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Scott Pianowski

Handicapping the Verizon Heritage

Scott Pianowski
Roto Arcade

Harbour Town, one of my favorite stops of the spring. Let's handicap it from a fantasy perspective.

A-List: Luke Donald finally returned to Harbour Town last year after a long layoff and finished second. When you consider the profile of Donald, a player who favors precision over power, that's no surprise. He should be in the hunt this week. … Scott Verplank isn't a bad play on a short week in the top group. He's made ten straight cuts here and the track plays to his skill set. … I'm on board with the upside of Bill Haas, but you can't use him here (four cuts and a T27). … Zach Johnson has cashed in 4-of-5 visits at the Verizon Heritage but there's just one deep run in there, a T6 three years back. Johnson's got a profile that works for target golf; he's 14th in tee accuracy, 35th in GIR and 51st in putting average. … Jason Dufner has made 8-of-9 cuts this season but he's yet to grab a six-figure check. Get some face time on a Sunday afternoon, then come back to me. … Picks: Donald, Johnson.

B-List: It's surprising that K.J. Choi hasn't made this a regular stop because this is the sort of track that fits his game (he came to Harbour Town in 2001, missed the cut, and hasn't been back since). His comeback in 2010 is very real and you can tell this is a man at peace with his game – he didn't bat an eyelash when paired with Tiger Woods for four straight days at Augusta. … It's basically a home game for Lucas Glover and he's got a solid enough track record at the Verizon Heritage (26, 7, cut, 12, 47, 16, cut). I'd feel a lot better about his chances if he weren't sitting 119th in driving accuracy and 104th in putting average.

Jim Furyk's got a strange hit-and-miss record at Harbour Town, working a fourth and two seconds around a pair of missed cuts in the last five years. His steady iron play and patient demeanor make him a perfect candidate for target golf. … Brian Gay steps in as the defending champ and he also ran T16 in 2007 and T9 in 2006. I've yet to spend a play on him, so this week looks like an automatic. … Aaron Baddeley won this tourney in 2006 and he's been sharp since(21, 2, 10) but his current form makes him just about unplayable. He hasn't cashed a check over 15K all year. … I hated Sergio Garcia's body language on the weekend at the Masters, and his last trip to Harbour Town came in 2001. None for me, thanks. … I guess you could use Charles Howell III if you felt in the mood (37, 12, cut, 19 in four trips). But I'm always a little nervous trusting him after the first quarter of the year. … Picks: Furyk, Gay, Choi, Glover.


C-List: Matt Kuchar has made 8-of-10 cuts this year and banked a cool $1.6 million without a victory; you get a solid run from him just about every week. He's got two Top-10 finishes at Harbour Town in the last four years and 2010 looks like a major breakout year for him. … Vaughn Taylor knows his way around Harbour Town, finishing fourth in 2007 and third in 2006 (and he was a solid T30 last year). The last time we saw Taylor he was in a playoff in Houston (losing to Anthony Kim); look for Taylor to keep the momentum rolling here. … Davis Love III is a guaranteed check at Harbour Town; he's won the event five times (most recently in 2003) and he's been solid in recent years (32, 3, 47, 36, 36, 21). But the C-Pool has guys who can win this week, and Love's no longer a major threat just by showing up.

If you want to go with a name grab on Paul Casey, I won't try to stop you. He was a solid T11 in his Verizon Heritage debut last year, but is he completely healthy? … It's a shame we can't use Boo Weekley with any confidence this week, given that he won this event in 2007 and 2008 and he was 13th last year. But do you really want to roll with someone who's 143rd on the money list? I just can't do it. … Tim Clark has made 6-of-7 cuts here but his only real run at contention came in 2006 (T7). It seems like an assignment that would fit his game, but I'm sick of waiting for that first victory. … Picks: Kuchar, Taylor.

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