Each week of the season, our experts share their insights into which players fit the criteria for our four categories: Horse for the Course (a golfer who knows the track inside and out), Birdie Buster (a guy who could take it low), Super Sleeper (a player who could unexpectedly contend) and Winner.

This week the PGA Tour stops at TPC Summerlin Golf Course in Las Vegas, Nevada, for the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

Horse for the Course

Farrell Evans, ESPN.com senior golf writer: Martin Laird

The Scot won this event at TPC Summerlin in 2009 and one year later had a runner-up finish. He had a tie for third last week at the Frys.

Bob Harig, ESPN.com senior golf writer: Webb Simpson

The defending champion also tied for fourth at TPC Summerlin in his only other appearance in the Vegas event.

Birdie Buster

Evans: Billy Horschel

The 27-year-old former Florida standout won his last two events in the 2013-14 season playoffs to take the FedEx Cup championship. For the first time in his brief career, he's a marquee player on tour with loads of expectations.

Harig: Sang-Moon Bae

The South Korean golfer posted his first top-10 since winning in 2013 when he captured the season-opening Frys.com Open. Bae moves on to Las Vegas with a nice head start on the 2014-15 season.

Super Sleeper

Evans: Hudson Swafford

In just his second full year on the regular tour, the Georgia grad started the new season last week with a tie for eighth at the Frys.com.

Harig: Billy Horschel

Only because the reigning FedEx Cup champ is unlikely to have been getting much sleep after his daughter was born recently. Horschel won his last two starts of the 2013-14 season and now tries to begin anew.


Evans: Webb Simpson

The 2013 Shriners winner is poised this week to get the new season off to a hot start after a lackluster showing in the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.

Harig: Brooks Koepka

Now a full member of the PGA Tour, Koepka tied for eighth last week at the Frys and has top-11 finishes in his past four worldwide starts. He also remains a member of the European Tour, where he contended recently in Amsterdam.



Experts' picks: Frys.com Open

October, 7, 2014
Oct 7

Each week of the season, our experts share their insights into which players fit the criteria for our four categories: Horse for the Course (a golfer who knows the track inside and out), Birdie Buster (a guy who could take it low), Super Sleeper (a player who could unexpectedly contend) and Winner.

This week, the PGA Tour opens the 2014-15 season at Silverado Resort & Spa (North Course) for the Frys.com Open in Napa, California.

Horse for the Course

Michael Collins, ESPN.com senior golf analyst: Vijay Singh
I don't care that he's 167 years old and still has an unresolved lawsuit against the PGA Tour. He's teed it up here the last two years and finished fourth (2012) and second (2014), which is all that really matters in this category. His age will give him the "nerves" advantage over all the youngsters making this their first start of the new PGA Tour season.

Farrell Evans, ESPN.com senior golf writer: Jimmy Walker
The 35-year-old Texan's 2-shot win last year at the Frys was the first of his three victories in 2013-14 season. His 17-under total included a third-round 62.

Bob Harig, ESPN.com senior golf writer: Jimmy Walker
The defending champion won on a different course, but Silverado would appear well-suited to Walker, whose length could be an advantage on a par-72, 7,200-yard course.

Kevin Maguire, ESPN.com senior golf editor: Brandt Snedeker
One of the hardest parts of playing a new venue on the PGA Tour is figuring out the green complexes. Even though Snedeker didn't have his typical stellar season on the greens -- he was still 27th in strokes-gained putting -- look for improvement in 2014-15 with a revamped long game that will take pressure off the putter.

Birdie Buster

Collins: Graham DeLaet
Not making it to the Tour Championship in Atlanta had to be motivation enough for the Canadian to start his 2014-15 season at this event. Of course knowing DeLaet, he just might be timing the start of his season with the NHL opening night on Wednesday (my Philadelphia Flyers vs. the Boston Bruins). His hockey beard might be early season, but his golf game will be in midseason form.

Evans: Derek Fathauer
The 28-year-old Louisville graduate had top-10s in three of his past four events on the Web.com Tour in 2014, including a win at the season-ending Tour Championship.

Harig: Lee Westwood
OK, it's a bit of a stretch, but who enters the Frys.com Open on a bigger high than Westwood? He is coming off the uplifting experience of another Ryder Cup victory for Europe.

Maguire: Brooks Koepka
The American who played most of last season on the European Tour is coming off a T-9 at the Dunhill Links in Scotland and has been playing well of late across the pond. His new status as a PGA Tour member will make these early season starts much easier than in years past.

Super Sleeper

Collins: Tony Finau
After turning pro in 2007 at 17 before his high school prom, he's had a long and sometimes bumpy road to get to the PGA Tour. But after only one season on the Web.com Tour, he's more than ready to be successful on the big stage. Averaging 310 yards off the tee and hitting 71 percent of your greens doesn't hurt, either.

Evans: Andy Miller
Now a golf course designer since giving up professional golf in 2003 to fulfill his Mormon mission, Johnny Miller's son got a sponsor's exemption to this week's event at the Silverado Country Club, where he first learned the game.

Harig: Brooks Koepka
He held the lead on the back nine a year ago before letting the tournament slip away, but he's now a full member of the PGA Tour after some strong finishes at big tournaments.

Maguire: Max Homa
The 23-year-old Cal Bears product gets just his 10th PGA Tour start and first as a full-time member after finishing 19th on the Web.com money list in 2014. Having played collegiately in Northern California will serve him well this week at Silverado.


Collins: Bo Van Pelt
And this, ladies and gents, is how you bounce back quickly from a couple of down seasons. The Oklahoman produced a stellar year in 2012 with 10 top-10s in 20 made cuts. But the past two years have been dismal, seeing only two top-10s total. The time off he's had after the Deutsche Bank Championship allowed him to rest, regroup and come back fresh. This ought to do the trick.

Evans: Matt Kuchar
With 11 top-10s in the 2013-14 season, Kuchar is the most accomplished player in the field at the Frys, where oddsmakers favor him to win at 14-1.

Harig: Charles Howell III
The new wraparound schedule proved to be great for Walker a year ago, and perhaps it is Howell's turn. He has had numerous high finishes, just not victories. A win here also gets him into his hometown Masters in April.

Maguire: Justin Thomas
Last year at the Frys.com Open, Jimmy Walker went the older veteran route to claiming victory. This year, we're going in the opposite direction as the extremely consistent Thomas (20 Web.com Tour starts in 2014, 18 made cuts for the 21-year-old) puts one on the board for the younger set.



The photos from what appears to have been an epic post-Ryder Cup party from Team Europe are starting to flow in from the top golfers in the world, including world No. 1 Rory McIlroy.

We'll let the shots speak for themselves.



GLENEAGLES, Scotland -- A big theme heading into the Ryder Cup this year among those who play on the PGA Tour is the abundance of golf they have faced in the past two months.

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Tom Watson
Reuters/Russell Cheyne U.S. captain Tom Watson lamented the amount of golf played by members of his team in the run-up to this week's Ryder Cup matches. Watson didn't use it as an excuse, though.

The hectic schedule is what originally caused U.S. captain Tom Watson to request that there be a week between the PGA Tour's season-ending Tour Championship and the Ryder Cup.

That wish was granted by PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem, with other consequences. The four-tournament FedEx Cup playoff run caused distress in other ways, with the top players being asked to compete six of seven weeks and seven of nine going back to the Open Championship.

"I am concerned about how much these players are playing before they reach the Ryder Cup," Watson said Tuesday at Gleneagles, where the Ryder Cup begins Friday. "Two years ago I made my point to [PGA of America president] Ted Bishop and to Tim Finchem about a week off between the end of the FedEx Cup ... as I said these players are playing seven out of eight tournaments or eight out of nine tournaments in a row.

"They are tired. That's too much golf, but just the way it is. You have to deal with it. [It] does concern me, and if they could rectify that by a change in the date or the way these tournaments are played prior to it, that would be great for the Ryder Cup."

In years past, the FedEx Cup was viewed as a positive, as a way for players to keep sharp leading up to the Ryder Cup.

But the past two years especially, the grind of the late-season run has had more than a few players grumbling.

That said, Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley did not compete in the Tour Championship and had the past two weeks off. The other 10 members of the team played in Atlanta, with only Jim Furyk faring particularly well.

European team member Graeme McDowell suggested that the Americans are at a disadvantage because of the schedule as well as playing a Presidents Cup in non-Ryder Cup years.

"Let's put it this way: I'm not disappointed that I have to play every year," Furyk said. "I would see it as an honor if I got to qualify. I didn't qualify last year [for the Presidents Cup] and I dearly missed it. So I'm happy to be back and happy to be playing in the team format and trying to provide some leadership.

"I'm not making any excuses for the way we've played. But it's not difficult to get up for the Ryder Cup or to be excited or to feel rejuvenated. I just played eight out of the last 10 weeks, and I couldn't be more excited about being here on a Tuesday, which is a day that this is usually my least favorite day of a PGA Tour event. I love the fact we play every other year and if we could do this every year, I would be excited."

Furyk is making his ninth consecutive appearance on the U.S. Ryder Cup team dating to 1997 but has been on just two winning teams -- 1999 and 2008.

Rickie FowlerHarry How/Getty ImagesRickie Fowler isn't afraid to wear his patriotism at the Ryder Cup on his sleeve ... or in his hair.

GLENEAGLES, Scotland -- U.S. Ryder Cup team member Rickie Fowler isn't shy about the patriotism angle. When he showed up in Scotland with the rest of the U.S. team, he was sporting a new haircut that included the letters "USA" shaved into the right side.

"I thought it was great," said U.S. captain Tom Watson, who accompanied the team on a charter that arrived Monday morning. "I thought it was terrific. It brings a spirit, a light spirit to the team."

Fowler tweeted a photo of himself on Sunday after having gotten his hair cut. He is playing in his second Ryder Cup, which begins Friday morning.



Obama unable to secure Labor Day tee time

September, 10, 2014
Sep 10

Looking to get a tee time at Winged Foot? How about Trump National? Apparently even the president of the United States sometimes gets the brush-off, according to a broadcast report.

President Barack Obama was in the New York City area for Labor Day, and his Secret Service advance team inquired about possible tee times at those two elite clubs and some others, according to NBC 4 New York.

The president was in town, the report said, for a fundraiser and a wedding. According to the report, this isn't the first time a sitting president was rebuffed by elite clubs, especially considering that the Labor Day holiday is considered by many to be one of the last big weekends for golf in the Northeast.

Obama had been criticized recently for hitting the links while major crises flared up in the Middle East and the Ukraine.



Happy 85th, Arnold Palmer!

September, 10, 2014
Sep 10

Every golf fan has an Arnie story. Even if it isn't their own tale, fans of the golfing legend Arnold Palmer, who turns 85 on Sept. 10, 2014, tell it like it's their own.

In that line of thinking, we've pulled together some of the best tweets wishing The King all the best on No. 85.

And, of course, feel free to share your own below, as well.



Experts' picks: Tour Championship

September, 9, 2014
Sep 9

Each week of the season, our experts share their insights into which players fit the criteria for our four categories: Horse for the Course (a golfer who knows the track inside and out), Birdie Buster (a guy who could take it low), Super Sleeper (a player who could unexpectedly contend) and Winner.

This week, the PGA Tour heads to East Lake Golf Club for the Tour Championship in Atlanta.

Horse for the Course

Michael Collins, ESPN.com senior golf analyst: Sergio Garcia
Although he has never won this event, Garcia has finished second twice and posted a T-9 last year. Just like Billy Horschel finding the hazard on the final hole at Deutsche Bank, Garcia's triple-bogey on the 17th last week is just a blip on the radar.

Farrell Evans, ESPN.com senior golf writer: Bill Haas
In 2011, the 32-year-old son of Champions Tour player Jay Haas won the Tour Championship at East Lake on the third hole of a sudden-death playoff with Hunter Mahan in one of the most exciting finishes in playoffs history.

Bob Harig, ESPN.com senior golf writer: Justin Rose
The Englishman has never won the Tour Championship, but he has contended each of the past two years, with a runner-up finish in 2012.

Kevin Maguire, ESPN.com senior golf editor: Justin Rose
He's never finished outside the top 20 at East Lake! OK, so it's only a 30-man field (well, 29 this week). Rose did finish sixth last year and second in 2012, so he clearly can get around this track without too many issues. That $10 million bonus is probably a pipe dream as he starts the Tour Championship at No. 26 in the rankings.

Birdie Buster

Collins: Jordan Spieth
Last year as a rookie, he finished runner-up. Now in the throes of a sophomore slump (I write that very sarcastically), Spieth shows up 11th on the FedEx Cup points list with an outside shot to win the $10 million. Expect another top-5 finish coming off his T-8 last week.

Evans: Ryan Palmer
A tie for fifth in the PGA Championship vaulted the 37-year-old Texan into the conversation for a U.S. Ryder Cup captain's pick. But making it to the Tour Championship was always his primary goal. He fulfilled that objective with a tie for fourth at the BMW Championship.

Harig: Billy Horschel
You have to love the way his game has come around the last few weeks, following a second-place finish at the Barclays with a victory at the BMW Championship to put himself in contention for the FedEx Cup title.

Maguire: Bubba Watson
Any time you can get the big-hitting Bubba to focus, watch out. He's sitting there with $10 million dangling in the wings. That kind of coin will get his attention.

Super Sleeper

Collins: Morgan Hoffmann
If you're not rooting for this guy after starting the playoffs as the second-to-last man in, you must hate Cinderella, puppies, kittens and babies. He shot 62 on Saturday and followed it up by dropping a 63 on Sunday at the BMW Championship just to make it this far. Did I mention this was only his second top-10 of the year? His first was at the Barclays two weeks before!

Evans: Morgan Hoffmann
Making his first start in the Tour Championship, the former Oklahoma State star earned his way to Atlanta with a tie for ninth at the Barclays and third in Denver that included a 63 in the final round.

Harig: Hideki Matsuyama
Nobody in this field would be a surprise winner, but Matsuyama would rank as the biggest, longest shot given he barely got into the field at No. 29 (Dustin Johnson at 30 is not playing) with a tie for 20th at the BMW. He has not had a top-10 finish since winning the Memorial.

Maguire: Ryan Palmer
The Texas A&M Aggie, who is 23rd in the FedEx Cup standings, finishes a remarkably consistent season having missed just three cuts in 22 starts. He followed up his T-16 in Boston with a tie for fourth last week at the BMW Championship, so clearly Palmer is kicking it into high gear for the season's finishing run.


Collins: Rickie Fowler
Karma. I believe in it. How fitting will it be for this event to be Fowler's first win of the year? If there's a golf god, Fowler will take the FedEx Cup too. Since the U.S. Open, his only finish outside the top nine was a T-23 at Deutsche Bank. I'm thinking an extra $10 million will ease the pain of the PGA Championship loss just a little.

Evans: Jim Furyk
The last of Furyk's 16 tour wins came at East Lake in 2010, when he took the Tour Championship to earn the FedEx Cup playoffs crown. The oldest player in the field at 44, the former Arizona star is coming off a tie for fourth in Denver at the BMW Championship.

Harig: Rory McIlroy
What a way to finish the PGA Tour season. McIlroy has made it a priority to add the FedEx Cup title to all his other efforts this year. A victory at the Tour Championship guarantees it.

Maguire: Jim Furyk
Wouldn't it be amazing if Furyk, who hasn't been able to convert his last eight 54-hole leads on the PGA Tour into victory, finally broke through at the place of his last victory in 2010? Since he's No. 7 in the rankings, there's a pretty good chance that victory would also give him a second FedEx Cup title.



CHERRY HILLS VILLAGE, Colo. -- In golf speak, it is called "taking relief" -- when a player gets to drop his ball away from various obstacles during the course of a round. Billy Horschel took the term to a different level on Sunday at Cherry Hills Country Club, outside Denver.

Having hit his approach shot to the 18th green in the final round of the BMW Championship, Horschel, 27, started running toward the gallery ropes.

The television cameras followed him toward the spectators, and everyone was puzzled about what had him in such a hurry -- as he was two putts away from securing a $1.44 million check.

Simple, really. "I'm sure the whole world saw me sprint, but I had to go to the bathroom," Horschel said. "I had been holding it for way too many holes and I just felt like, you know, I can sort of relax now. Let's just go ahead and go to the bathroom before I can't go."

Horschel found a portable restroom just off to the side of the 18th hole, then was in a much calmer state of mind as he headed to the green and two-putted for his par that secured a two-stroke victory over Bubba Watson.

The win was Horschel's second on the PGA Tour. He heads to this week's Tour Championship in second-place in the FedEx Cup standings, behind Chris Kirk and ahead of Watson and Rory McIlroy. The winner of the FedEx Cup gets a $10 million bonus.