The PGA Tour heads to wine country for the second event of the Fall Series as CordeValle Golf Club hosts the Frys.com Open. Who will put together a big week as opportunities for players to cement 2013 playing status continue to dwindle?
Click here for a full list of first round tee times. Here are a few groups to keep an eye on this week in San Martin, Calif.:
A trio of major winners start things early Thursday morning, with all three looking to improve upon mediocre recent results. Els has yet to record a top-25 finish since lifting the Claret Jug, and Curtis has missed four cuts in his last six starts after a win in Texas and runner-up finish at The Players in May. Outside of a weekend challenge at Kiawah, Immelman hasn't cracked the top 60 of an event since the Memorial.
Two of the field's elder statesmen, Love (48) and Singh (49) find themselves grouped together Thursday. DL3 appears to have the stamina of a player half his age, playing last week in Las Vegas immediately following the Ryder Cup at Medinah and squeezing in an exhibition at Cypress Point this week before teeing it up at CordeValle. Having missed only one cut in his last 14 starts, Singh shows no sign of slowing as a date with the Champions Tour approaches. Meanwhile, Villegas finished T-30 last week at TPC Summerlin in his first action since missing the FedEx Cup playoffs for the first time in his career.
Galleries will be drawn to Cauley, the 22-year-old who finished third here last year to secure his 2012 playing status. He's been impressive in his first full campaign on Tour, notching six top-10 finishes and advancing to the third round of the FedEx Cup playoffs. Barnes continues to seek that elusive first career Tour win, while Kuehne, the 1998 U.S. Amateur champion, will look to play the weekend in a Tour event for the first time since April.
One of the hottest players of the last two months finds himself paired with two of the game's biggest bombers. Guthrie left the University of Illinois this summer to turn pro, and promptly won back-to-back starts on the Web.com Tour. Having battled injury for much of 2012, Woodland will be making his first start since the Wyndham Championship while Cabrera, a two-time major champion, will look to build upon his T-22 finish last week in Las Vegas.
The event's defending champion finds himself paired with two Tour veterans whose 2013 status is still to be determined. Kelly enters this week 134th on the all-important money list, while Leonard - 15 years removed from his triumph at Royal Troon and four years since his last Tour victory - finds himself 131st on the money list. While both can rely upon top-25 career money list exemptions for 2013 if necessary (Leonard is ninth; Kelly 25th), they would rather play their way into the top 125 over the next three events and save the one-time exemptions for a rainy day.
1:10 p.m. (10 tee): Billy Horschel, Scott Brown, Russell Knox
Nos. 147 (Horschel) and 148 (Brown) on the 2012 money list find themselves paired together as both are in need of a solid result to edge closer to a 2013 Tour card. After struggling to start the season, Knox has now made five consecutive cuts and his T-13 finish in Vegas was his best result this year.