The Barclays preview with Skeeter McGillicuddy
The lucky 121 tee it up here at Bethpage Black (don’t even think about venturing out if you’re not a top class player so says the sign on the first tee) for the first of the playoff series – the Barclay’s. Four players who make up the 125 declined to play.
Lucas Glover, coming back to form somewhat this season, won his major here, the 2009 US Open.
Another man whose form subsequently went south, Nick Watney, also won this event here in 2012.
At 7,468 yards, par 71 and proper rough this course calls for accuracy – and length helps.
A review of the last five Barclay’s paints an interesting picture.
Winners and runners up include: Kuchar, Dustbin, the aforementioned Watney, Hunter Mahan (is this tournament a curse?) and Jason day in the winners column. The runners up include the likes of Snedeker, Rose, Woodland, Woods and Stenson, amongst others.
These alone suggest that yes a tidy player can challenge, especially given Snedeker posted his runner up at Bethpage Black, but power generally rules.
Further examination of the 2012 result though shows players like Luke Donald and Time Clark fairing well with top 10’s. Yes both of these were better players back then but it serves to show that a shorter hitter in form can do well here.
Are we going to pick one?
The beauty of the playoffs is the calibre of the field and so we get Jason, Rory, Jordon and Dustbin all lining up. These alone represent a serious chance in the power stakes (Jordan aside) and when you include the likes of Bubba, Stenson, Woodland, Koepka etc you wonder how a modest length player can possibly prevail. By having a killer week tee to green and on them of course
1 unit each way at $101 with
1 unit each way at $51 with
1 unit each way at $301 with
We plumped for McGirt last week and he duly missed the cut. On the basis he was relaxed and had nothing to prove – perhaps he was too relaxed? McGirt is prone to a poor first up performance after a spell so maybe he was using the Wyndham as a tune up for the Play Offs. Either way the underlying reasons we went for him last week still stand. “He hits 2/3 fairways and greens all year round and has a 0.451 strokes gained putting number. 2016 is his stellar year with a maiden win, a second and seven top tens from 24 events. Stats don’t always tell the whole story but it’s interesting that in the six core “strokes gained” categories McGirt has positive numbers in all.” He also has form at Bethpage Black with a 10th in 2012. Now a much better player we’ll chance him at the price for a good showing.
The 8th best player on the planet. Scoring average in 2016: 69.947. And yet Rickie has something of the Rory about him this year in the perception he has / is failing. This is Golf where dominance is one in ten. Fowler’s form is modest to be sure but it’s not abject. He drives it long at 300+ and reasonably straight (59%) and is hitting close to 70% of his greens (69.32%) so where is he going wrong? While he has a season long, albeit modest, positive strokes gained putting figure of 0.196 this has been compromised by recent efforts. After his 4th at the Wells Fargo his putting has gone off posting 4 from 6 negative figures including some stinkers. Curiously this mid season putting decline all started at the Players. Could it be he arrived there caught up in the memory of 2015 and just got carried away? The attention was huge but this is Rickie and it’s always huge. He seems to both revel in it and take it in his stride. Suffice to say he posted a modest positive figure at the Wyndham and while he has little form at Bethpage when he does get his putting together he is sublime. To add he hit close on 85% of the fairways at the Wyndham and that driving form will go a long way here.
Badds! Have Faith people the devil is in the detail and does a strokes gained putting figure of 666 not strike you as curious? We have pinned our colours to Badds mast so often – except when he won – that we just have to go in once more. Post ‘Stack and Tilt’ Badds is dragging his game back to where it once was. He’s never been consistent but he has four wins, four 2nds and 43 career top tens. You do need to hit fairways and greens here and on that front he’s made significant headway this season particularly over his last four starts with fairways hit figures of: 76.39, 77.78, 75 and 66.67 and greens in reg of: 57.14, 69.64, 62.50 and 67.86. Plus he putts like the gods when he’s on song and at 300/1 he simply has to figure in our plans.