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Golf Barometer: Time for Tiger's Black Hat

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.


UPGRADE

Fredrik Jacobson:
He fine tuned his swing at Congressional and then attacked Connecticut with it, rolling to a 65-66-63-66 stomp at the Travelers Championship. Jacobson is quietly in the Top 20 on the season money list and could be a nifty sleeper pick at the British Open. Confidence will never be a problem.

Erik Compton:
Normally we wouldn't take note of someone winning on the Nationwide Tour, but Compton is an easy guy to root for. He's on his third heart, after all.

Sergio Garcia:
He barged his way into the U.S. Open and played well, and he followed that with a playoff loss at the BMW International. Has Garcia finally learned how to get out of his own way and let things happen? Can he kill a lot of long-standing ghosts at the British Open in July? I'm finding myself roped back into the story. He certainly seems more decisive and more at peace on the course.

Patrick Cantlay:
First he makes the U.S. Open cut as an amateur, and then he heads to the Travelers and shoots 60. On a defenseless course, sure, but they don't hand 60s out at the airport. It will be interesting to see how much longer the 19-year-old decides to stay at UCLA now that he's had a taste of the circuit; he's maintained that he wants to stay in school, but young people are known to change their mind.

Rory McIlroy:
You have to love that he credits his long-time girlfriend as a major part of his success. Many golfers thank the agents and the sponsors and the caddy and the dog before they ever get to the girlfriend (who they're often cheating on, anyway).

DOWNGRADE

Jim Furyk:
He's missed four cuts in five starts and hasn't banked a solid check since late March. It's one thing to hit short balls off the tee, but Furyk isn't making up for things on the greens (where he's 125th in strokes gained). He's no longer a Top-20 player on my clipboard.

Dustin Johnson:
He's thinking of being a dual-tour golfer, taking on a European schedule to go with the normal stateside grind. Be careful what you sign up for, DJ; a lot of stars wear themselves thin when they decide to jump all around the globe.

Anthony Kim:
It's one thing to be a non-factor at the U.S. Open (T54), and it's another thing to miss the cut in the modest Travelers field. Kim hasn't contended since the Shell Open in early April, and he's only cashed nine times in 18 starts. Is he not healthy yet? Having too much fun in his 20s? Kim stands 187th in driving accuracy and 161st in greens in regulation, a sure recipe for disaster.

HOLDING STEADY

Tiger Woods:
The beard looks a little silly, but the sooner he embraces the black hat image, the better. Kobe Bryant's career path serves as a decent comparison.

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