Fact Pack: McGladrey Classic


This week the PGA Tour continues its Fall Series with The McGladrey Classic, where Ben Crane defends the title he won in a playoff last year over Webb Simpson. With the Seaside Course, players will find a layout that challenges them on and around the greens while, at barely over 7,000 yards, the field of contenders will not be limited to those who can bomb it off the tee. With that in mind, here is a look inside the numbers to see which players may contend for the title and help your Golf Channel Fantasy Challenge team in the process:

• Behind a hot putter and strong Saturday outings, Jonas Blixt has made himself a candidate for Rookie of the Year. The Swede, who won last week at the Frys.com Open, now leads the Tour in strokes gained putting and his third round stroke average (68.57) is also the best on Tour this season.

• Long-time Tour veteran Scott Dunlap put together one of his best performances in years at CordeValle last week. Largely thanks to a 29 on the back nine Friday en route to a second-round 63, Dunlap - perhaps most well-known for his near-miss at the 2000 Players Championship - finished T-16, his highest finish on Tour since the 2005 BellSouth Classic. He finished T-9 among the field last week in greens hit in regulation.

• In defense of his Frys.com title, Bryce Molder finished a respectable T-11 last week thanks to a strong effort on the greens. Molder was fourth for the week in strokes gained putting and is fifth on Tour for the year in the category. The Georgia Tech alum will look to extend his prowess on the greens to Sea Island, where he had four rounds last year at 68 or better en route to a T-11 finish.

• Though highlighted by near-misses, Jim Furyk has had a 2012 campaign marked by impressive consistency. In recording seven top-10 finishes this year, Furyk has ranked third on Tour in scoring average, third in scrambling, fourth in driving accuracy and - perhaps somewhat surprisingly - second in putting from inside five feet. 

• A stronger tee ball has helped Vijay Singh rejuvenate his season as his eligibility for the Champions Tour draws near. The Fijian currently ranks 31st on Tour in total driving (accuracy + distance), which is the best he has fared in this category since 2003. Entering this week at 92nd in driving accuracy percentage, Singh is likely to end a season ranked in the top 100 in this metric for the first time since 1992.

• With two events remaining, the man currently occupying the coveted 125th spot on the official 2012 money list is Billy Mayfair. The former U.S. Amateur champion leads Kevin Chappell by $1,413 for the final 2013 Tour card, having made five consecutive cuts. Mayfair made 20 birdies last week at CordeValle, including seven on Sunday, and was T-4 among the field in total birdies for the week.