Written by: Scott Schaeffer

It's becoming a runaway in the standings as DJ correctly picked a tournament winner for the 2nd time in 3 weeks. Most of the guys are taking mighty hacks this week in an effort to cut into DJ's early lead. Randy, however, seems content trying to stay net positive. Take a look:

"THE READ": Hard to argue DJ’s logic. Brooks has an established history of producing when he feels he’s been slighted. The last month has been very Bryson-centric in the golf world, and his win Sunday shifted the betting favorite for this year’s majors from Rory/Brooks to DeChambeau. Insert MJ “I took that personally” gif. Smelling blood, “Vegas Pie” (DJ Vegas?) is unleashing a whale play with the potential to likely finish this competition should Brooks win and JT finish runner-up.

Mav McNealy rode a hot putter to a Top 10 finish last week, which has polarized DJ and Randy in their predictions for how he will back up the 2nd best finish of his professional career at this week's Workday. McNealy has relied heavily on his putter really throughout his rookie campaign, ranking 14th in SG: Putting this season. In contrast, he has lost strokes approaching the green this year (had to confirm he hasn’t also broken this statistic). A repeat of last week’s improved ball-striking will likely be required for Maverick to earn another Sunday afternoon tee time.

Though this week and next week's setup seemingly won't be terribly different, a less demanding birdiefest this week would likely enhance Matt Wolff’s prospects. Wolff will need to prove he’s capable of layering back-to-back solid weeks to best a struggling Billy Horschel, Mr. All-In Kokrak, HV3 and the king of the haterblockers, Kevin Streelman in Group "E." With a solid record at Muirfield and a recent close call in Cromwell, Streels may be set for a run this week.

"THE READ": Listen, no one is going to accuse the big guy of getting out over his skis this week. It would be more than fair to compare Randy’s second week of picks to playing penny slots. Worth noting that a perfect week would bring him within a mere 532 points of DJ’s lead. Much like his ride or die guy Rickie, Randy may be content embracing the role of dog, not killer.

As mentioned above, Randy is banking on McNealy’s putter entering the frozone on a set of unfamiliar greens, leading to a MC. Friend of the pod Max Homa has a case for golfer most hindered by the COVID-19-induced break. In the calendar year 2020, Max finished Top 25 in 7 of his 8 starts prior to the abrupt pause in March at The Players. Having missed 2 of 3 cuts since the restart, Randy hopes for a return to form after Max took last week off. At -137, Byeong-Hun An is a modest favorite to beat Workday ambassador Brandt Snedeker this week. If Brandt dedicates this week’s performance to the title sponsor during his pre-tourney presser, Randy may as well start raking in his points given how well Phil’s Workday shoutout turned out.

Big Randy will have all week to wait for his final prop. An eye-popping 12 points ride on the winner’s score on the 72nd hole being something other than a par 4. For reference, the first four weeks has featured two winners who made par on their 18th hole Sunday (Simpson, Johnson), and two who made birdie (Berger, DeChambeau).

"THE READ": A single shot (worse for Rodgers or better for Duncan) kept TC from winning the improbable five-leg cross-tour mega parlay last week. Happy to see he’s back on the parlay train this week, this time sticking strictly to the PGA Tour event. Serious consideration was given to getting involved with this Sunday’s true main event: F1’s Steiermark GP at the Red Bull Ring.

A model of consistency, especially in terms of flying under the radar, Marc Leishman’s 50 to 1 return potential makes him too appealing for Tron (and later, Soly) to pass on. TC has voiced his belief that JT is poised to win this week on multiple NLU platforms…but decided to only back him to the tune of ten nuggets. Ultimately, his largest sum this week entitles him to a first-class ticket aboard the “powder” keg that is Jordan Spieth. A long-awaited Spieth victory would vault TC well ahead of DJ in the standings, furthering the point that DJ’s wins thus far are just resoundingly unimpressive. From the clouds, TC’s final pick was K.H. Lee to win. Amongst a field featuring 5 of the top 10 players in the world, Lee’s recent form (MC in 3 of the last 4 weeks) and resume at Muirfield (one start, T37 in 2019) made him an obvious selection.

"THE READ": Sungjae Im has twice contributed to the deficit Soly has built himself in the standings. If the third time is not the charm this week, Sungjae could potentially spoil two separate picks…including a matchup parlay pinning Im against the new team of Matt Fitzpatrick and (yet another friend of the pod) Bones Mackay. Another leg of the parlay features Muirfield newcomer Viktor Hovland picked to beat Rickie, who has contended at The Memorial on multiple occasions. The final leg predicts Marc Leishman, another of Soly’s favorites to ultimately win this week, will finish ahead of Ian Poulter.

Matt Wolff @70:1 made sense to Soly this week given the course profile closely resembles TPC Twin Cities, site of Wolffie’s first Tour win. Personally, I’d love to see Soly’s final pick, Chris Kirk, emerge victorious this week…but maybe not for the reasons you may think. Kirk, whose success has been built on his short game and ability to fill it up with the putter, would need to earn a win this week despite his length…not because of it. Should Kirk win, it would present a priceless contrast to a potential Bryson victory in the week following. I can already hear the cries of Jack watching Bryson abuse Muirfield next week…”Barbara, Barbara! He’s ruining my course! That wasn’t my intent! He’s taking all the risk out of my risk/reward staples! We’ve gotta dial it back, Barbara! Call the fans in and get this thing shut down!”

"THE READ":Hard to believe Hideki is plus money to finish as low Asian competitor given the consistency he's displayed at Muirfield, but I'll concede that some of the picks the guys made above (Im, An, and of course the ever-dangerous K.H. Lee) present a challenge worth noting. Cantlay has been a force at Muirfield the last two years (4th, 1st) and played well in his only appearance since the restart (T11, Travelers). Rickie, often a bridesmaid in Dublin, seemed to find some ball-striking form last week, hitting 60/72 greens in regulation en route to a T12 finish. As a potential nod to his biggest fan Big Randy, he has surprisingly struggled lately on the greens...but I'd be surprised if he didn't settle in this week on familiar surfaces at his friend Jack's place. Troy Merritt was emasculated by Bryson on national TV last Sunday. I think his mature response to a notoriously tone-deaf Bryson comment earned him some goodwill with the golf gods, translating to a Top 20 this week.

The standings below are as of completion of last week's transcendent Rocket Mortgage. If you like my perspective and want more content related to the crew's picks and year-to-date status, I can be found on twitter and instagram @total_misread. If your picks are as good as DJ's...or as bad as Neil and Soly's...let us know how you're doing!

-Scott Schaeffer