Fantasy PGA Preview: The Barclays
Well Grinders, the regular season of the PGA is officially over now it comes time for the FedEx Cup playoffs. For those of you new to golf the playoffs are as follows: The top 125 golfers in FedEx points get into the post season and then the PGA uses the next four events as means to dwindle the field down from 125, to 100, to 70 until the last event 30 players remain for the Tour Championship.
The Wyndham recap
As usual the Wyndham is a great source of drama for players that are lesser known. The event is more of a playoff bubble watch than a display of top golfing talent. Most of the top PGA talent know they are in the playoffs so its mainly a fight for those around the 125 mark to not only fight it out for a playoff berth but to keep their playing cards for the following year. For Heath Slocum his bogey on the 72nd hole cost him his playoff spot AND sends him down to the Web.com tour for next year.
In the end it was Camilo Villegas hostinig up the trophy Sunday with a final round 63 (-7) to beat out American Bill Haas and Swedish Freddie Jacobson. For Villegas this is his first win since the Honda Classic in 2010.
For my fantasy teams it was a case of missed opportunities. Nick Watney double bogeying the last hole cost me a little. As did Scott Brown bogeying the last hole on Friday to miss the cut. As it stands though I did cash in most leagues but the potential for an awesome weekend was missed by those two holes.
The Barclays is the first event in a four event playoff system. It uses a rotating course system within the New York area. This year The Barclays is being played at the Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey. This same course was used in 2010 and 2008. Matt Kuchar (2010) and Vijay Singh (2008) were the winners of The Barclays in those years. Both were in the top 15 in Greens in Regulation for those events. Hitting Greens is the key for Ridgewood. As well as hitting Greens, the fairways are tight and the rough is longer than 3 inches in some places. There are 78 bunkers that have steep banks and the putting surface is running at a 12 on the stimpmeter.
The weather is forecasted to be ideal for golf. Though there has been some rain in the area over the last few weeks so the 7,319 yard course will play a little softer giving those big hitters a slight advantage. There is one drivable Par 4 but the majority of the Par 4’s on this course will be over 400 yards.
|Charl makes an interesting play this week. He won’t attract as much attention as Rory, Scott or even Fowler but he has played solid as of late. In the last five weeks Charl has played three of the strongest fields this season to the tune of 15th (PGA Championship), 4th (WGC Bridgestone) and 7th (British Open). A nice little 8th average there. Now we have reached the playoffs where the stars shine. His history at The Barclays event is 25th (2013) and 24th (2012) and in both years his lead up to The Barclays wasn’t nearly as strong as this year. His last event (PGA Championship) he was tied for 9th in Greens in Regulation.|
|As I said earlier, the ground will be softer due to a few weeks of rain. Jimmy Walker is one of the longer hitters on Tour and has that nice trajectory to land it safely on the greens. He was 22nd in Greens in Regulation at the PGA Championship and 30th overall for the season. What I like the most about Walker is that not only is he a 3 time winner this season but has placed in the top 10 in three of the four majors this season as well as the PLAYERS Championship. Jimmy has been a big time player this season and will look to cap off a career year with a nice playoff run.|
|I think Webb is more of a GPP play. For this price he is a little risky but the reward can be good. He is coming off a 5th last week at the Wyndham. Last year he used the Wyndham to spark a solid post season run. The strength to his game is his putting and he will look to that to finish start off his post season. Webb also needs a strong playoff push to convince Tom Watson he should be on the Ryder Cup team. Simpson is on the outside looking in, despite the fact he won earlier in the year.|
|If you are looking for a long hitter that can hit a lot of greens in regulation then Delaet is your man. Coming off a 15th at the PGA Championship, Delaet is always a threat to be on the first page of the leaderboard. Graham tied for 9th in greens hit in his last event (PGA Championship) and his price is a nice $8,300 and is a solid cash game play.|
|Coming off a top five in his last start which was a major, I figured Ryan Palmer might be a little more expensive. Its okay with me since he allows a little more flexibility with roster construction. He has only missed one cut at The Barclays in seven starts including a 5th at Ridgewood in 2010. In a field like this he will be be one of the sexier picks but he is the type of pick that can keep the scoreboard ticking over without costing too much.|
|The last time I wrote about Kevin Chappell was the Northern Trust. How fitting I write about him here. If you look at the course details of Ridgewood and Rivera you will notice a few things. Both are Par 71, there is only 30 yards difference between them. They both have small greens (200 square feet difference between them). Both use a combination Bentgrass/Poa Annua grass for their greens, both have little to no water and both have over 60 bunkers in play. Both courses the premium is on long and straight. So with all that in mind I give you Kevin Chappell; he placed 23rd at the Northern Trust but even better he is a nice price at $7,100. Chappell hasn’t missed a cut since the Travelers and is coming off a 13th at the PGA Championship.|