Summer time in West Virginia
Our David John says Daniel Summerhays can finally make a winning impact at the Greenbrier Classic on the PGA Tour.
- Related Content
This certainly looks the right time of year for PGA Tour maiden Daniel Summerhays and the prospects of him breaking his duck look relatively rosy at this week's Greenbrier Classic.
The tournament has quickly become a very popular with an apparent easy-going atmosphere for players and their families to enjoy in what will be the fifth renewal at White Sulphur Springs in West Virginia.
Summerhays' form on The Old White course is MC-5-9 with seven of his last eight rounds all in the 60s and 12 months ago he was able to build on that solid foundation with T4 at the John Deere Classic and then losing a play-off to Woody Austin in the Sanderson Farms Championship.
Summerhays' best effort this year came with a tie for second at the Valero Texas Open in March but he rolls into this tournament on the back of six straight made cuts - solid and steady enough going into the month when he thrives.
The charismatic Pat Perez continues to polarize opinion but like Summerhays, this is a good track for him to contend on.
If you watch the Arizona State man for any period of time on a golf course, it looks a constant battle with the demons that rage inside but he does seem to have been able to keep them a little more in check over the past couple of years.
He has two top-10 finishes here from three starts and understands what sort of gameplan is required to have a good week.
"You know, the whole course pretty much suits my eye. It's gonna be 20-under par that wins this tournament, so you got to get into that mindset."
That sort of statement looks good if you take into account that Perez is 22nd this year in Total Birdies and he does seem to be better suited when the scoring is low rather than have to grind things out and test his temperament.
There is no let up from FedEx Cup leader Jimmy Walker in terms of his consistency and he is at the head of the betting on 12/1.
Second favourite is Masters hero Bubba Watson but punters should take note that he could be putting a new Ping driver in the bag.
That has not been totally confirmed but still worth bearing in mind when weighing up whether to have a wager at the 16/1 on offer.
Perez and Summerhays certainly have plenty to recommend them in terms of course form but a slightly less obvious candidate on that front is Brian Harman.
However, he is a player whose progress I have monitored during 2014 and he has shown enough to suggest he may not be too far away from a title.
He has already posted five top-10 finishes in the 2013/2014 campaign, the most recent coming last month at the FedEx St Jude Classic - a performance let down by a closing 72 on a day that lacked any atmosphere at TPC Southwind following a number of weather delays.
On my rare ventures across the Atlantic to write these previews while Ben Coley is away, I seem to end up pulling for a Georgia Bulldog - if Harman does emerge triumphant he will be no less than the seventh player from that college to do the business this season.
I love a bit of success coming via the inspiration of others and Harman could be close - keep an eye on him right into the play-off events regardless.
For a final pick, I am going to take a chance that a return to this part of the USA will be enough to stimulate Tommy Gainey back to somewhere near his best.
I do fear that his agricultural slash at the ball will give him some physical problems later in life and a rash of missed cuts earlier in the year gave me the impression that once his unique swing slips out of its groove, it is tough to get back.
However, the signs lately have been more promising with a run of form figures of 8-MC-MC-32-18 hinting that Gainey may not be to far away.
His career highlight came not a million miles away with victory at the McGladrey Classic in Georgia and an opening 62 here 12 months ago suggests he can get the ball around the course and score well when firing on all cylinders.