THE top 125 players in the PGA Tour rankings gather at the Black Course at Bethpage for the final Barclays sponsored Fed-Ex Playoff.
The 7468-yard par 71 last hosted the Barclays in 2012 and was won by Nick Watney on 274 (10 under).
Four of the 125 qualifiers have not committed to this week (Sergio Garcia, Danny Willett, Shane Lowry and Anirban Lahiri) and as there are no alternatives in the play-offs that leaves 121 to tough it out.
Points are quadrupled and the 100 at the top of the FedEx standings after this weekend move on to next week’s Deutsche Bank Championship.
Taking a look at the stats from 2012 one thing that sticks out is that GIR was the vital ingredient, with length off the tee probably another one to look out for.
The fact the USPGA was held at Baltusrol, which was designed by AW Tillinghast, who also designed Bethpage Black, could also be a big pointer to the winner. All my selections are big hitters, played well at Baltusrol and have good GIR stats so here we go.
My second favourite player on the PGA Tour, Brooks Koepka, is my first pick for here. His form is way up there even although he had three weeks off for an ankle injury. In his last five tournaments he has four top 10s (including two seconds) and a T13. He finished a T4 at the USPGA, has a GIR stat of 67.53% (50th) and hits a long ball, what’s not to like.
Hideki Mitsuyama since the beginning of June hasn’t been anything to write home about with three missed cuts and a T42 but in his last two outings he has finished T4 (PGA) and a T3 at the Wyndham last week. His GIR stat this season is 69.11% (18th) but for the last two outings has been well in the 80s. Another long hitter and with his form returning is definitely one to watch.
Another who played well at Baltusrol was South African Branden Grace (T4) and since he won the RBC Heritage in April has had six top 10s. Unfortunately he missed the cut in his last outing at the Travelers but seems to like the big occasion. With GIR of 67.11% (62nd) and his length off the tee it wouldn’t surprise me to see him at the top of the leaderboard on Sunday.
My fourth pick is Open champion and Olympic silver medallist Henrik Stenson. He hasn’t done much wrong in his last three outings, with The Open, a T7 in the USPGA and his second at the Olympics. He is the form man at the moment and add in his GIR stat of 72.63% there’s not much else to say.
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