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Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Barclays - Preview

With the PGA TOUR regular season now in the books, the FedExCup Playoffs kicks off at The Barclays. This week's venue is Ridgewood CC, and it hosted The Barclays in 2008 and 2010. 

Ridgewood CC is a 7,319-yard course, stretching out to a par of 71. As one would expect, there are three par 5s, four par 3s and 11 par 4s.

Quick math says 2010 was four years ago, so while course history is important, it certainly isn't the only thing. For some perspective of the type of player that has performed well at Ridgewood, below are the top 10s from 2008 and 2010. 

2008 - Winner - Vijay Singh (-8) Playoff; P2 - Sergio Garcia and Kevin Sutherland; T4 (-7) Ben Curtis, Mathew Goggin and Kevin Streelman; T7 (-6) Paul Casey, Martin Laird, Justin Leonard, Nicholas Thompson and Mike Weir.

2010 - Winner - Matt Kuchar (-12) Playoff; P2 Martin Laird; T3 (-10) Steve Stricker and Kevin Streelman; T5 (-9) Jason Day, Ryan Palmer, Rory Sabbatini and Vaughn Taylor; T9 (-8) Dustin Johnson, Adam Scott, Heath Slocum.

When I study those lists, ball-striking stands out as a key for several reasons. For starters, there are numerous players on those lists known much more for their tee-to-green prowess than other aspects of their game. (As a disclaimer, I realize that Curtis and Taylor don't fit that bill.) Also, the score relative to par isn't all that low, telling me that this isn't a putting contest. 

An interesting side note, Heath Slocum nearly played his way into the Playoffs last week, while Nicholas Thompson was the only man to fall out of the top 125 at the Wyndham. Both have top 10s at Ridgewood. 

My ideal players this week will be above average or elite ball-strikers who are at least serviceable putters. As is the case anytime there are more than 10 par 4s, an emphasis on Par 4 scoring average is wise.

*****Please note a slight change to the schedule of the blog this week.*******

I am currently working on a top 125 player value ranking for the entire FedExCup Playoffs for Rotoworld, to be published on Monday afternoon or evening at Rotoworld.com. Because of that, I will not be ready to release my Power Ranking for The Barclays until Tuesday.

Check out Rotoworld tomorrow evening for that feature, and I will be back Tuesday with my weekly Power Ranking.

Happy Research!

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