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Golf Barometer: Down to the Final 30

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 down to 30 players for the final big dance of the year, but we'll talk about some of the dearly departed as well as we sort through this week's Upgrades and Downgrades.

UPGRADES


Matt Kuchar:
The late-season run gets the most attention, but the entire 2010 campaign has been his coming-out party. He's never going to be a monster off the tee, but you can go far with reliable irons (14th in GIR), a steely putter (8th in putting average) and creativity around the greens (first in scrambling). Kuchar is still just 32; he could be a factor in the majors through the rest of the decade.

Steve Stricker:
He's still the coolest putter around, no matter the stakes, and it won't be a surprise when the easy-going midwesterner is paired with Tiger Woods at the Ryder Cup. When Stricker's iron game is in place, you can make the case that he's the best player in the world.

Paul Casey:
He's a monster anytime he tees it up for a PGA Tour event - his last seven starts look like this: 2nd, T25, T12, T12, T22, cut, T3. We'll never understand how Colin Montgomerie left Casey off the European Ryder Cup squad.

Brandt Snedeker:
You could argue that no one cares more than Snedeker on the course, at least so much as we can tell from the expressions of the players. And our respect for the blonde bomber grew this summer, watching him cash major checks at the Wyndham Championships and Deutsche Bank despite a persistent hip problem. A healthy Snedeker should be one of the 25 best golfers on Tour next year.

Tom Gillis:
The journeyman from Michigan had a career-best season, mostly due to his consistent tee play (ninth in total driving) and his barrage of red numbers (first in par breakers). Gillis cashed in 12 of his last 16 starts, including a T5 at the Deutsche Bank Championship, and he might be worth a last-round flier at your auction next year.

Martin Kaymer:
An extended break after the PGA Championship win didn't put any rust into his game - his next start was a victory at the KLM Open in the Netherlands. Kaymer only participated in nine stroke-play events on the PGA Tour this year, but he was eighth or better in four of them. It's scary to think that this talented pro doesn't turn 26 until December.

DOWNGRADES


Ricky Barnes:
He seemed to lose his confidence during a missed cut at the PGA Championship, and that slump carried over to the FedExCup schedule. Barnes banked just $32K in his three events, slamming the trunk at The Barclays and then running T57 and T67 out the door. This is the look of a player that needs a couple months off.

Y.E. Yang:
Standing 60th on the money list isn't exactly a lost season, but Yang never seriously contended after spring, failing to make $60K or more in his last 12 events. To be fair, Yang wasn't healthy the second half of the year, dealing with a nagging back problem.

Angel Cabrera:
What happened to his happy waddle, his joie de vivre? Cabrera signed for a 75-76-75-71 at the BMW Championship and never seemed like the amiable pro we've grown to love the past few years. He also missed the cut at the final two majors of the year.

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