretch.

That hot hand worked for me last week, and against this gettable field, it might be time for his hot play to really put him in contention.

George McNeill ($7,600)

He’s cooled off a bit since his fantastic stretch earlier this year, but all that means is that he’s now getting undervalued as people hop off.

McNeill is kind of a shorter-hitting version of Stefani, which makes him attractive for this layout. And there’s no proof that his form has just disappeared. It’s lying dormant, which makes him a strong candidate to erupt any week.

Scott Pinckney ($7,200)

People should start paying more attention to this Tour rookie. He already has three top-10s this year.

A solid weekend in Canada would have given him three top-25s in his past four starts. There’s nothing but good vibes for Pinckney heading into  this event.

Charlie Beljan ($6,200)

This is exactly the player I envision when talking about the advantage of clearing these bunkers and cutting these corners.

Beljan is just insanely long and he possesses enough accuracy with his distance to find these wide fairways beyond the bunkers.

For this course, it doesn’t hurt either that he’s quite the approach player from any position. Tough times of late with missed cuts in three of four starts but this is the type of course to get an under-the-radar Beljan back on track.

Spencer Levin ($6,000)

Based on my profile, this isn’t Levin’s type of layout.

He’s found some form, though, during the past two months with two top-25s and five top-50s in seven starts. I’m not deterred by his Friday 80 in Canada, because his recent play suggests that is an aberration.

Also, it seems like he finds comfort in these invitationals. He’s already contended before at Arnie’s and Jack’s events. At some point he might add Tiger’s event to the resume to complete the trifecta.

Andres Gonzales ($5,700)

QuickenLoansNational

Andres Gonzalez

 

Half-man, half-amazing is a solid player for this Robert Trent Jones layout. His golf has come on of late and he produced his best performance since February in Canada last week.

Enter the $350,000 contest here!

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Kevin's fascination with the game goes back as long as he can remember. He has written about the sport on the junior, college and professional levels and hopes to cover its proceedings in some capacity for as long as possible. His main area of expertise is the PGA Tour, which is his primary focus for GolfWRX. Kevin is currently a student at Northwestern University, but he will be out into the workforce soon enough. You can find his golf tidbits and other sports-related babble on Twitter @KevinCasey19. GolfWRX Writer of the Month: September 2014

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. jameison

    Jul 29, 2015 at 1:41 pm

    They really need to consider a name change. His name is no longer a draw. “Hey kids. Let’s watch golf. Tiger’s playing.” The answer is always “Who wants to watch somebody shoot 85 Dad. We can see that everytime we go to the club.” Seriously, he’s a 12 handicap that just happens to get lucky every thirty rounds or so.

    Tiger Woods: “The greatest 12 handicap to ever play the game”

    In other news, the PGA Tour will revisit lifetime exempt status because Tiger has completely eff’d up the ratings – damn!!! Oh yeah!

    • Christosterone

      Jul 29, 2015 at 2:47 pm

      Tiger has won almost 80 PGA Tour events….and 5 in 2013….that’s less than 24 months ago.
      I can’t think off the top of my head who’s won more than 5 since 2013….Rory?….spieth maybe?
      -Christosterone

    • ABgolfer2

      Jul 29, 2015 at 11:55 pm

      Someone shooting 80 at a course set up for the Tour Louis closer to scratch, but your point is well made.

  2. Steve

    Jul 29, 2015 at 9:59 am

    I agree, I very weak field. But a long stretch of big tournaments coming up so its a good week for top players to take off. Luckily RBC had their stable of players to boost up the field at the Cdn. Open last week. It is tough to pick a team this week, basically a glorified Web.com field, played on a course without any prior results.

  3. Todd

    Jul 29, 2015 at 7:55 am

    Wow, those are some long-shots without a doubt! I am amazed how few of the top-50 are in “Tiger’s” tournament. It looks like a great course, seems like more would be playing to help support Tiger’s charity since he has done so much to get the purses to the level they are for all of the players.

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