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2019 Korn Ferry Tour Championship picks: Which young star will emerge in the tour's finale?

August 29, 2019

There are still a few weeks before the new PGA Tour schedule starts, but that doesn't mean golf fans are forced to flip to only focusing on football and baseball just yet. The Korn Ferry Tour Championship offers golf fans an opportunity to watch some of golf's upcoming stars compete in the biggest tournament of the year on the developmental tour.

Some true golf enthusiasts likely know names like Scottie Scheffler or Doug Ghim. But to the more casual fan, the Korn Ferry Tour Finals might be the first time they're introduced to some of golf's young talent. You'll want to see Kramer Hickok or Grayson Murray bomb the ball. And this weekend affords that opportunity, at a big-boy venue like Victoria National, which designer Tom Fazio remarked after it opened: "It's U.S. Open-ready now." That should create some entertainment on this top-50 course on Golf Digest's most recent 100 Greatest ranking.

Here are some of our editors picks for this weekend:

Outright winners: Scottie Scheffler (16-1). -- Scheffler won two weeks ago at Ohio State’s Scarlet Course, and Victoria National is another difficult track in that same category. He has been in contention nearly 50 percent of the season, so there's no reason to think that he won’t be up there all week.

Anirban Lahiri (28-1). -- Lahiri finished in the top seven in each Finals events to safely regain PGA Tour membership, so the 18-time worldwide winner should be able to play relatively stress-free on a course that demands sound strategy.

Daniel Berger (22-1): This is the first Korn Ferry Tour event Berger has played in since 2014. That should be a motivator to Berger, a 2017 Presidents Cup player and a two-time winner on the PGA Tour. Victoria National should play to his strengths -- hitting it long off the tee and hitting high approach shots.

Hank Lebioda (50-1): Lebioda is another guy who played most of his year on the PGA Tour, so this is a talent gap for him. You're getting strong value at 50-1 here. On a podcast with the Tour Junkies earlier this year, Lebioda told them he thrives on tougher golf courses, and Victoria National is one of the tougher courses he'll play all year. He made $656,000 in earnings in 2019, so he's in a bit of a better place than some of the other pros vying for their tour lives.

Sleepers: Jonathan Randolph (66-1). The former Ole Miss product has twice finished runner-up at Victoria National, and he’ll play with a go-for-broke mind-set knowing he needs a high finish to secure a PGA Tour return.

Peter Uihlein (80-1): The former college and amateur standout played most of his 2019 on the PGA Tour, so he should feel confident he's in the upper echelon of players in this field. He's also insanely long off the tee, which doesn't necessarily differentiate himself from others on the Korn Ferry Tour, but he is a prodigious driver of the ball, which should be a separator. He missed the cut last week, and he needs a strong finish in the finals. We'll take the best talent when his back's against the wall.

Stewart Cink (100-1) -- You have a major champion at 100-1 to win on the developmental tour ... that's an incredible number. He didn't have the best 2019 after a strong 2018 finish. But the guy is still a ball-striker, so at such high odds, or even his 12-1 top-10 odds, he's worth a look.

Top-10 pick: Charlie Saxon (14-1). This is a little down the board, but this pick has some great value. Saxon is one of the longest hitters in the game, and his distance advantage will be magnified by this week’s soft conditions. Saxon has never had his tour card, so he doesn’t necessarily have the pressure of expectation, which should serve him well in tough conditions.

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