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Barclay's Golf Preview and Picks
by Matt Fargo - 08/20/2014
The PGA regular season is in the books and now we concentrate on the FedEx Cup playoffs. The first stop is The Barclays which is being hosted by Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, NJ. 122 of the top 125 players in the FedEx Cup standings are in play this week with the top 100 advancing to the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston over Labor Day weekend. That will then be decreased to the top 70 and then eventually to the top 30 for the Tour Championship.
Ridgewood will be playing as a par 71, 7,319-yard track that was built in 1890 and is actually made up of three different nine-hole courses. All said, there are seven holes from the East nine, five from the Center nine, and six from the West nine and after some rerouting issues early on, they feel they have the best 18 holes Ridgewood has to offer. This is the third Barclays it has hosted, the first in 2008, won by Vijay Singh in a playoff, followed again in 2010 by Matt Kuchar's victory also in a playoff.
Course knowledge is always a big factor in golf but not everyone in the field this week is familiar with the A.W. Tillinghast layout. Less than half of the players in the field were here in 2010, 60 in total, and there are only 50 players here this week that played in 2008. Of the 122 players this year, 46 have played both in 2008 and 2010 and in total, there are 58 players that will be seeing Ridgewood for the first time. Sergio Garcia, Jim Furyk, George McNeill and Tim Wilkinson are the four players that were here in 2008 but not 2010.
Jim Furyk (+2,500) is the hottest player on the PGA Tour not named McIlroy. He has finished in the top 20 in each of his last six starts including a T5 at the PGA Championship, a solo second at the RBC Canadian Open and a solo fourth at the Open Championship. While he did not play here in 2010, he finished T12 in 2008 and he has posted more rounds of par or better in the FedEx Cup Playoffs than anybody else.
We are getting exceptional odds with Jason Day (+3,000) who is searching for his third win of the season. He had a rough stretch between late June and early August because of an injury and a case of vertigo but all looks to be fine following his T15 at Valhalla two weeks ago. After a T31 here in 2008, he backed that up with a T5 in 2010 and is one of only 20 players to have made the cut both years.
It is good to see Hunter Mahan (+4,000) back in the mix after a bad start to the season because of injuries. He is coming off a T7 at the PGA Championship which was his first top ten since March. But he has missed only one cut in his last five starts and his worst finish is a T32 so he has been very competitive. He is the only player to play in every FedEx Playoff event and he finished T31 both times here.
Kevin Streelman (+7,000) is one of the 46 players that have played here in 2008 and in 2010 and he is the highest money earner of all players not to win. He won a combined $724,333 thanks to a T3 in 2010 and a T4 in 2008. He is 39th in the FedEx Cup Standings thanks to a win and a T3. He missed the cut at the PGA Championship but he missed four straight cuts, including the U.S. Open right before his win at the Travelers.
Ryan Palmer (+11,000) is the big longshot this week and he is not getting much respect. He is ranked 30th in the FedEx Cup Standings and has missed only three cuts all season. He is coming off a T5 at the PGA Championship which was his sixth top eight finish this year that includes a pair of runner-ups at the Humana Challenge and the Honda Classic. He is a three-time winner that finished T62 in 2008 and T5 in 2010 at Ridgewood.
Recommended Tournament Win Five Pack at The Barclays (all for One Unit)
Jim Furyk (+2,500)
Jason Day (+3,000)
Hunter Mahan (+4,000)
Kevin Streelman (+7,000)
Ryan Palmer (+11,000)
2014 Record to date after 30 events: -93 Units
Sony Open in Hawaii -5 Units
Humana Challenge -5 Units
Farmers Insurance Open -5 Units
Waste Management Phoenix Open -5 Units
AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am +22 Units
Northern Trust Open -5 Units
WGC - Accenture Match Play +23 Units
Honda Classic -5 Units
WGC-Cadillac Championship -5 Units
Valspar Championship -5 Units
Arnold Palmer Invitational -5 Units
Valero Texas Open -5 Units
Shell Houston Open -5 Units
The Masters -7 Units
Zurich Classic -5 Units
Wells Fargo Championship -5 Units
THE PLAYERS Championship -5 Units
HP Byron Nelson Championship -5 Units
Crowne Plaza Invitational -5 Units
Memorial Tournament -5 Units
FedEx St. Jude Classic -5 Units
U.S. Open -6 Units
Travelers Championship -5 Units
Quicken Loans National -5 Units
Greenbrier Classic -5 Units
John Deere Classic -5 Units
The Open Championship -5 Units
RBC Canadian Open -5 Units
WGC-Bridgestone Invitational -5 Units
PGA Championship -5 Units