Last week Russell Knox claimed the World Golf Championships HSBC Champions, while Peter Malnati took the Sanderson Farms. Add to this list Emiliano Grillo, Smylie Kaufman and Justin Thomas, and you have made a list of all the first-time winners on Tour this season. It just so happens that you have also made a list of all the winners on Tour this season. It has been an interesting start to the year, and an exciting one for golf fans. While the season is still very young and, apart from the HSBC Champions, events to date have not been stacked with the world’s top players, we have seen some tremendous performances by good young talent. Is it the “Spieth Effect”, or are we witnessing the results of improved training regimens for young players? Regardless of what is responsible, it’s amazing to see young players come out with the mental fortitude to win immediately. Will we be adding another first time winner to the list this week at the OHL Classic at Mayakoba? Here are some players to keep an eye on.
Jason Bohn - Playing some great golf this season after beginning with a T3 (Frys.com Open) and a T2 (Shriners Open). He “stumbled” to a T39 finish last week at Sanderson Farms, but is coming back to a familiar event this week. Bohn finished T7 last year, and T3 in 2013 at this event.
Charley Hoffman - Coming off a fantastic year of play which began with a win at this event. Look for him to have a strong showing as he defends his title.
Russell Knox - Has finished around the top 30-40 each of the last three years at Mayakoba. Coming off his first win, and it was a big stage at the HSBC Champions. The fact that he is playing a course this week that he knows well sets the stage for another big week.
Harris English - Winner of this event in 2013. Always around par, with the potential of going quite low, making him a solid fantasy pick.
Brendan Steele - Has had a great start to the season with a T17 (Frys.com Open) and a T3 (CIMB Classic).
Matt Kuchar - Consistent performer and the highest ranked golfer in the field this week. Has had four top-10’s since the end of July.
Patrick Rodgers - Continues to impress. You have to believe that he will win on Tour sometime in the near future. Played well at Sanderson Farms (T20).
Will Wilcox - Withdrew from Sanderson Farms due to illness. Cited on Twitter that he was trying to get rested for this event, as well as the Dunlop Phoenix which he will be playing in Japan the following week. Another young gun who continues to scare the winners circle. I expect to see him break through at some point this year.
Boo Weekley - Struggled on the weekend at Sanderson Farms, but enjoyed a terrific start to the week with rounds of 68 & 67. He doesn’t play a lot of events, but still has enough game to win.
Aaron Baddeley - Showed signs that his game is beginning to come around after finishing T4 last week at Sanderson Farms. Hopefully this is a sign for the Australian that the swing changes he has spent the last couple years making are beginning to pay off.
Andres Gonzalez - Finished T3 last year. Not considered a tremendously consistent performer, but certainly has the game to compete on any given week.
Jerry Kelly - Continues to have high showings late in his career. Finished 5th at this event last season. Is due for another good showing.
Shawn Stefani - Has only broke 70 once in two events this season. Was runner-up to Charley Hoffman at this event last season, and is a player who can often have a big week out of the blue, making him a player to keep an eye on this weekend.
About the Author
This article was written by Jonathan Carr (@jonathanwcarr) as part of our weekly #FantasyGolf series. Each week we preview the upcoming PGA Tour event and highlight some of the players we'll be keeping an eye on. As a scratch golfer himself, Jonathan has a keen eye for what it takes to be successful on and off the golf course. His passion for golf is surpassed only by his passion for his faith and his family. Read some of Jonathan's other articles here.