Kevin Chappell – To call Chappell’s start to 2014 slow is an understatement. Before his T-14 at Bay Hill, his best finish was a T-23 at the Northern Trust. This is a guy who had a great year in 2013 finishing 2nd at the Memorial and making the weekend in every PGA event he entered, including the US Open at a tough, narrow, Merion Golf Club. The most important stat at the narrow TPC San Antonio is driving accuracy and Chappell was T-5 last week at Bay Hill on the way to a respectable T-15 finish. His history at the Valero is very good. He was T-15 in 2013 after an opening round 75 and was 2nd in 2011 (WD in 2012). Seems like first time winners are trendy this year and with Chappell, it seems like the ingredient are all there to make it happen.
Brendan Steel – He clearly likes this course given he won here as a rookie in 2011 and followed that with a T-4 in 2012. Sure, his T-48 in 2013 is a red flag but he really wasn’t playing well at this time last year and his T-20 last week at Bay Hill makes me more comfortable with his current form. Brendan is 3rd in total driving, 22nd in overall ranking and 7th in scrambling from the rough. Last week he was T-19 in driving accuracy and GIR. Form meets course history, the perfect combination.
Fredrik Jacobson – Obvious choice alert. I bet he’s the experts’ “love child” this week because he’s on a role and has great history here. The “junkman” loves this course. He’s finished in the top 20 the last three years and was T-5 in 2011. His form is coming around too. He was 10th last week at Bay Hill and has been top 20 in this last 3 PGA Tour starts.