Golf Barometer: Howell Flying High
Golf Barometer: Howell Flying High

This article is part of our Golf Barometer series.

A profusion of problematic weather headlined the Genesis Open as a restart and numerous delays jolted the flow of competition, but pace of play concerns aside, J.B. Holmes managed to hold off Justin Thomas by one shot before Sunday's sunset. With the West Coast Swing now in the rearview, sunny skies and temps in the high-70s await at the Club de Golf Chapultepec. We'll take a look at several fantasy trends on the PGA Tour as an exclusive field of 72 entrants head to the WGC-Mexico Championship.

VALUE RISING

J.B. Holmes

Holmes' victory at Riviera was monumental for his rest-of-season outlook, surging from 100th to No. 42 in the Official World Golf Ranking while qualifying for the WGC-Mexico Championship, the Masters, PGA Championship and WGC-FedEx St. Jude Classic in the process. He won't travel to Mexico City following his win due to a previously planned family vacation, but his long-term value spikes with an inside track to eventually qualifying for the U.S. and British Opens in addition to his secured spot in the field at both Augusta and Bethpage.

Charles Howell III

With his 40th birthday approaching this June, Howell has turned back the clock while joining the top-50 in the OWGR for the first time in over a decade. He's finished T20 or better in five of six starts since his win at the RSM Classic in mid-November, adding a solo-sixth at the Genesis where he broke 70 in all four rounds. Howell ranked second among the field in scrambling and carded just five bogeys all week.

Si Woo Kim

Kim led the field in scoring during Sunday's final round at the Genesis, notching a five-under 66 as he birdied seven of the first 12 holes before ultimately finishing two strokes shy of Holmes. The 23-year-old has placed top-4 in back-to-back starts to finish out the West Coast Swing and will be extended an invite to play in the WGC-Mexico Championship, despite falling just short of the OWGR's top-50. Kim has made major strides with his putter, ranking seventh on Tour in SG: Putting after finishing each of the past three seasons at 118th or worse in this category.

VALUE FALLING

Kiradech Aphibarnrat

Aphibarnrat played his final six holes in four-over-par to miss the cut at the Genesis Open by just a shot, though it marked a third MC in his past four starts since the Euro Tour's Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. He totaled only four birdies in 36 holes at Riviera CC, losing several strokes on approach shots and with the flat stick. Luckily for the 45th-ranked player in the OWGR, he'll have a chance to rebound this week in Mexico where he finished top-5 in 2018.

Brendan Steele

Steele managed to hit 75 percent of the greens in regulation during his two rounds at Riviera, but couldn't avoid the big numbers as he carded three doubles en route to missing the cut by five strokes. Throughout his first four starts of the 2019 calendar year, Steele has posted results of MC-MC-MC-T57 dating to the Desert Classic, descending to No. 137 in the OWGR and 168th in SG: Total.

Aaron Wise

Wise has missed the cut in three consecutive starts since the Desert Classic, most recently collecting eight bogeys or worse in 36 holes at the Genesis where he hit only 10 of 28 fairways in regulation. Coming off Rookie of the Year honors in 2018, Wise has fallen outside of the top-200 on Tour in proximity and ranks just 141st in SG: Tee-to-Green heading into his WGC-Mexico Championship debut.

INJURY UPDATE

James Hahn

Hahn sent a handful of DFS gamers into panic mode when he withdrew just an hour before Thursday's first round at Riviera, citing an elbow injury as Dylan Frittelli joined the field on short notice. The severity of Hahn's elbow injury remains unknown, but he won't tee it up at the Puerto Rico Open and will therefore be sidelined until at least next week's Honda Classic.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bryce Danielson
Bryce covers the PGA for RotoWire and provides input on the golf cheat sheet. He also contributes to the coverage for NFL, NBA and other sports.
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