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The Barclays Preview and Picks
by Matt Fargo - 08/21/2013
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 Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, NJ. 123 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.
The last time we saw Liberty National Golf Club in this rotation was in 2009 and it is safe to say we will see a different course this time around. It will not be set up at tough as it was back then as it was considered unplayable by many. The rough was long and dense which made hitting greens off the fairway next to impossible. On top of that, the greens had some severe sloping which made hitting the greens anywhere a challenge. After a scoring average of 72.3, it finished as the toughest par 71 in 2009.
To make Liberty National more playable, a majority of the greens were actually redone in order to take away some of the severe slopes and undulations. The rough will not be nearly as thick and fairways have been widened to give players a much better opportunity of scoring. This week, the forecast looks exceptional but even with that, wind is always a factor here. While it does not look to be too severe, gusting could cause some alterations of shot selections.
There is not much history to go off since only one event have been played here and many of the players this week have not ever seen Liberty National. Therefore we need to look at the top ball strikers and All-Around scorers as well as players who come in playing well. With only the top 100 players advancing into next week, players currently outside that spot in the standings could be seen fighting harder but pressing is not the way to win here.
I have used Jason Day (+1,800) quite a bit this year and while he has not cashed with a win, he has been right up there in many of the big events. He has a runner-up and two third place finishes, all of which have been marquee events. His last start resulted in a T8 at the PGA Championship and while he was young, he played here in 2009 and finished a very solid T12.
Webb Simpson (+2,000) continues to play consistent golf despite not having a win. He is coming off a T11 at the Wyndham Championship last week which was his third straight top 25 and he has not missed a cut in seven straight starts. He played here in 2009 and finished solo eighth after being the 36-hole leader. Simpson is ranked 34th in greens hit and 18th in the All-Around.
Keegan Bradley (+2,500) has been very consistent as well. After a missed cut at the U.S. Open, he has made the cut in his last five events, four of which have resulted in a top 20's. This included a T2 at the Bridgestone which was his seventh top ten of the season and second runner-up so he has been very close to winning. He is ranked third in the All-Around and sixth in total driving.
Hunter Mahan (+3.000) finished T9 at the Open Championship and was the leader after 36 holes at the Canadian Open before he had to withdraw because of the birth of his first child. He started well at the PGA Championship before a Saturday 78 took him out of contention. He has five top 20 finishes in 16 playoff starts over the last four years which includes a T20 at the Barclays in 2009.
Our longshot this week will be Harris English (+8,000). He has already won once this year at the FedEx St. Jude Classic which was his first of seven straight made cuts heading into the playoffs. He has three additional top 15's during this run so he is peaking at the right time. He is 17th in the All-Around and currently 19th in the FedEx Standings, he can play without pressing.
Recommended Tournament Win Five Pack at the Barclays (all for One Unit)
Jason Day (+1,800)
Webb Simpson (+2,000)
Keegan Bradley (+2,500)
Hunter Mahan (+3.000)
Harris English (+8,000)
2012 Record to date after 36 events: +51.6 Units
2013 Record to date after 31 events: -40.4 Units
Hyundai Tournament of Champions -5 Units
Sony Open in Hawaii -5 Units
Humana Challenge - 5 Units
Farmer Insurance Open +3.5 Units
Waste Management Phoenix Open +19 Units
AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am -5 Units
Northern Trust Open -5 Units
WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship +25.66 units
The Honda Classic -5 Units
WGC-Cadillac Championship -5 Units
Tampa Bay Championship -5 Units
Arnold Palmer Invitational -1.5 Units
Shell Houston Open -5 Units
The Masters -8 Units
RBC Heritage +27 Units
Zurich Classic of New Orleans -5 Units
The Wells Fargo Championship -5 Units
THE PLAYERS Championship -5 Units
HP Byron Nelson Championship -5 Units
Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial -5 Units
Memorial Tournament -5 Units
FedEx St. Jude Classic -5 Units
U.S. Open -6 Units
Travelers Championship -5 Units
AT&T National -5 Units
Greenbrier Classic -5 Units
John Deere Classic -5 Units
Open Championship -5 Units
RBC Canadian Open +10 Units
Bridgestone Invitational 0 Units
PGA Championship -5 Units