Fantasy Golf Picks: 2017 Quicken Loans National Predictions, Sleepers & Preview
Quicken Loans National
Defending Champ: Billy Hurley III
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Quicken Loans National Field
120 Players | Top 70 & Ties Make The Cut
On the heels of the most stacked Travelers field in years, we’re left with this monstrosity just outside the nation’s capital. Rickie Fowler is the only representative of the world’s top 10 making the trek to Potomac. While Justin Thomas and Patrick Reed are the only other two players currently sitting inside the top 25. Beyond that, we have Kevin Chappell, Marc Leishman, Brendan Steele, Tony Finau, Bill Haas, David Lingmerth, Russell Henley, JB Holmes, Danny Lee, Graham DeLaet, Si-Woo Kim, Kyle Stanley, Byeong-Hun An, and Bud Cauley padding the field for quality. I don’t think I’ll be complaining about the Canadian Open again any time soon.
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Hell, this is Tiger’s tournament, and he won’t even show up. Most will say it’s due to his ongoing recovery; I think he just saw who RSVP’d and said, “NOPE”. There is some good news, though. Charles Howell III is returning to the links for the first time in 13 weeks. So, I suppose that’s something. Oh, 2010 Wyndham Championship winner Arjun Atwal will be making a cameo too. Super.
Frankly, Quicken Loans advertising dollars are better spent advertising my show than this trash heap. By which I mean, if you’re looking to refinance your existing mortgage, or simply get a home loan, check out www.quickenloans.com/Mayo.
Quicken Loans National Key Stats
Par 4 Birdies or Better
Strokes Gained: Approach
Good Drive Percentage
Strokes Gained: Around-The-Green
Quicken Loans National Course
TPC Potomac | 7,107 Yards | Par 70
Generally hosted at the iconic Congressional Country Club, the Quicken Loans National will sprinkle in a new venue every few years whether it’s because Congo is hosting the US Open, or out of organizers’ sheer boredom. We’ve seen Aronimink GC get the nod a few times, and the sexily named Robert Trent Jones Golf Club (I need to change my pants) played host in 2015, and now, it’s TPC Potomac. A course so bad, the TOUR took it out of regular rotation in 2006 when it first switched to Congressional. In fact, the last time a PGA event was held at TPC Potomac, there was a Tuesday finish, that wasn’t even shown on TV.
The course was completely renovated in 2007, so anyone looking back to the Booz Allen Classic or Kemper Open days is out of luck. If you’re searching for past results to shape an opinion on who will play well this week or what styles of play will pop, the Web TOUR did hold two events on this site in 2012 (Full Leaderboard) and 2013 (Full Leaderboard).
What does it reveal? Not a ton, to be honest. Solid Par 4 scorers and shorter hitters ended up doing well. Not surprising, as that’s the case for most Par 70s. However with the number of giant scores popping up on these scorecards, it strikes me that staying out of trouble is really the key if you’re not sticking approaches. If players miss the green, a heavy emphasis will be placed on their short games to save some crooked numbers. -8 and -7 were the winning scores of the two Web events, and with the screws cranked up for a PGA event, unless someone like Rickie or Thomas goes mental with their irons, expect a tough track.
Quicken Loans National Picks (Yahoo Game)
Brendan Steele & Bill Haas - After churning out another T15 at the Travelers, Steele has now reeled off 21 consecutive cuts made dating back to July of 2016 and has the ideal consistency for a player taking on an unknown course. One of the premiere Par 4 scorers in the field, Steele also sits 14th on the season in scrambling… Haas doesn’t exactly hit every fairway anymore, but he’s continued to churn out quality results based around his consistency and top tier short game. Ranking, 15th in SG: ATG for the year, he’s reeled off three straight T25 finishes (including a T5 at the US Open) and has a knack for posting wins on shorter tracks with weak fields. Hey, a win’s a win.
Kevin Na, Cameron Tringale, Adam Hadwin & Danny Lee - In a season full of struggles, Na is slowly turning the corner for 2017. After calling out the USGA over the fescue at Erin Hills, he went out and picked up a T32 at the US Open. He followed that up last week with a scorching 66 in the opening round at the Travelers, then failed to break par in the subsequent three rounds. Still, he’d missed the cut in four of his previous five events leading up to that, so that’s progress. At his best, Na is an elite Par 4 scorer who can dice up a course with long irons. At his current incarnation, he’s an inconsistent scorer who still processes one of the best short games in the world (20th in SG: ATG). That alone should get him out of problems and keep him around through the weekend… Tringale has gained strokes on approaches and around-the-green in four of his past five starts, and gained an average of 2.53 strokes with his putter in his past three. If he can just not be a disaster off the tee, he’ll linger… Hadwin lit the TOUR on fire for the first three months with his putting and approach game, resulting a win and 13 of 14 cuts made. He hasn’t been so good recently, though. He's failed to finish better than T30 since The Masters and keeps falling victim to blow up rounds (80 at US Open, 78 at Memorial, 76 at the PLAYERS, 82 at Valero). Still, he plays the shorter courses well, and he’s only one of eight players in the field to have teed off in both Web events at this venue (T47: 2013; T25: 2012)… Lee is basically the opposite of Hadwin. He was brutal when the calendar flipped, but has been spitting HOT FIYA for just over a month now. He’s made five cuts in a row, with three T10s in that stretch, and he’s doing it through approaches and Par 4 scoring. Exactly the thing we’re looking for this week. Unfortunately, if the irons are even a little off, Lee hasn’t been the best getting himself out of problems. For the year, he’s T181 in SG: ATG (Of 205 qualified players), but has been better recently in that category. Better, as in, not horrible; more around field average.
Si-Woo Kim & David Hearn - Kim is like a true two-outcome baseball player: He’s going to hit a home run or strikeout. And you never know which guy is going to show up. Strangely, he’s had his best performances in strong fields and difficult courses (Win at the Players, T13 at the US Open). And, as we know, this does not qualify as a strong field. Still, when his game is clicking, he hits every fairway, chips like Seve, and piles up birdies on Par 4s. Kim’s worth the gamble, but understand it could blow up in your face. If you want “safer” (Note: No one is safe in golf), Tony Finau and Kyle Stanley are better options… I identified Hearn as a guy to watch once the weather started getting a bit warmer across the continent, and, to my astonishment, it’s started to happen. With back-to-back Top 10s on Par 70 layouts, the Canadian has started to get a feel for his all-around game. He’s finished in the positives in all four strokes gained categories (Putting, Approach, Off-The-Tee, Around-The-Green) in his last two starts, good for 8+ strokes gained on the field overall in that span.
The Pat Mayo Hour covers the entire scope of the Fantasy sports landscape from Football to Reality TV, daily and yearly leagues and everything in between. You can watch the Pat Mayo Hour every weekday at noon, 3:00pm EST, 8:00pm EST and Midnight on the FNTSY Sports Network Television channel or on your Apple TV, Xbox, Roku or Amazon Fire Stick. If you have a Fantasy question, general inquiry or snarky comment, ship it to Mayo at PatMayoHour@gmail.com and the best will be addressed on the show.
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