Congratulations to your 2015 British Open Winner, Zach Johnson. The Open provided a thrilling weekend that ended in dramatic fashion. Jordan Spieth was eyeing the historic Grand Slam, having a birdie putt on the 72nd hole to give himself a spot in the playoff. Unfortunately for Spieth--and golf fans everywhere-- his putt ran by on the high side…he would have to settle for a T4th. Zach Johnson bested Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman in a four hole playoff, when Oosthuizen missed back to back putts inside of 10ft, needing only one to extend the playoff with Johnson. Zach proved at St. Andrews—just as he had at Augusta National—that there are many ways to play, and win, a major. He played to his strengths, keeping the ball in play and flushing his mid-irons and wedges. Johnson hit 79.25% of his Greens in Regulation. He didn't need the length off the tee of a Dustin Johnson, or the moxie of a Jordan Spieth, he just had to avoid big mistakes and take advantage of the opportunities when they presented themselves. Between his exquisite wedge play and rock-solid putting, it was a reminder to everyone that to win a major, your short game better be razor sharp, and his was.
As the season enters its last quarter, players are jockeying for position inside the top 125 of the Fed Ex Standings. Those players will advance to the four week Fed Ex Cup Championship, where each tournament will progressively cut down on the field, starting with The Barclays (125), The Deutsche Bank Championship (100), The BMW Championship (70), and finally The Tour Championship (30). After The Tour Championship, the winner will win a cool $10,000,000. After not seeing any movement inside the top 5 over the last four tournaments, Rory McIlroy's absence at The Open allowed Robert Streb's solid performance to move him up to #5. Zach Johnson climbed 24 spots from #31, all the way up to #6.
The other winner last week, Scott Piercy (Barracuda Challenge), moved from #42 in the standings, all the way up to #21, assuring Piercy a spot in at least the first three Fed Ex Cup events. He now sits higher than guys like Jim Furyk, Ricky Fowler, Louis Oosthuizen and Sergio Garcia. It was Piercy's first victory since he took home the title of the 2012, RBC Canadian Open. Piercy is one of those players who gets hot in waves, so his win last week will not discourage me from playing him this week. Let's also not forget he posted a career low 62 in the first round of the 2012 edition.
Someone who hasn't ever won a tournament, but will be raring to go this week, is Graham DaLeat. As Canada's current “Great-Hope", DaLeat is too good to not have won a tour event, and with this being his national championship, DaLeat makes for as good a pick this week, as he does any other.
Another guy I have my eye on this week is Will Wilcox. Wilcox is having a quietly efficient year, registering three top 10's in only 13 tournaments. He finished runner-up to Piercy this past week, registering the highest finish of his PGA career. Wilcox also finished T25 at the RBC Open last year, so he will need to take advantage of his current momentum if he wants to move up from the #90 spot on the Fed Ex Cup list.
Brandt Snedeker has withdrawn from the RBC this week, so make sure you take him out of your lineups.
While Glen Abbey CC is a fantastic test for PGA players, the RBC Canadian Open likes to add a little more incentive for players who choose to play the tournament this week. Just like the John Deere Classic who hires a charter-jet to take players crossing the pond for the British Open, the RBC also hires one to take the players home. This is a nice perk for the guys who had to stay until Monday to finish the final round.