The first I like at the top of the market is Xander Schauffele. He’s made a habit of high placing in the Majors in the past two seasons and was sixth last week at the FedEx St Jude – despite carding an eight in round two when he put the ball in the water twice.
His whole game looks in good working order and is excelling in the ‘strokes gained off the tee’ stats which are going to be very important in San Francisco.
He gained 10 shots on the field in his last two events off the tee and eight strokes on the field in the putting stats. Schauffele can go very close to winning his first Major – and the first Major of the season this week.
Colin Morikawa is another who has good form coming into TPC Harding Park and is one of the best iron players on the Tour at the moment. He went to college 50 minutes down the road in Berkeley so this is a home game for him and he’s already mentioned in press conferences that’s he’s played this course 20 or 30 times and seems really comfortable with the surroundings.
A real rising star in the game.
An impressive ball striker who improved five strokes on the field last weekend in the tee-to-green stats. He got to the quarter finals of the Dell match-play when it was held here in 2015 (Rory McIlroy beat Gary Woodland in the final) And has also finished second at Quail Hollow – where the set-up is similar. Oosthuizen can compete at a decent price.
His chipping is a weak point in his game but the high level rough around the greens should negate that and the emphasis will be on getting the ball from tee-to-green. Hovland is strongest there and looks a value price to be high among the finishers where Paddy is paying the first 10 places each-way.
Playing really great golf in the past few weeks and was second at Memorial to Jon Rahm and 15th to Justin Thomas last weekend. His iron play has improved unbelievably – gaining 15 strokes on the field in those two events – which is incredible.
The wind is due to get up at some stage too over the four days and Ryan Palmer plays those conditions really well. He’s a big price and is a man in form.
The veteran and previous Major winner Jim Furyk relishes tough conditions. He won on his Champions Tour debut last weekend and was third in the US Open on a course 10 minutes down the road from Harding Park and was beaten in the semi-final by Rory McIlroy in the Dell World Matchplay in 2015. The now 68-year-old is worth a small play at a massive price.
A Californian so should be comfortable in the surroundings. Homa was third at the 3M Open a fortnight ago but slipped back last weekend at the Fedex St Jude Classic but that is factored into his price and he can go well.