In no particular order, here are the 10 players I would want on my team:
Jordan Spieth: Duh. Logic says there is no way he can win a third straight tournament, especially at St Andrews where experience is supposedly important. However, there is something magical about what he is doing. He has now lapped the field in FedEx points. Also, won on a links course (Chambers Bay).
Justin Rose: He feels right. Great game, experience in majors. A bit concerned about his round on Sunday.
Ricky Fowler: As long as he is not matched with Tiger, he seems to do well in Majors. Coming off huge win in Scotland. Not sure he can win two in a row, but the putting stroke looks good, and I expect to see him on the leaderboard.
Matt Kuchar: Getting hot at the right time. Gullane (Scottish Open Venue) provides a good warm up for St Andrews. Maybe not the winner, but should be a factor.
Jason Day: Tough call, since I have not seen him since Chambers Bay. If the vertigo is gone, look for him to be there on the final day. Great record in majors, although yet to prove he can close.
Tiger Woods: Nah, just kidding. The World Number 241 is coming off a tie for 32 at Greenbrier. He might make the cut.
Dustin Johnson: May beat himself again, but he is the most gifted golfer in the field. I expect him to play great for the first 63 holes. If he can get a big enough lead this just might be his tournament.
Louis Oosthuizen: Almost did not include him since the name is so hard to spell. Huge win on the Old Course last time, second in the U.S. Open (would have won if not paired with Tiger opening two rounds). It is hard not to make him the favorite.
Adam Scott: Needs to make up for the meltdown at Royal Lytham in 2012. He showed life at Chambers Bay and can still use that crazy flat stick for a few more months. Having Stevie Williams back on the bag might be the difference.
Okay, any idiot who follows golf could create the list above. So, my sleeper picks are:
Joost Luiten: Not to be confused with the singer Juice Newton (Angel of the Morning, Queen of Hearts, The Sweetest Thing). Started strong at Chambers Bay and had a good finish last weekend in Scotland.
Tommy Fleetwood: Great performances on the big stage this year. Strong in the Match Play tournament, solid at Chambers Bay and in form at the Scottish Open last weekend. If it has to be a Euro, this may be the guy.
Weekly Observation: Does anyone else feel the media is overreacting to Tiger making the cut at a second tier tournament? (By the way Greenbrier is my favorite full service resort, and Old White is a great course.) Tiger’s iron play looked great, but he is not likely have receptive greens across the pond, and will still need to make his putts.
Paul Laubach is completely unqualified to provide expertise with respect to golf course rankings and design, however, he is a highly opinionated golf addict who believes everyone should be entitled to his thoughts. He has recently released Confessions of a Golfaholic: A Guide to Playing America’s Top 100 Public Golf Courses; now available in hardcover edition from Elevate Publishing. Please visit tophundredgolf.com regularly for more (im)practical information.