Robert Trent Jones Golf Club, Gainsville, Virginia
Par 71, 7,385 Yards
This course hosts The Quicken Loans National for the first time so there is no course history to go on. Robert Trent Jones GC is located in Gainsville, Virginia and sits along Lake Manassas with the lake coming into play on nine holes. The Presidents Cup was played here a total of four times from 1994, 1996, 2000 and 2006. It features three par 5’s, four par 3’s and 11 par 4’s.
The fairways and greens are bentgrass and four of the par 4’s measure roughly over 470 yards so driving distance should be worth considering. The fairways are tee lined with some strategically placed bunkers coming into play. Most of the approach shots on the par 4’s will measure roughly 170+ so approach stats from 170-200 will be worth checking. The par 3’s also measure over 190 yards so approach stats from that distance is also worth checking. The greens are undulating and large and can play quite fast so be on the lookout for players that are putting well and have good GIR stats.
The main areas of focus for me are strokes gained putting, GIR, par 3 and par 4 scoring, strokes gained tee to green and approaches from 175-200. The weather is set to be hot and humid for the four days with winds between 6-8 mph and a slight chance of some rain on Thursday.
Jimmy Walker 16/1
Walker’s form has been mixed lately but he has had a superb season overall with wins at The Sony Open in Hawaii and The Texas Open a couple of months ago. He has put together some good performances lately finishing T30 at The Open Championship and T2 at The Byron Nelson, which included an opening round 64 and a 66 in round 2 and round 4. He also played well recently at the CVS Charity Classic with partner Billy Horchel finishing T3, but that is a non-sanctioned event.
He ranks 17th in driving distance, 27th in strokes gained tee to green, first in strokes gained putting and 31st in approaches from 150-175. He also ranks 25th in approaches from 200+ and third in par 5 scoring. Although his current form is a little bit off, Walker is a class above the field and I think he could have a really good week here.
Danny Lee 35/1
Despite a disappointing MC at The Open in St Andrews, Danny Lee has been putting together a great season so far. His good run of form began back at The Valspar, were he finished T7. He followed that with a T17 at The Arnold Palmer, T22 in New Orleans, T13 at The Wells Fargo and a T10 at Colonial. Most recently, he finished T3 at The John Deere, Won the Greenbrier in a playoff against David Hearn, Kevin Kisner and Robert Streb and had a T25 at The Travelers.
Statswise, he ranks 33rd in strokes gained putting, 13th in approaches from 150-175, 11th in approaches from 200+, 7th in approaches from 175-200 and first in par 3 scoring. With great current form and good approach stats, Danny Lee could be a big danger man here this week.
Will Wilcox 40/1
I tipped up Wilcox last week at The RBC Canadian Open but he had to pull out due to a small injury concern. With that hopefully behind him, his current form looks great with seven top 25’s in his last 11 starts. He played well at The Sanderson Farms finishing T14 and followed that with a T18 at Pebble beach. He also finished T6 in Puerto Rico, T22 at The Byron Nelson and T12 at The FedEx St Jude. Most recently, he finished T8 at The John Deere and solo second at The Barbasol finishing a couple of strokes behind the winner Scott Piercy.
Wilcox ranks 16th in driving accuracy, sixth in GIR, 15th in strokes gained tee to green and seventh in approaches from 175-200. He also ranks 15th in approaches from 200-225, fifth in approaches from 200+, first in par 3 scoring and fifth in par 4 scoring. With super form and great stats, Wilcox looks like a player that could really suit this course.
Johnson Wagner 50/1
Wagner is one of those players that can be quite streaky, but he is showing some decent form over the last few weeks. He came out of nowhere a couple of months ago at The Houston Open shooting rounds of 69,68,66,69 and ended up losing in a playoff. Recently though, his form is good with three top 20’s in his last three starts. He had a good week at The John Deere finishing T5 and followed that with a T10 at The Barbasol Championship. Last week in Canada, he started very well opening with 67,66 in rounds one and two but fell off the pace shooting a 72,73 at the weekend to eventually finish in a respectable T18.
Wagner ranks 18th in GIR, 10th in approaches from 125-150, 13th in approaches from 175-200, third in approaches from 275 and sixth in par 3 scoring. He seems to be riding on the crest of a wave in terms of form over the last couple of weeks and that could easily continue here this week at a decent price.
Andy Sullivan 60/1
Andy Sullivan is a proven winner on The European Tour with wins coming at The South Africa Open in January and The Joburg Open in March. He has been playing well lately finishing T30 at the Open, T6 at The French Open, T13 at The Memorial, T6 at The Irish Open in Royal County Down and 17th at The BMW PGA in Wentworth.
Sullivan is a great long iron and GIR player and ranks 26th in GIR and 16th in stroke average on The European Tour this season. He is a proven winner with two wins already tucked away in the trophy cabinet this year and could be a great each way prospect this week in Virginia.
Final Selections –
Jimmy Walker 2pts EW 16/1
Danny Lee 1pt EW 35/1
Will Wilcox 1pt EW 40/1
Johnson Wagner 1pt EW 50/1
Andy Sullivan 1pt EW 60/1
Total Staked = 12 pts
Good luck and enjoy the golf,
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