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Golf Barometer: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

David Ferris

David Ferris

Ferris covers the PGA Tour for RotoWire. He is an award-winning sports writer and a veteran fantasy columnist. He also is a scratch golfer.

We'll look back some (at The Barclays) and look ahead some (Deutsche Bank Championship) as we settle in for Week 2 of the FedExCup playoffs.

UPGRADE


Matt Kuchar:
He's a cut-making machine, he's automatic with the irons, he's a savant on the greens. He's won an elite event, he's won in a playoff. There's little to add - baby, you're a big star now. Sometimes it take a while for the post-hype sleepers to cash in.

Tiger Woods:
OK, the opening-round lead didn't last long, but he did shoot 67 on the weekend, and his life can only get better now that his messy divorce is final. I wouldn't bet on Tiger winning anything the rest of the year - it's absurd that he's still the book favorite at Deutsche Bank this week - but he's at least starting to take steps forward.

Jim Furyk:
He's had a week to think about his buzzer mishap in the first round of the playoffs. He's one of the most resilient players on Tour. Look for a statement on the course this week; I'm calling for a Top 10.

Rocco Mediate:
He's making a Nationwide Tour start this week, tied to a clinic he's putting on in his home area in Pennsylvania. There's no ego with this veteran, just someone who gets it and wants to give back. Tip of the cap, big guy.

DOWNGRADE


Sean O'Hair:
You still love him as a ball-striker, but he's 155th in putting and 136th in birdie average, and that keeps him off my playoff sheet for the balance of the month.

Ian Poulter:
Boston isn't his kind of town - he's missed three straight cuts here and has been in a bit of a funk for most of the summer. Normally I'll go to town for Poulter at all times, or even apologize for him, but I don't expect him to be a major factor in the playoffs. That said, watch out at the Ryder Cup, an event that is made for this type of player, and personality.

Ricky Barnes:
He looked to be on the cusp of stardom about two months ago, but a middling finish at the British Open (T44) started the trained downward, and things have gotten worse since then (T37, T78, MC, MC). The first thing you want to see is the flash of talent, and we've seen that. Step two, consistency.

Geoff Ogilvy:
It's so strange to see him standing just 40th on the money list, but that's what happens when you can't drive the ball consistently (175th in total driving) and you're not scrambling like a madman (117th in scrambling). Ogilvy's game could really use a two-month rest, mentally as well as physically.

Holding Steady


Phil Mickelson:
You never know when the putting light will suddenly click back on, but if you're limited in your Phil plays for the final three weeks, don't use him right now (or at least start him off on your Group A bench in Yahoo).

Ernie Els:
He couldn't even crack the Top 70 last week, but that's in part due to a course he really doesn't like. He'll be back in the mix in Boston.

Rory McIlroy:
He's got the type of game that should play well at TPC Boston, but he's never been over the grounds before. His talent might push him into the Top 20 or better, but I can't pick him to win this week.