PGA Tour preview and predictions: Barbasol Championship 2022

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This week's Barbasol Championship 2022 fantasy golf tips, picks and preview from RotoWire

Expert golf tips and advice from Joseph Szmadzinski at RotoWire.com

PickGuru is offering a category picks game for this week’s Barbasol Championship. Download the app now to get involved.

Setting the scene

Two events are on the schedule this week, and a portion of the PGA Tour will head to Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, Kentucky for the Barbasol Championship. The event initially debuted in 2015 as an alternate event to the Open Championship and has been hosted at this course since 2018. It is now a co-sanctioned event with the DP World Tour and played opposite the Scottish Open. The par-72 Champions Trace course at Keene Trace is an Arthur Hills design that tips at 7,328 yards and will offer up plenty of birdie opportunities. Water is plentiful at the end of both nines, so a late lead Sunday may not be all that safe.

Profiling the winner

Seamus Power claimed victory last year at Keene Trace, reaching 21-under-par and knocking off J.T. Poston in a playoff. Power is not in the field this year, so there will be a new champion this time around. Kevin Streelman, along with Patton Kizzire and 2019 champion Jim Herman, headline a 2022 field light on star power.

If weather conditions are favorable, a winning score around the same number can be expected. With respect to layout and setup, the course will likely exhibit many similarities to TPC Deere Run and TPC River Highlands, and no significant changes have been made since last year’s edition.

The forecast for the Nicholasville area calls for damp conditions Friday and Saturday, which will give way to clear skies later in the weekend. This combination will typically yield low scores in bunches, as soft but mild conditions permit players to attack longer holes and tucked pins.

Category picks

Premium Picks

Players Included: Kevin Streelman, Adam Svensson, Mark Hubbard, Patton Kizzire

Guru verdict: KEVIN STREELMAN is the premium name this week and enters in relatively strong form. His past two finishes were a T25 and T41 at the Travelers and John Deere, respectively. The Duke grad hung around the leaderboard last week at TPC Deere Run after opening rounds of 69 and 68 but ultimately played himself out of contention with a 72 on moving day. Streelman is not one of the longer players on Tour, but that will not be a detriment on one of the shorter tracks on the calendar. His combination of precision iron play and scrambling should serve him well as he looks to climb the leaderboard in Kentucky. Patton Kizzire notched a T16 at Deere Run and will have high expectations at Keene Trace.

Front Runners

Players Included: John Huh, Hayden Buckley, Taylor Pendrith, Chesson Hadley

Guru verdict: HAYDEN BUCKLEY has been in a groove of late and is coming off a respectable T30 at the John Deere Classic, where he hit over 80 percent of his greens in regulation. The 26-year-old from Chattanooga is only a few weeks removed from his breakthrough performance at the U.S. Open and will be looking to continue stacking made cuts. Chesson Hadley is a risky pick, as he played well last week but missed the cut at the 2021 Barbasol Championship and has missed 10 cuts this year. 

Good Chances

Players Included: Hank Lebioda, Ryan Moore, Ryan Armour, Sam Ryder

Guru verdict: Among this group, SAM RYDER has the strongest track record at the Barbasol, finishing T3 in 2021 with a four-day total of 20-under par. Considering the two players who finished ahead of him last year are not in this week’s field, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Ryder make another run at the title. Not outdone by much, Ryan Armour finished one stroke behind Ryder last year, so he will also be worth keeping an eye on.

Contenders

Players Included: Kelly Kraft, Lee Hodges, Taylor Moore, Hurly Long, Greyson Sigg

Guru verdict: LEE HODGES has made four consecutive cuts and has looked relatively impressive in doing so, posting finishes of T35, T48, T25 and T43. He finished T53 at this event last year, carding a four-day total of 8-under par. Chances are good that the 27-year-old from Alabama improves on his effort from last year, and he certainly has the ball striking prowess to climb the leaderboard in Kentucky. Kelly Kraft is also playing well of late, with three straight made cuts and a T13 at the Canadian Open. 

Challengers

Players Included: Vaughn Taylor, Kramer Hickok, Julien Brun, George Coetzee, Niklas Norgaard Moller

Guru verdict: Until about a month ago, JULIEN BRUN had been enjoying a career year on the DP World Tour, posting five top-20 finishes in a matter of six months. The Frenchman then proceeded to surprisingly miss back-to-back cuts at the Scandinavian Mixed and BMW International Open. It appears he has gotten his game back on track, though, posting a T30 last week at the Horizon Irish Open. One of the better ball strikers in Europe will now look to carry his game across the pond this week. George Coetzee missed three of his last four cuts on the DP World Tour and is a risky play at a course where distance is at less of a premium.

Outsiders

Players Included: Michael Thompson, Austin Cook, James Hahn, Marcel Schneider, Michael Gligic

Guru verdict: MICHAEL GLIGIC is coming off his first top-10 of the season at the John Deere Classic, and he has now strung together six consecutive made cuts. He will aim to add one more this week at a course that will look similar to the one used last week. The 32-year-old finished in 19th place at this event last year, so he has proven he can score well at Keene Trace. Michael Thompson feels like a candidate for a breakthrough performance and has the game to fit this layout.

Wildcards

Players Included: Josh Teater, Andrew Novak, Jim Herman, Dale Whitnell, Mike Lorenzo-Vera

Guru verdict: Despite missing his past five cuts, JIM HERMAN is still the standout in this group, as he holds the tournament scoring record at Keene Trace. He carded a four-day total of 26-under par en route to his victory at this event back in 2019. This course clearly fits his eye, and he will look to reverse his fortunes in Kentucky. If you are looking for a player with more momentum, Mike Lorenzo-Vera has strung together a series of quality results on the DP World Tour.

The Guru’s selections:

Premium Picks: Kevin Streelman

Front Runners: Hayden Buckley

Good Chances: Sam Ryder

Contenders: Lee Hodges

Challengers: Julien Brun

Outsiders: Michael Gligic

Wildcards: Jim Herman


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Golf Guru

2022 record | P&L: +108.73pts | ROI: +53.43%

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