McGladrey Classic experts' picks

October, 16, 2012
Each week of the season, our experts will share their insights into which players fit the criteria for our four categories: Horse for the Course (a golfer who knows the track inside and out), Birdie Buster (a guy who could take it low this week), Super Sleeper (a player who could unexpectedly contend) and Winner.

This week's tournament: The McGladrey Classic at the Seaside Course in Sea Island, Ga.

Horse for the Course

Michael Collins, senior golf analyst: Michael Thompson
Last year, he was one of 12 players who shot all four rounds in the 60s at this event. Having graduated from the University of Alabama, he's very used to playing on these surfaces.

Farrell Evans, senior golf writer: Heath Slocum
In the last year of a two-year exemption for winning the inaugural McGladrey Classic in 2010, the 38-year-old four-time PGA Tour winner could save his season with a win this week at the Sea Island Golf Club. At 140th on the money list, Slocum needs to climb 15 spots over the final two events if he wants to earn his 2013 playing privileges without going to Q-school. Last year, the former University of North Alabama star finished in a tie for 15th at McGladrey.

Bob Harig, senior golf writer: Charles Howell III
He owns the course record of 62 on the Seaside course, set in 2010, and is coming off a tie for 11th at the Open.

Kevin Maguire, senior golf editor: Heath Slocum
The McGladrey Classic couldn't some soon enough for Slocum, who is on the outside looking in at his PGA Tour card for 2013. He won the inaugural event in Sea Island, Ga., in 2010 and finished T-15 last year. Another strong finish will help him rise from his current spot of 140th on the PGA Tour money list.

Birdie Buster

Michael Collins: Camilo Villegas
It's been a horrific year for the Colombian heartthrob aka "Spider-Man." Twenty-three starts, 13 cuts and no top-10s. He finds himself 152nd on the money list coming into the week, and he has never played here. The good news? He's coming off back-to-back cuts made and top-30 finishes.

Farrell Evans: Jason Day
The 24-year-old Australian hasn't followed up his breakout 2011 season with much success this year, but, with a tie for fourth in Las Vegas, he's primed for a strong finish to 2012.

Bob Harig: Jonas Blixt
The PGA Tour rookie is coming off his first victory, at the Open, and now strives for a Masters invitation, which he'll earn if he can move from 35th on the money list into the top 30. The tour's leading putter will need to guard against a letdown.

Kevin Maguire: Jeff Overton
The former Indiana Hoosier owns top-13 finishes in three of his past four starts and posted a T-6 at the McGladrey Classic last year. He's 13th on the PGA Tour this year in birdie average, which should come in handy as the first two years of the McGladrey saw winning scores of 14 and 15 under.

Super Sleeper

Michael Collins: Billy Horschel
He has made the most of his 15 starts by making 13 cuts, but he finds himself well outside the top 125 with only $449,616 in 2012 earnings. He's an extremely confident player and should have no trouble making the cut and at least getting into position for a top-five finish.

Farrell Evans: Brian Harman
The scrappy little 25-year-old former Georgia Bulldog has had a very respectable rookie year with nine top-25s. He nearly made it to the Tour Championship with a tie for fifth at the Barclays. Harman, who lives on Sea Island, could head off into his hunting season with his first PGA Tour win.

Bob Harig: Davis Love III
The U.S. Ryder Cup captain is playing his third consecutive event since the biennial matches and is the tournament host. He lives on Sea Island, but it is a big ask for him to win his own tournament.

Kevin Maguire: Angel Cabrera
The multiple major winner's woes on the PGA Tour continued in 2012 as he has made only eight of 19 cuts on the season. Yet somehow he's still battling in the Fall Finish and played all four rounds at the Open this past week. He also finished T-6 at the McGladrey Classic in 2011.


Michael Collins: Jason Bohn
To call his play this year inconsistent would be like calling the Nile a little river. Through the bad play, however, there have been flashes of brilliance, including a second place at the True South Classic and a tie for eighth in Vegas two weeks ago. Please keep all hands and feet inside the ride at all times.

Farrell Evans: Jim Furyk
This is the 16-time PGA Tour winner's first event since he went 1-2 in the Ryder Cup. That disappointing performance, capped by a tough 1-down loss to Sergio Garcia in the Sunday singles, will fuel a rested Furyk to his first win since the 2010 Tour Championship.

Bob Harig: Zach Johnson
The nearby St. Simons Island resident had a strong year with two victories, two seconds and just one missed cut. He also had one of just three Sunday victories for the U.S. in singles at the Ryder Cup and comes to his hometown event after a couple of weeks off. A victory would be a nice cap to the year.

Kevin Maguire: Gary Woodland
Might this week be a springboard to a huge 2013 season for Woodland? After his 66-68 weekend at the Open, the big bomber might have just turned the corner after suffering through injuries and swing changes earlier this year.





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