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Golf Barometer: Meat Earns an Upgrade

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.


UPGRADES

Jhonattan Vegas:
It's a win for the rookie, a win for youth and a win for Venezuela. Winning in a playoff probably brings an extra surge of confidence, and Vegas has the nerve and the aggressiveness needed to be a full-season factor.

Martin Kaymer:
Ho-hum, just your routine eight-stroke victory overseas. Kaymer might be No. 2 in the World Golf Rankings, but there's little doubt that he's the best player on the planet right now. It's a shame we don't see more of him on U.S. soil.

Matt Kuchar:
When you're on an unbelievable run, the key is to not wake up, to maintain that bulletproof layer of confidence as long as you can. Kuchar has opened the year with three consecutive Top 10s and is finally living up to the praise and expectations that were heaped on him a decade earlier. He's in the elite class to stay.

Meat:
Phil Mickelson was "a strict vegetarian" for five months, but he's back eating meat. "Ultimately [going Vegan] was doomed to fail," Lefty explained. Inspired by Mickelson's stance, I'll be having a filet tonight.

The Farmers Insurance Open:
The stars are coming out to play (Phil, Dustin, Tiger, Rickie). Torrey Pines is a fantastic venue. Let's get serious again, time to get back to work.

Bill Haas:
He's already banked more than $600K for the year, and he hasn't hit a bad shot all season. Odds of him having a better career than his rock-solid pop, Jay Haas? Call it 75 percent.

DOWNGRADES

Mike Weir:
He couldn't break 70 in any of his four rounds at the Bob Hope, and remember this is at an event where everyone gets birdies handed to them at the door. Weir's last significant check (six figures or more) is 12 months in the past; has the window closed on him as a significant tour factor?

Format/Bob Hope Classic:
A five-day event where you have to shoot something ridiculous to win. If that's your brand of vodka, more power to you. I'll go with 72-hole events on courses that challenge the players, courses where leaders can actually come back to the pack and a par isn't a soul-crushing score.

Ricky Barnes:
Anyone who plays a lot of golf is going to encounter back pain at some point, but the discomfort was enough to knock Barnes out of the Bob Hope Classic in midstream. Barnes is also out for San Diego this week, and probably should be on your bench until we see a check of good faith.

Tiger's Attitude:
According to ESPN reporter Colleen Domingues, Tiger Woods wasn't happy to receive an afternoon tee time for Wednesday's pro am. Reality check, Eldrick - those things get determined by last year's earnings list. You had a crummy year. As a result, you're not going to get everything how you want it in 2011. Don't like it? Play better.

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