Those who played that tough weekend in Scotland may be at a slight disadvantage. It would be particularly impressive were Matt Goggin to take a hand again after spending all weekend bang in contention, though on the upside that big pay-cheque has transformed his season. On the other hand, Steve Marino could be forgiven for being on something of a downer after a poor weekend that saw him slip from first to 38th.
 
Before last week’s missed cut at Turnberry, which was hardly a shock, BRANDT SNEDEKER was a name on many lips amongst those looking for imminent winners. Snedeker’s last two PGA Tour events have produced top-5 finishes, confirming that he is back to the form seen in 2007 and 2008 that made him one of the brightest American prospects. He has repeatedly shown that he has the skills to cope with championship golf courses, most memorably when finishing third at the 2008 Masters, and should thrive around Glen Abbey.
 
KEVIN NA has repeatedly thrived on courses with small greens, and must come into the argument having returned to form with seventh in Milwaukee over the weekend. I’m less excited about last year’s 8th place in those conditions than the obvious strides he’s made in 2009, which has now produced six top-10s and nine top-25s. As I’ve written several times this season, Na must surely win his first PGA Tour event soon, and is a player on the up.
 
Scott Verplank is something of a course specialist, making the top-10 on two of his three visits to Glen Abbey around the turn of the century. He certainly retains that old form, as consecutive 9th places on his last two starts testify. It would be no surprise to see Verplank go close again.
 
Preference though is for another PGA Tour veteran at twice Verplank’s odds, FRED COUPLES. He doesn’t play that often, but when he does, Couples is still a factor at the very highest level. His last eight starts have produced four top-11 finishes, including two top-3s, and more to the point were all amongst very high class fields. Having shot four rounds of 70 or better in last year’s far from ideal target golf conditions, it would be no surprise to see Freddy right in the thick of it.
 
Finally, of the two outsiders that particularly took the eye, CHARLIE WI is marginally preferred to Mark Wilson. The latter hasn’t done a lot wrong in 2009, and has impressed with his temperament under pressure. Wi looks slightly better value on this course. His experience and tidy long game should ensure that he is hitting more of these small greens than most, offering the opportunity to return to the form that yielded three top-10s earlier in the year. He looks well capable of improving on last season’s 14th place.