Weather delays are very possible during the first round of the Quicken Loans National on Thursday and that makes the First Round Leader market a tricky puzzle to solve, but here with the answers is our man Dan Geraghty...
"Steele has been in excellent form of late, he has finished in the top 20 in four of his last five outings, including last week's US Open. The American was also fifth in this event last time it was at Congressional in 2014."
Here's the first round leaderboard from last year's tournament (which was played at the Robert Trent Jones GC):
- 63 Retief Goosen (07:59)
- 63 Ryo Ishikawa (08:43)
- 64 Justin Leonard (07:59)
- 64 Kevin Chappell (08:32)
- 64 Ernie Els (12:44)
- 65 Steve Wheatcroft (07:37)
- 65 Jeff Overton (12:11)
- 65 Mark Hubbard (13:39)
- 65 Andy Sullivan (13:39)
...and here's the first round leaderboard from the year before, when it was held at this year's course, Congressional:
- 66 Greg Chalmers (08:48)
- 67 Ricky Barnes (07:12)
- 67 Freddie Jacobson (12:24)
- 68 Patrick Reed (08:12)
- 68 Erik Compton (08:36)
- 68 Bill Haas (13:00)
- 68 Tyrone van Aswegan (13:48)
Thursday's weather forecast looks horrendous, thunderstorms and delays are on the cards throughout the day so it's a tough task trying to predict which group of players will have the advantage. With that in mind, I'll take the whole field into consideration. My fancies this week include two from the very top, two from the very bottom and Patrick Rodgers (just humour me, people).
I put up Lucas Glover last week for the US Open, citing his excellent ball striking stats, his best for a number of seasons; unfortunately it was a familiar story, as a cold putter meant another missed cut. However, this week, on another US Open style course, that he's played well at before, Glover has the very first tee time of the day and I'm happy to give him another chance at a huge price.
Brendan Steele joins Glover in the first group out, Steele has been in excellent form of late, he has finished in the top 20 in four of his last five outings, including last week's US Open. The American was also fifth in this event last time it was at Congressional in 2014.
Jordan Niebrugge must wait until the very last tee time of the day to make his professional debut on Thursday but if his recent amateur form is anything to go by, it'll be worth the wait. Niebrugge is the most decorated amateur in the history of Wisconsin golf and his remarkable performance at last year's Open Championship bodes well for this week's pro debut.
Niebrugge is playing with trick shot king Wesley Bryan. Bryan warmed up for this week's event - his second PGA Tour start of the season - by opening with a 63 back on the Web.com Tour last week, he's certainly capable of troubling the leaderboard in this company and clearly remains in great form.
Patrick Rodgers shot a 66 in the first round here last year, just missing out on the first round places and the young American made the cut on his Congressional debut in 2014 and at his first Major last week; I think he's still overpriced in these markets and will continue to back accordingly.
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