9. Kenny Perry
How he got here: Perry completed one of the most remarkable runs in golf history with a win at the Travelers Championship. Perry racked up 5 PGA Tour wins in a calender year, and should have won the Masters. Someone feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but I doubt there has ever been a golfer who at the age of 48-49 has had his best one year stretch ever.
East Lake Prediction: I don’t want to put too much stock into the last 5 or so weeks, but it appears that Perry is starting to show some of his age. 80-1 could be a bit of an overlay, but I’d be very careful saying that is value. It doesn’t take much of a drop in performance to go down to the 80-1 area against this field, and I wont be taking the chance that Perry won’t realistically play at that level for the rest of his career.
Line to win: 50-1
8. Zach Johnson
How he got here: Zach Johnson has three(two this season) wins in the last calender year. Unfortunately for him, two of them came against weaker fields at the Valero Texas Open. Johnson has also contended at some big tournaments with top-10s at Quail Hollow, Bay Hill, Cog Hill and Hazeltine.
East Lake Prediction: East Lake will be a long course for Zach Johnson is it plays as wet as the early reports say it will. Then again, he’s contended at a variety of venues over his career and has always been a relatively short hitter. Bottom line, there are definitely better options.
Line to win: 40-1
7. Padraig Harrington
How he got here: I’m trying to figure this out myself. Somehow, throw 6 missed cuts, no finishes better than 11th, then 5 straight top-tens in the playoffs into the PGA Tour’s FedEx cup super calculator and you get #6.
East Lake Prediction: Harrington has been the second best(debateable with Mr. Jim Furyk) player of the postseason. The problem is, you can’t really discount the struggles earlier in the year or last season. I know there were swing changes, so his rankings should probably be weighted towards the end of this season and last year, but still he would only be about the 4-7th best player in the world. Harrington is also approaching the age where he has probably played his best golf(not that he still can’t be good), so I’d say he is one of the more overrated players in the field.
Line to win: 35-1
6. Geoff Ogilvy
How he got here: Ogilvy took down Watney, O’Hair and possibly the Mullet for the pre-Tiger Woods return player of the year. From last Novemeber to March(sound familiar Sergio?) Ogilvy was one of the hottest players in the world, but has since cooled off a bit.
East Lake Prediction: Ogilvy is a one-dimensional player. Luckily for him, he can be a pretty good player because his one dimension is high and far. His 2009 performance is basically on par from last year, he hasn’t really done anything lately, so he could be a semi-decent look, but I don’t think he’s the best out there and I think East Lake might require a little more creative shot making.
Line to win: 30-1
5. Hunter Mahan
How he got here: Mahan turned his Ryder Cup fame into a scary good season this year. He is a very talented ball-striker, a streaky putter and always a threat to go low. Mahan only missed one cut this season(British Open).
East Lake Prediction: This season alone, Mahan stands out as in the group of players challenging for third best in the world, behind Stricker and Woods. Mahan has been better in 2009 than 2008, but he should be improving. I think a 2-year average is a really good conservative estimate on Mahan, and that means 35-1 is a decent price. I’m not sure Mahan is the best pick out there, but I have him as second behind Donald so far.
Line to win: 30-1