Another 20-something winner again this week in age, but thankfully, not also in score.
Bethpage Black was a beast and demanded plenty from the top 125 in the FedExCup Playoffs.
Patrick Reed stood alone at the end to claim his first victory of the year.
Final Thoughts from Barclays
I could hear gamers sighing those sentiments as Reed pulled away to a three-shot lead with three holes left to play. The talent in the 20-something group is off the hook but the consistency factor has to be taken with a grain of salt. Only the elite of the elite play great week in and week out so accepting that fact is half of the battle.
I could hear gamers rolling their eyes as Rickie Fowler couldn’t make his one-shot lead hold up for his first win of the year. Fowler has eight top 10’s. Reed has 10. Fowler has zero wins on the year. Reed has one. Fowler has 12 top 25’s. Reed has 15. There’s not much separating that pair and it was only one shot heading into Sunday. Both were fighting for the same Ryder Cup spots. Both were fighting for the win. Fowler’s week consisted of 56 consecutive holes without a bogey but most gamers will just remember he blew the lead and finished T-7.
Do I need to remind you that Fowler chased down and beat Stenson on Monday last year at the Deutsche Bank Championship?
Not if you’re a pro.
There are four captain’s picks left for the Ryder Cup. Fowler isn’t playing for one of them. He’s playing to win golf tournaments. Winning golf tournaments is better than any rhetoric or stats that will help Captain Love make a decision. Winning golf tournaments answers all the questions that are being asked.
Just ask Patrick Reed.
Now, to the course.
I love difficult golf courses in fantasy golf because they reward the angle and research a majority of the time.
Birdie busters do not.
Most players, if not all, on Tour, love a hit and giggle. They know it could be their week with a couple rounds in the low-to-mid 60’s.
Most great golf courses, and the Black course easily qualifies, allow most styles of games to have a chance but the leaderboard this week painted a different picture. The top 20 suggested that power was greater than precision with Ryan Moore being the only “shorty” to hit the big bucks. Spieth and Scott were dire off the tee but in the top six in GIR. Both finished inside the top 10. Fowler forgot for two plus days how to make a bogey so the course does reward solid play. Johnson Wagner and Sung Kang both shot 64 on Sunday to tie the course record. You let me know when you get this all figured out!
I do appreciate that the FEC Playoffs are a microcosm of the PGA TOUR season. Bethpage Black is major championship difficult. As is East Lake. The DBC feels like a TPC birdiefest that is seen early in the season whereas the BMW at Crooked Stick is a bit of an unknown quantity with only one previous start (i.e. the “new” course on Tour). Those who are out of position heading to Boston will have to make birdies to win as the tournament record has been set in three of the last five. The highest winning score recently has been 15-under. In the only other appearance at Crooked Stick, Rory McIlroy shot 20-under to win. The course has gone through multiple changes since his win in 2012 and will be more mystery than anything else.
Bubba Watson at Travelers.
Zach Johnson at JDC.
Webb Simpson and Bill Haas at Wyndham.
Brandt Snedeker, Henrik Stenson and Hideki Matsuyama at Barclays.
Woof. Course horses. Hot players. All have bombed out recently.
Fantasy golf is hard.
Blayne Barber: Began Sunday T-16; finished with 75, T-41 and OUT of the Playoffs.
Ricky Fowler: Didn’t fire last weekend finishing T-22; was on fire this weekend until the back nine on Sunday finishing T-7 but did not hold his 54-hole lead.
Branden Grace: Well then. 76-74 at least didn’t tease anyone.
Francesco Molinari: He’s a great ball-striker who never strikes it great when it’s needed or required. With only five top 25’s from 18 events gamers neither get volume starts or big results. His MC makes our decision making easier for the next month or so.
Limping in to the Playoffs
The “new” bubble this week will concentrate on the 100 that will advance to the Deutsche Bank Championship next week in Boston. Only Heath Slocum (No. 124) in 2009, Morgan Hoffmann (No. 124) in 2014 and Kevin Streelman (No. 102) in 2010 are the only triple-digit players to reach The Tour Championship in Atlanta.
Three dudes since 2007.
There’s a reason for this in my opinion. The fields are deep as you’d like and the Barclays is usually played on a traditional layout that rewards the better player. I’m not saying it CAN’T happen but…
Those who advanced are in BOLD
- No. 105: Francesco Molinari
- No. 104: Tyrone van Aswegen
- No. 103: Zac Blair
- No. 102: Robert Garrigus
- No. 101: Brett Stegmaier
- No. 100: Jonas Blixt
- No. 99: John Senden
- No. 98: Steve Stricker
- No. 97: Vijay Singh
- No. 96: Lucas Glover
- No. 95: Robert Streb
Sean O’Hair (T-2): He racked up his first top 10 since SHO and is now headed to East Lake for The TOUR Championship. He’s playing with the house’s money because of his 64 at Wyndham and closing 66 at Bethpage. He earned the right to cruise if he wants but he was T-4 at DBC last year and has two other top 10’s since the redesign. Hmmmm…
Rickie Fowler (T-7): The disappointment of Sunday shouldn’t be lost in the week as his first 65 holes were really good. I couldn’t think of a softer landing spot than an event where he’s defending champ to get right back on that horse.
Jason Kokrak (T-7): I hope I’m not a day late and a dollar short here. He posted 66 and 65 at Travelers. He MC but closed with 67 at Wyndham. His final three rounds at Bethpage Black were 66-69-69. #Heater.
Charley Hoffman (T-13): Back-to-back top 25’s and eight of his last nine cuts made; former champ at DBC closed with 67 on Sunday.
Sung Kang (T-18): Closed with 64 to tie the course record and has now made four cuts in a row.
Check out my recap for Golfweek magazine below for all of it!