Blog Entry

The Barclays

Posted on: August 23, 2011 7:43 pm
Edited on: August 24, 2011 1:08 pm
The first stop in the Fedex Playoffs each year has been played on 3 different courses in its 4 year history and this year will mark yet another new course - Plainfield C.C.  It would appear that keeping the ball in the fairway off the tee will be the main concern for the field.  The course is not very long and is playing to a par 71 which should offer plenty of scoring chances for those who are able to spin the ball and control distance into the fast, undulating greens.  It actually sounds like a shorter, easier version of Firestone from what I have seen and heard so far.

That being said, with the limited data on the course and zero history to go off, I chose to take a closer look at the 16 events that have comprised the Playoffs since its inception.  What I found was actually very interesting and will be the basis for making my selections this week.

After an exhaustive researching of the past Fedex results I decided to limit my selections for the Barclays to only those around the top 20 in the current standings along with a few outliers who seem to have the right history and momentum coming into this week.  Here are the six guys I feel have the best chance to win (with current odds of course) -

Steve Stricker (14-1)...comes in at #2 in the standings for the 3rd straight year and has easily been the most consistent player throughout this campaign - 14 stroke play events, 13 at T19 or better, including 2 wins.  In the playoffs he has been even better - 16 events, 10 top 10’s including 2 wins, 15 top 25’s, and he is the only player to play all 64 rounds, 39 of them in the 60’s, which is 9 more than the next best guy.

Webb Simpson (28-1)...I normally don’t like going back to the well in B2B weeks, but Webb has been so consistent this year and except for the unexpected MC at the PGA his last 2 months look like this - WIN, T9, T16, T8, T13, T14, and T7, and that doesn’t count either of his 2nd place finishes earlier this year.  He actually reminds me a lot of Stricker and now that he has a win under his belt and some confidence look out.

Adam Scott (16-1)...since the caddy issue and immediate MC at the US Open, Scott has gone T3, T25, WIN, and solo 7 in some deep field events to fly up the standings.  Now that he has figured out the putter issues and has his head straight, he may very well end up being the best in the world the way everyone figured he would years ago.  With this course looking to be a mini version of Firestone, why not take the guy who crushed Firestone 3 weeks ago?

Gary Woodland (55-1)...he reminds me of a slightly more consistent version of 2010 Dustin Johnson in that he hits it a ton but struggles on the greens.  Bottom line with Woodland, if he putts well he scores very well.  With the lack of length on this course he will have short irons into the green on almost every hole and will give himself a ton of birdie chances.  With 6 top 10’s including a win this year, he knows how to get it done, let’s see if he can this week.

Phil Mickelson (28-1)...I was really shocked to see him at #6 in the standings considering it doesn’t seem like he has done much this year, but in typical Phil fashion it has been all or nothing - 1 win, two 2nd’s, and two T9’s to go along with a whole lot of nothing.  As always though, just when you’re ready to dismiss him, he notches another win and considering his playoffs history which includes 2 wins, 5 top 10’s, and 29 of 56 rounds in the 60’s, I wouldn’t be surprised if that happens this week.

Jim Furyk (55-1)...the defending Fedex champ has had it rough this year but his game seems to be rounding into form and you can’t ignore his playoffs history that includes a win, 7 top 10’s in 15 starts, and 30 of 60 rounds in the 60’s overall.  I don’t really think anyone outside of the top 20 is going to win this week but if someone does, I like Furyk who famously missed this one last year because his alarm clock didn’t go off for the pro-am and he was DQ’d from the main event.

The full slate of wagers with units....only risking about 10 units total.

The Barclays Futures
1u - Steve Stricker (14-1)
1u - Adam Scott (16-1)
.5u - Webb Simpson (28-1)
.5u - Phil Mickelson (28-1)
.25u - Gary Woodland (55-1)
.25u - Jim Furyk (55-1)

CYA Futures (Don’t expect a win but just in case)
.25u - Jason Day (25-1)
.25u - Nick Watney (26-1)
.25u - Matt Kuchar (32-1)
.25u - Dustin Johnson (36-1)
.25u - Keegan Bradley (55-1)
.25u - KJ Choi (80-1)

The Barclays TOP TEN Futures
3u - Steve Stricker TOP TEN +152
2u - Adam Scott TOP TEN +205
1u - Jim Furyk TOP TEN +604

Tournament Matchups (1 unit each)
Phil Mickelson +105 vs. David Toms
Gary Woodland +130 vs. Charles Howell III
Padraig Harrington -115 vs. Anthony Kim
Rory Sabbatini -120 vs. Pat Perez
Martin Laird -145 vs. Geoff Ogilvy

Category: Golf

Since: Jan 16, 2008
Posted on: August 26, 2011 11:43 am

The Barclays

The weather is making this an interesting event and the way things look as I type it seems as if my CYA picks are performing better than the main ones but as long as one of them wins it's all good.  Here are my 2nd round matchups -

Marc Leishman +105 vs. Charlie Wi (2 Units)

Guys are overpowering this course today (see: Dustin Johnson) so take the longer hitter over the dink and dunker Charlie Wi...this is a strong play for me.

Bubba Watson EV vs. David Toms (1 unit)

Same logic as Leishman, but Bubba has a tendency to be erratic so I never go big on him.

Chez Reavie +115 vs. Jerry Kelly (2 units)

Reavie should be able to make a lot more birdies today than Kelly...if he limits his bogeys this one should be fairly easy.

Since: Jan 16, 2008
Posted on: August 23, 2011 7:46 pm

The Barclays

The following bullet points represent the research I did into the 16 previous winners of Fedex Playoff events and were used to come up with futures plays and matchups...
  • Tiger has won 3 of 16 events and was clearly the best in the world in 2007 and 2009 when he won the whole thing.
  • Stricker, Lefty, Vijay, and Camilo Villegas have each won twice (more on Villegas in a minute) and the first 3 on this list were ranked #’s 2, 4, 6, 7, 7, and 12 coming in.
  • Villegas started 2008 playing ok but through the Masters he only had one top 20 to offset 2 MC’s.  Things improved dramatically from there and he closed the regular season with 4 top 10’s in his last 10 events, including a T9 at the US Open and T4 at the PGA.  Even with that he recorded an MC at the Barclays before rattling off T3 at the Deutsche and winning both the BMW and Tour Championships.
That accounts for 11 of the 16 winners.  Only Villegas (#42) was ranked outside the top 12 and it is clear that he was playing much better at the end of the year than the beginning (guys like Karlsson and de Jonge, at #45 and #46 fit that bill this year).  As for the other 5 winners -
  • Kuchar (‘10 Barclays/#9) had not won prior to this event but had 9 top 10’s including 5 in the final 7 events to close the regular season.
  • Dustin Johnson (‘10 BMW/#11) had a win at Pebble and T8/T14/T5 finishes at the last 3 majors including 2 near misses to go along with 5 top 15’s in his final 7 events to close the regular season overall.
  • Furyk (‘10 Tour Champ/#3) was a two-time winner and historically great playoffs performer.
  • Charley Hoffman (‘10 Deutsche/#77) had an awful start to 2010, not recording a top 20 until mid-May and waiting until July for another, but then had 3 top 10’s in his last 4 events and a T27 at the Barclays before winning in Boston where he shot a final round 9-under after starting the day tied with Stricker.
  • Slocum (‘09 Barclays/#124) had done nothing prior to this to make you think he had any chance.  However, one shot back was Stricker and Woods who were #1/#2 and ended up each winning one of the next two events so it almost didn’t happen.

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