Fantasy Golf: FEC Barclays Preview

08-23-16

It’s playoff time!

BPB

credit: Roberto Castro via Twitter

The top 125 players are eligible to compete to win the FedExCup Playoff crown.

Funny that all of them aren’t playing this week!

Bethpage-Black-Warning-Sign

Well, then.

That’s a bit different from TPC River Highlands, TPC Deere Run and Sedgefield now isn’t it?

If you can make it there, you can make it anywhere.

But not everyone is here, which is strange but not really.

This will be the second year in a row that Sergio Garcia doesn’t tee it in the first Playoff event. In three previous starts at Bethpage he’s hit the top 10 each time. Last year he also skipped the DBC the following week so OADers please be aware. Garcia currently sits 20th so he’s eligible for East Lake at the moment.

Joining Garcia on the DNS list are:

  • Danny Willett No. 75
  • Shane Lowry No. 87
  • Anirban Lahiri No. 117

Since only the top 100 advance to Bahstahn next week at the DBC, Lahiri is eliminated. Lowry and Willett will need to have better than decent finishes to make the BMW in my neck of the woods at Crooked Stick for event No. 3 as they take the top 70.

These are the folks with the most to gain or lose this week (all entered this week):

  • No. 105: Francesco Molinair
  • No. 104: Tyrone van Aswegen
  • No. 103: Zac Blair
  • No. 102: Robert Garrigus
  • No. 101: Brett Stegamaier
  • No. 100: Jonas Blixt
  • No. 99: John Senden
  • No. 98: Steve Stricker
  • No. 97: Vijay Singh
  • No. 96: Lucas Glover
  • No. 95: Robert Streb

 

2015-16 Winners (at time of victory)

Youngsters

In 2014-15 there were 14 players in their 20’s who won tournaments. They accounted for a whopping 24 victories in 47 events.

Under-30 Winners (11 different winners from 14 events)

  • Emiliano Grillo, 23; Frys.com
  • Smylie Kaufman, 23; Shriners
  • Justin Thomas, 22; CIMB
  • Peter Malnati, 28; SFC
  • Jordan Spieth, 22; HTOC, DEAN & DELUCA at Colonial
  • Hideki Matsuyama, 23; WMPO
  • Jason Day, 28; API, WGC-Dell Match Play, THE PLAYERS
  • Danny Willett, 28; Masters
  • Branden Grace, 27; RBC Heritage
  • Daniel Berger, 23; FESJC
  • Si Woo Kim, 21; Wyndham

 

Prime-Time Players

The guys between 30-39 years of age produced 16 multiple champions in 17 events last season.

Winners 30-39 (22 players from 24 events)

  • Russell Knox, 31; HSBC Champions, Travelers
  • Graeme McDowell, 36; OHL Mayakoba
  • Kevin Kisner, 31; RSM Classic
  • Fabian Gomez, 37; Sony Open
  • Jason Dufner, 38; CB Challenge
  • Brandt Snedeker, 35; Farmers Insurance Open
  • Vaughn Taylor, 39; AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
  • Bubba Watson, 37; Northern Trust Open
  • Adam Scott, 35; Honda Classic, WGC-Cadillac Championship
  • Charl Schwartzel, 31; Valspar
  • Jim Herman, 38; Shell Houston Open
  • Charley Hoffman, 39; Valero Texas Open
  • Brian Stuard, 33; Zurich Classic
  • James Hahn, 34; Wells Fargo Championship
  • Sergio Garcia, 36; AT&T Byron Nelson
  • William McGirt, 36; Memorial
  • Dustin Johnson, 31; U.S. Open
  • Billy Hurley, III, 34; Quicken Loans National
  • Aaron Baddeley, 35; Barbasol Championship
  • Jhonattan Vegas, 31; RBC Canadian Open
  • Jimmy Walker, 37; PGA Championship
  • Ryan Moore, 33; John Deere Classic

 

Old Guard

There were only four winners last season from 47 events (Furyk, Cejka, Love III and Harrington). Sentimentality and name recognition has no place in fantasy golf, folks.

Winners 40-plus

  • Greg Chalmers, 42; Barracuda Championship
  • Henrik Stenson, 40; The Open Championship

Jim Furyk rode his T-5 at Travelers and backed it up with another top 10, T-10 at Wyndham.

 

Rookies

Last year the only rookie to pick up a first-place check was Canadian Nick Taylor. This season it took ONE EVENT to match that total.

Rookie Winners

  • Emiliano Grillo; Frys.com
  • Smylie Kaufman; Shriners

 

After winners in the first two events of the season, it’s been 37 straight events without one of the newbies collecting a trophy.

Let it be noted that Grillo has:

  • Changed his pronunciation of his last name to Gree Low halfway through the year.
  • Made the cut in all four majors.

Rookies in the FEC

Remember, 2014 was the only year a rookie has NOT found a spot in The Tour Championship. Here are your choices for this year:

  • Smylie Kaufman, No. 26
  • Emiliano Grillo, No. 32
  • Patton Kizzire, No. 58
  • Harold Varner, III, No. 82
  • Brett Stegmaier, No. 101
  • Michael Kim, No. 115

My money is on Grillo as he’ll see three weeks in a row on Bentgrass and that won’t bother him as much as three weeks in a row on Bermuda. Kizzire and the rest will need something very special to make the leap into the top 30.

 

First-Time Winners

Rookies, journeyman, up-and-comers, I’ll keep track of them all. It’s a life-changer.

 

 First-Time Winners on Tour

  • 2013: 12
  • 2014: 10
  • 2015: 11
  • 2016: (16 and counting)
  •    Emiliano Grillo (Frys.com)
  •    Smylie Kaufman (Shriners)
  •    Justin Thomas (CIMB)
  •    Peter Malnati (SFC)
  •    Russell Knox (WGC-HSBC Champions)
  •    Kevin Kisner (RSM)
  •    Tony Finau (PRO)
  •    Jim Herman (SHO)
  •    Danny Willett (Masters)
  •    Branden Grace (RBC Heritage)
  •    Brian Stuard (Zurich Classic)
  •    William McGirt (Memorial)
  •    Daniel Berger (FESJC)
  •    Billy Hurley, III (QLN)
  •    Greg Chalmers (Barracuda) in his 386th event!
  •    Si Woo Kim (Wyndham)

 

Cookies

Each week, when possible, I’ll try and reward those of you who take the time to read my columns with thoughts on a few players who didn’t make the cut, for whatever reason, in my preview column.

 

Last Week:

Cameron Smith: Knock. Knock. Knock. Nobody home this week. Shot 66 on Friday but his 74 on Thursday wiped it out. Should have gone with the other Cameron, Percy, who finished T-33

Chris Kirk: Put all four rounds in the 60’s and finished T-46. Hahahaha.

Jonas Blixt: Bogeyed his last two to finish T-33 instead of T-20.

Erik Compton: MC as the magic of 62 didn’t carry on from last year.

Adam Hadwin: Added four more rounds in the 60’s to finish T-33.

 

This Week:

 

Blayne Barber: Make it eight of his last nine and seven in a row; closed 65-66 for T-14 last week; T-29 at a difficult Congressional in late June.

Peter Malnati: Closed with 66 at JDC for T-27 and T-42 last week with a 65.

Billy Hurley III: Won at Congressional and was T-22 at Baltusrol. Big boy golf on those two tracks.

Kyle Stanley: Besides Shawn Stefani, he was the only player to make the leap last week into the top 125. He hits tons of GIR and tons of putts but he won’t need to make 25 birdies this week.

Hot hands

Big finishes at the JDC last week not listed above or in the preview column

 

Graeme McDowell: T-3
Rafael Cabrera-Bello: T-5 (not eligible but still a fantastic season)
Bud Cauley: T-14 secured him enough cash for a card next year but not enough points for the FEC this year.
Check out the details in my Golfweek preview above!
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