Players to Watch; McGladrey Classic

The PGA Tour makes its U.S. finale this week in 2013 at The McGladrey Classic in St. Simons Island, Ga. It's the fourth edition of the event, though the first time that FedExCup points are up for grabs.

The total prize money is up $1.5 million to $5.5 million, $990,000 of which will go to the winner, who will also receive exemptions into the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, the Masters Tournament, THE PLAYERS Championship and the PGA Championship if not already eligible for those events.

At just 7,005 yards, the Seaside Course at Sea Island Resort is one of the shorter courses the golfers will play in a season. Playing as the easiest par-70 course in 2012, Seaside also ranked inside the top-5 easiest in driving accuracy and greens in regulation with respective averages of 9.87 (of 14) fairways hit (70.47 percent) and 13.63 GIR (75.72 percent) per round.

It's sure to be a putting contest this week in Georgia, as Seaside averaged just 30.7 putts per round in 2012. Making the key to victory as holing putts or get left behind.

Let's look at some players to watch this week at Sea Island.

Charles Howell III
CH3 is off to a very strong start in the new wrap around season, with a T5 finish at the Shriner's and a T7 finish at the CIMB Classic. Howell also has two top-10 finishes here at Seaside, including a T7 in 2012.

Webb Simpson
It's hard to list players to watch at Sea Island without mentioning Simpson. He has finishes of T12 (2010) and lost in playoff in 2011. With a scoring average of 67 in eight rounds here, the Shriner's winner should be ready to go this week in Georgia.

Zach Johnson
Johnson is a resident of Sea Island, GA., and has seven top-10 finishes (with a victory) in his last nine starts. Ranks 31st in Storkes Gained Putting in 2014 and finished 12th at this event in 2010.

Bud Cauley
I'm picking Cauley as a sleeper pick this week in Sea Island.  In 2011, the same year that he secured PGA TOUR status via non-member earnings. The route to his card included a T15 at The McGladrey Classic that fall. In his return trip to, Cauley shared the 18-hole lead with a 62 and finished T20.

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