We've all been there. Driving along the highway at a rate of speed just higher than the folks in the right line, so we move to pass. Everything is fine for a while, 10 mph over the speed limit is just fine for the left lane. Besides, no one is itching to pass me, heck, there's no one even in the rear-view mirror. Then, out of nowhere, a sports car appears, a Corvette or perhaps something with a little more menacing front-end, something meant to intimidate the slow-poke who's clogging-up the left lane. The problem is, 10 mph over the speed limit is a pretty good pace. It's going to get us where we need to go -- we might even get there ahead of the pace -- but this damn hot rod behind us is proving to be a problem.
Now we're thinking about our next move, as if we don't belong here, sure, we are going faster than most, but this one guy just refuses to acknowledge our pace and continues to push us. After holding out for a while, it's time to relent, the guy behind us is on a mission and neither we nor anyone else on the road is going to thwart his progress. The only question left is do we let him pass on the right and keep our pace, or move to the right and heed way. It doesn't matter in the end, this guy is passing everyone one way or the other, there's nothing we can do. We look at our passengers Sergio, K.J. and Aaron and simply shrug our shoulders as Kevin Streelman zips by; it's out of our hands at this point. We tried to set the pace, but this guy has no speed limit, not on this day anyway.
This week: Quicken Loans National - Congressional Country Club, Bethesda, Md.
Last Year: Bill Haas shot a final-round 66 on his way to a three-stroke victory over Roberto Castro.
PLAYERS TO CONSIDER
Day's game looks solid, and a win this week is not out of the question. He's finished in the top 25 the last two years and another strong finish is likely.
Rose's win at this event came on a different course, but it's not like he's struggled on the current course. Rose is one of a few in the field this week who is likely to get a boost from Tiger's return as well.
Todd hasn't finished outside the top 20 since early May. His track record here is limited, but when you are playing as well as Todd is, that doesn't often matter.
After a rough start to the season, Snedeker seems to be figuring it out. His history here would indicate that his recent improvement will continue though this week.
If Castro is going to figure it out this year, it will start here. Castro finished runner-up last year and managed to sneak into the top 30 the year prior. This course might be his slump-buster.
PLAYERS TO AVOID
Bo Van Pelt
Runner-up here in 2012, but his track record is wildly inconsistent. Add to that his general level of play the Last 24 months, and it's still wise to pass on Van Pelt.
At first glance, the stars seem to be aligned for Watney this week. He's coming off a decent effort last week, he won here in 2011, what could go wrong? For starters, his win "here" came at a different course, and as for his recent play, well, we've all been burned by Watney the last couple years, so let's just wait at least one more week.
Disclaimer time: WOODS' INCLUSION ON THIS LIST DOES NOT MEAN I THINK HE'LL PLAY POORLY THIS WEEK. It simply means that even though he have the track record here, he hasn't played a competitive round in quite a while, so why not wait to use him?
To put it plainly, there's just no reason to use Dufner in a one-and-done format this week. His track record on this course is virtually non-existent, and he's not at the top of his game.
Merrick is definitely one guy who's not happy that this event returned to Congressional in 2012. He cracked the top 20 in 2010 and 2011, but he can't seem to make a cut at Congressional, missing his last three here.
ONE AND DONE GOLFER
Last week: Freddie Jacobson (T31) - $32,296; Season - $2,835,957
This week: Brendon Todd - I have to hope I'm not too late here. Todd has been fantastic over the last couple months, and the run has to end at some point, hopefully not this week.
Group A: Brandt Snedeker, Tiger Woods
Group B: Jason Day, Justin Rose, Hunter Mahan, Jordan Spieth
Group C: Brendon Todd, Aaron Baddeley
Last week: Ryan Moore; Streak - 2
This week: Hunter Mahan - Todd has a high ceiling this week, but he's still a bit of an unknown quantity. As such, I'll go with Mahan, who looks to be a lock to make it to the weekend.