The McGladrey Classic experts' picks

November, 5, 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 McGladrey Classic at Sea Island Resort, Sea Island, Ga.

Horse for the Course

Michael Collins, senior golf analyst: Davis Love III. It's basically his party this week at Sea Island. Not wanting to be an ungracious host, he won't win, but you can count on a top-10 finish. And some killer BBQ!

Farrell Evans, senior golf writer: Tommy Gainey. In 2012, "Two Gloves" shot a 60 in the final round to take his first career PGA Tour title. The 38-year-old Darlington, S.C. native had eight birdies and an eagle, including a closing 29 on the back nine at the par-70 Seaside Course at the Sea Island Golf Club.

Bob Harig, senior golf writer: Webb Simpson. Coming off a victory a few weeks ago in Las Vegas, Simpson has fared well at the McGladrey, with a tie for 12th in 2010 and a playoff loss in 2011.

Kevin Maguire, senior golf editor: Charles Howell III. Often one to start a season fast (albeit usually in January and February), CH III posted back-to-back top-10s the past couple of weeks. Toss in two top-10s in three starts in Sea Island and another high finish isn't out of the question.

Birdie Buster

Collins: Vijay Singh. Apparently a lawsuit against the PGA Tour was the inspiration the Big Fijian needed. The 50-year-old could be spending his time on the Champions Tour; instead, he has a runner-up and tie for 23rd so far this year and is fifth in FedEx Cup points. He's healthy and mad ... be afraid.

Evans: Charles Howell III. The 34-year-old Augusta, Ga., native has top-10s in two of the three McGladrey Classics that have been held since the event started in 2010. Howell has a tie for fifth and a tie for seventh in his last two starts in the new wraparound season.

Harig: Boo Weekley. Give the man credit for making the trek from last week's event in China -- where he tied for 11th -- all the way to Sea Island.

Maguire: Brendon de Jonge. With four rounds in the 60s last year at the McGladrey Classic, the Presidents Cup rookie seems poised to challenge yet again for that first PGA Tour victory this week in Georgia.

Super Sleeper

Collins: David Duval. Maybe it's blind faith, maybe it's hope of rekindling the past. After he missed the cut in Vegas earlier this year and missed seven of eight cuts last year, there is no reason to believe in him ... which is why I do.

Evans: Vijay Singh. The 34-time tour winner hasn't won since he took three events in 2008. At 50 years old, the World Golf Hall of Famer could retire to the Champions Tour, but he started the new season with a second-place finish at the Frys.Com Open. He has played the McGladrey the last two years. His best finish was a tie for 27th in 2012.

Harig: Davis Love III. The tournament host, Love held the 54-hole lead a year ago at the McGladrey just weeks after captaining the U.S. Ryder Cup team, but he has missed significant time this year because of injury.

Maguire: Darren Clarke. Major winners don't often fall into this category, but given Clarke's recent history on the course, he's a perfect fit. The 2011 Open Championship winner kicks off his 2013-14 season this week after taking up full PGA Tour membership.


Collins: Will MacKenzie. He's two-for-two in cuts made, with a tie for ninth and a tie for 15th, so far this year -- which proves he's already back to the comfort level he was looking for. After this week, he'll need to rearrange his schedule to test his new attitude at some bigger tournaments, including the Masters.

Evans: Matt Kuchar. It's a home game for one of the sport's most consistent performers. After two wins in 2013, the former U.S. Amateur champion and Sea Island resident has his sights set on winning a major in the new season. A win in front of family and close friends will go a long way toward gathering the momentum and confidence he needs to fulfill this goal.

Harig: Matt Kuchar. He should be well-rested after a month off following the Presidents Cup. This is also a home game for Kuchar, who lives at Sea Island and is looking to get his 2013-14 season off to a strong start.

Maguire: Luke Guthrie. The 23-year-old nearly won on the European Tour in China a few weeks ago, and that was coming on the heels of a T-5 finish in Vegas. Look for the former Illinois standout to keep making a name for himself early in the 2013-14 PGA Tour season.





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