Note: Beginning in 2012, fantasy expert Rob Bolton will provide his list of sleeper picks for every tournament. This week, he focuses his under-the-radar selections for World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
Nicolas Colsaerts ...Belgian, single, 29, loves long walks in the fairway. Leads the European Tour in distance off the tee, and finds the short grass a respectable 61.4 percent of the time. Favorite pastime: Climbing. Currently fifth in the Race to Dubai standings and 33rd in the Official World Golf Ranking. Collects trophies, the most recent of which for outlasting Graeme McDowell at the Volvo World Match Play Championship in May. Fears scooters: A fall on one resulted in a cracked radius in his right arm a year ago. In addition to early withdrawals at the British Open, Irish Open and PGA Championship, he had to forego his debut at Firestone where he hopes to forge a long relationship. He certainly has the competitive charisma.
Francesco Molinari ...It's unfair to label anyone in this field as a Sleeper given the exclusive nature of qualifying. Furthermore, the Italian is already a winner of a World Golf Championship, taking the HSBC Champions in 2010. However, he's a non-member on the PGA TOUR. He arrives in Akron with plenty of recent positive reinforcement thanks to a pair of runner-up finishes in France and Scotland. Also a winner in Spain in early May. By no means long off the tee, he continues to fuel his reputation as a world-class ball-striker, ranking second on the European Tour in greens in regulation; also sixth in scoring average. Shared 15th place here last year, playing a stretch of 31 holes in bogey-free 11-under spanning the second through fourth rounds.
Kyle Stanley ...The first-timer at Firestone South banked nearly 80 percent of his season's earnings in his incredible fortnight at the start of the year, losing in the playoff at the Farmers Insurance Open and then rebounding immediately to win the Waste Management Phoenix Open. After a 12-tournament stretch during which he failed to record a top 45, he reemerged with a pair of top 25s. While he ranks 192nd (of 195) on the PGA TOUR in Strokes Gained-Putting, he's 15th in total driving and 20th in greens in regulation.
Simon Dyson ...At 34, the six-time European Tour winner is in his competitive prime. After sitting out four weeks between THE PLAYERS and U.S. Open due to a pelvis injury, he's survived five of six cuts and posted three top 25s, including a T23 at the British Open. Sits 19th on his circuit in fairways and 27th in greens in regulation. In his second appearance at Firestone last year, the Englishman scratched out a T33 by chasing an opening 77 with three straight rounds in the 60s.
Fredrik Jacobson ...Injuries forced a late start to his season in 2012, but they didn't dent the blistering form with which he closed out 2011. In 14 starts worldwide this year, he's logged seven top-20s and missed only one cut. En route to a share of 11th place at Firestone South a year ago, he co-led the field with 22 birdies and ranked T5 in putting.
- PGA TOUR