A different feel to Paddy’s best-backed this week as Eagle Point takes over from traditional host Quail Hollow to keep it in good nick for August’s PGA Championship.
Dustin Johnson returns to action since literally limping out of the US Masters last month and with majority of the field seeing the North Carolinan track for the first time – here’s the 7 players you’re backing ahead of Thursday’s tee off.
The world number 1 limbers up for next week’s Players Championship at Sawgrass after literally limping out of a US Masters bid after a tumble down the stairs on the eve of the tournament.
Johnson has been imperious all year – winning his last three tournaments – and has all the right junk in all the right places, in the all-important Tour stats.
Might be short enough in the betting but that’s the way DJ is going to roll now – especially with no Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth or Jason Day in the field.
Has struggled with new clubs, a hangover from his Ryder Cup heroics and his all-round personality deficit, but Reed showed signs of life last weekend when T14 playing partner Patrick Cantlay.
Three missed cuts at big-ticket events in April, means Reed can’t afford a ‘Diane Abbott’ ramble if he’s going to get his game – and his season – back on course.
You’ll have read plenty about Bill’s ‘membership’ at The Eagle and when there’s no horse for a course, anyone who has at least teed it up at the track at least once, can quickly take on the course-specialist tag.
The consistent Haas though has some decent form to call on, with seven top 20’s this season including two top fives.
While he hasn’t won Stateside since 2015, there’s plenty in this field who would kill for that record.
Like Haas, Simpson is another North Carolina native with Eagle Point membership – but also has that all important Major win in the bag after his 2012 US Open triumph. A runner-up to Hideki Matsuyama at Phoenix earlier this year, the world no. 68 often ‘repeat performs’ at certain track but needs to do it under the bright lights now.
It seems incredible, but Mickelson hasn’t won on the US Tour since 2013 – the same year as his Open Championship triumph at Muirfield.
It ‘s been an ok kind of year for Lefty as Father Time continues to pull at his putter but a new week, on a new track could see Big Phil put his golfing smarts to good use.
Some of the big beasts are sitting it out to hone their ‘A’ game for the Players Championship next week and it could give ‘the Mick’ an opportunity to let everyone know he’s still a force to be reckoned with.
Like Mickelson, it has been a long time between drinks for the English pro, whose last win in the States was 2009 at the Shell Houston Open.
However, with so few course-form ponies in the field, he could have as good a chance as any after posting four top 20s in his last five starts, including two Top 10s (Masters & World MatchPlay).
Backed up last year’s sixth at the Masters with a fourth-place finish this year at the Augusta track which is the template for Eagle Point.
Comes in here hot after his eagle on 18th saw him and team-mate Scott Brown force a play-off in the new-look Zurich Classic at the Big Easy last Monday, before losing to Jonas Blixt and Cameron Smith.
The high-point of Kisner’s season was a T2 in the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March, he’s also hit the Top 10 three times along with that.