Week number one of the FedEx Cup Playoffs was an exciting one. Jason Day earned his second consecutive victory, Brian Harman became the third player in Tour history to make two aces in the same round, and many players earned their way into this week’s event, while many others fell outside the cut line. The playoffs are certainly an exciting time for golf fans, as there is simply so much going on.
The top 100 players in the FedEx Cup standings will compete this week. Camilo Villegas, Jason Dufner and Luke Donald were notables who began The Barclays on the outside looking in, but managed to earn a spot this week. Adam Scott, Padraig Harrington and Charl Schwartzel were on the other end of the spectrum, moving outside the cut line by week’s end.
As players return to this annual Labor Day event at TPC Boston, it serves as the final opportunity for players to qualify for Presidents Cup positions. International players will qualify based on the top-10 positions in the international rankings, while the U.S. team field their squad based on the ten highest FedEx Cup point getters over the past two seasons. The teams are for the most part set, however, there are still numerous scenarios which could determine the final qualifiers. There are a significant amount of players on the U.S. side who could earn their way on with wins this week (Webb Simpson, Robert Streb, Kevin Na, Brooks Koepka….just to name a few).
Let’s take a look at the players I expect to see perform well this week
1. Jason Day - His 62 on Sunday at The Barclays showed that his win at Whistling Straits has not only provided him increased confidence, but it has stoked a fire within him. Has a legitimate shot at earning the number one player in the world title this week.
2. Jordan Spieth - Even though he missed the cut at The Barclays, you can only expect that he will bounce back after the incredible season he has been having. Another player who you know is motivated to get the number one player in the world ranking, having earned it for a week before losing it again to Rory.
3. Rory McIlroy - Had a strong showing here last year, finishing T5. Through his injury shortened season, he has only missed one cut, and when making the cut, has only finished outside the top-10 one time.
4. Justin Rose - Finished T16 last week at The Barclays despite an opening round 77. There has been a lot of talk about the play of Spieth, Day and McIlroy this season, but Rose is not far behind. He continues to contend in events, no matter what the stage.
5. Bubba Watson - Over the last couple months, he has either been winning tournaments, or coming very close. Third place finish last week and TPC Boston, but coming to a course that he hasn’t performed consistently well on. Despite this fact, I’m still expecting a strong finish come Sunday.
6. Henrik Stenson - Winner of this event two years ago and is coming in hot with his runner-up finish last week to go along with his already solid season.
7. Dustin Johnson - Last week he continued his trend of playing well enough to approach the leaderboard, but failing to put himself in any serious contention to claim the event. Looking to get back to his play from six months ago where he looked like he would win every event he played in.
8. Jim Furyk - Is quietly playing some very stellar golf. Another strong finish last week (T11) and has played well at TPC Boston over the past four years (T23, T27, T13, 6th).
9. Tony Finau - A rookie who continues to turn heads. Has finished T10 and T16 in last two events played (The Barclays and PGA Championship). With each tournament, is gaining more and more experience and as such seems to be getting more and more comfortable appearing on leaderboards.
10. Robert Streb - Finished T9 at this event last year and has three top-10’s in last six events played.
1. John Senden - Trying to play his way onto the International Presidents Cup Team and is in need of a strong finish to do so. Coming to a course where he has never missed a cut, and finished inside the top-25 seven times.
2. Chris Kirk - This week’s defending champ. Also posted a strong finish at TPC Boston in 2013 (T16). DIsplayed incredible poise as he claimed the title last season. Will need a similar display of mental fortitude this week if he wants to remain in the final position on the U.S. Presidents Cup team.
3. Keegan Bradley - This week serves as a home game for the New Englander. He has two T16 finishes and a T13 in his last three trips to TPC Boston.
And now a look at my DraftKings picks for the week as I attempt to balance maximizing the draft value and anticipated player performance. This is always a challenge, but one which adds to the enjoyment of fielding teams each week.
Jason Day - $11,800
Rory McIlroy - $11,200
Jimmy Walker - $7,400
John Senden - $7,000
Bryce Molder - $6,400
Davis Love III - $6,200
Henrik Stenson - $10,500
Zach Johnson - $9,300
Robert Streb - $8,000
Keegan Bradley - $7,600
Danny Lee - $7,600
George McNeill - $6,500
I am always incredibly tempted to spend all of my available draft value, but this week I tried hard to get away from that idea. My first team is stacked quite heavily up front. Jimmy Walker is a great value at $7,400 allowing me to take Day and McIlroy without feeling like I’m sacrificing too much depth in my bottom picks. Another couple gems can be found in my second team in Bradley and Lee. Bradley is the hometown boy who has performed steadily on this course in the past, and Lee has been playing the best golf of his life over the past couple of months.
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About the Author
This article was written by Jonathan Carr (@jonathanwcarr) as part of our weekly #FantasyGolf series. Each week we preview the upcoming PGA Tour event and highlight some of the players we'll be keeping an eye on. As a scratch golfer himself, Jonathan has a keen eye for what it takes to be successful on and off the golf course. His passion for golf is surpassed only by his passion for his faith and his family. Read some of Jonathan's other articles here.
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