Greenbrier Classic experts' picks

July, 2, 2013

Each week of the season, our experts 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 Greenbrier Classic in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va.

Horse for the Course

Michael Collins, senior golf analyst: Brendon de Jonge. He's played 12 rounds at The Greenbrier and has an average score of 67.58. In the three events played, he has two top-four finishes. I'd say that's a pretty good horse for this course.

Farrell Evans, senior golf writer: Stuart Appleby. The 42-year-old Australian hasn't done much since he shot 59 here in the final round to win his ninth tour title, but no one has been able to equal his feat at the Greenbrier.

Bob Harig, senior golf writer: Webb Simpson. The 2012 U.S. Open champion has two top-10s at the Old White TPC course used at The Greenbrier, including a tie for seventh last year.

Birdie Buster

Collins: Jordan Spieth. Can we stop calling him a temporary member? He has five top-10s and more than $1.1 million in earnings this year. Only a win will get him into the FedEx Cup playoffs, which seems ridiculous, but I'm not expecting that. I am, however, expecting another top-10 this week.

Evans: Jordan Spieth. The 19-year-old rookie earned his fifth top-10 of the year with a sixth-place finish at the AT&T National, where he had a piece of the lead after the second round.

Harig: Bill Haas. Now a five-time winner on the PGA Tour, Haas has won at least one PGA Tour event in each of the past four years after his win Sunday at Congressional, site of the AT&T National.

Super Sleeper

Collins: Jeff Maggert. Put an older player on a course that requires precision over power -- now you can see why Maggert has had top finishes at courses like TPC Sawgrass and TPC River Highlands. The Greenbrier is the same type of course as those, so expect the 49-year-old to thrive.

Evans: Kenny Perry. The 52-year-old 14-time PGA Tour winner earned his first major Sunday at the Constellation Senior Players Championship. He last won on the regular tour in 2009, when he took both the FBR Open and the Travelers Championship.

Harig: Ted Potter Jr. The defending champion has a single top-10 since his victory, a tie for 10th at the Northern Trust Open earlier this year. He has missed eight cuts this year.


Collins: Roberto Castro. I'm going to sound like an old guy for a second: It used to be that a guy finished second then had a letdown for a couple of weeks. These kids today! After a second-place finish last week, Castro comes to a course he finished seventh on last year and gets his first PGA Tour win.

Evans: Graham Delaet. The former Boise State star and Canadian native is easily one of the hottest players on tour at the moment with a third and T-8 in his past two starts. Delaet's time is coming soon to crack the winner's circle on the PGA Tour. It could be this week.

Harig: Jordan Spieth. With no status to start the year, the 19-year-old rookie has five top-10s after a tie for sixth at the AT&T, having secured his PGA Tour card for 2013-14. He held the 36-hole lead last week and seems poised to get his first victory.





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