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Golf Barometer: Playoff Upgrades, Downgrades

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're smack dab in the middle of the playoff run, so without any further ado let's look back at the Deutsche Bank Championship and look ahead to the BMW Championship.

UPGRADE


Geoff Ogilvy:
That T2 in Boston came out of nowhere, in the sense that Ogilvy hasn't flashed that form since winning his opening tournament of the year. But he's always had first-rate ability and some early putting momentum can go a long way. Now that Ogilvy is done answering the slump Q-and-A, he's ready for another Top 10 this week. Your opponents might be shy about using him this week, but you shouldn't be.

Tiger Woods:
Three straight rounds in the 60s followed his opening 72 in Boston, and you have to admit his body language looked better, his swing a little more fluid. It's still a little silly that Woods is seen as the primary favorite with the oddsmakers, but that's more about risk management than anything else. Is Woods our solitary, runaway favorite this week? No. Is he on our list of the Top 5 favorites? Yes.

Zach Johnson:
Cog Hill is his kind of assignment, a track that demands pinpoint accuracy. Johnson cashed a T5 check here last season, but if things loosen up for scoring he can still paint the card red (witness his 63 to open in Boston on Friday). This is a very safe place to make your roto investment this week.

Jason Dufner:
Scribble his name on your 2011 sleeper list and come back to him in January. Dufner is a straight hitter off the tee (that will help him this week), he makes plenty of birdies and he's quietly bagged two six-figure checks in the last month (including a sneaky T5 at the PGA). He's ready to be a Top-50 player next season.

DOWNGRADE


Ernie Els:
He didn't do a thing in the first week of the playoffs, and although his placement moved up 41 spots last week, his ball striking really didn't come back. Maybe Els will tweak something on the range and find some momentum at Cog Hill, but we're not going to bet on it.

Dustin Johnson:
He's got enough star power and name-brand recognition by this point that it's hard to dismiss him out of hand, but we also have to consider two meltdowns in majors and the fact that he didn't do much at Boston (T57). His last run at Cog Hill was an ordinary T30 (remember, it's a thinner field); maybe Johnson pulls something out of the air this week, but the timing doesn't appear to be in his favor.

HOLDING STEADY


Charley Hoffman:
OK, he won in Boston, great for the concrete blonde, but if there's one word that's summed up Hoffman's career to this point, it's this one: inconsistency. Like 22/7, Hoffman won't be repeating this week.

Marc Leishman:
He ran second here last season and he's on the cusp of six straight checks, though he's yet to make a contending kick in this year's playoffs, and he did shoot a 77 at Deutsche Bank on Sunday. Leishman isn't the worst play in the world if you have to get five or six starters this week in a deeper pool, but he's not someone we're going to run toward.

Matt Kuchar:
He didn't make a strong push over the final 36 holes in Boston, but there's nothing wrong with a T11 check on the eve of a victory. We're expecting Kuchar to carry this momentum over to the Ryder Cup, and there's no reason why he can't be a Top-15 player again next season. He's always had the pedigree, it was just a matter of timing, maturity, and a little luck. Bid the extra dollar on him next season.