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Golf Barometer: All Eyes On O'Hair

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


Sean O'Hair: He needed a win about as badly as anyone, considering what a train wreck O'Hair's season was before last week. When you're 142nd in tee accuracy, 169th in GIR and 128th in putting strokes gained, you're going to have trouble making cuts anywhere, let alone contending. But O'Hair has always held elite talent if he can simply regain his confidence and trust himself out there - he's always seemed like the type of introspective player who will dwell on mistakes a little too long. He's going to take a break this week, but we're anxious to see how he follows up in August.

Scott Stallings: He's been a boom-or-bust player in 2011; while he's only made eight cuts in 20 starts, he's been 25th or better in six of the good events, including a T22 showing in his last two starts. This is the type of profile you don't pay for at next year's auction table, but Stallings should be owned in most medium and deeper leagues.

Tommy Gainey: A lot of chaps would have written off the week after a 77 to open, but Gainey rallied with a 65 on a difficult course and ultimately finished at T17. We're still not sure where his putting is at week-to-week, but he's turned into a reliable ball striker and starting option.

Spencer Levin: He's the type of player who can easily get overlooked, a short hitter with an unsexy collection of component skills. But we love that Levin is eighth in scoring despite no overwhelming strength on the course, and he's proven to be a solid iron player in pressure situations. He's only missed five cuts all year en route to his 22nd place standing on the money list, and consistency is always welcome in our game.

Patrick Cantlay: He can't play for money yet, of course - the UCLA kid is just having some summer vacation fun on the PGA Tour. But with four outstanding showings in a row: T21 at the U.S. Open, T24 at the Travelers, T20 at AT&T National and T9 at the Canadian Open - you have to wonder if he'll rethink the college experience and go pro earlier than planned. Either way, it's been a blast watching him explode on the scene.

Tom Watson: We buttered his biscuit last week for his showing in the British Open and we'll do it again here for a recent Watson decision: he's decided to play in the Greenbrier Classic this week in place of the U.S. Senior Open. With all due respect to the Champions Tour (the unofficial retirement plan for PGA Tour pros once they hit 50), the real game in town is the big circuit, and we love seeing Watson giving it a go against the young whippersnappers. Good for you, ace.

DOWNGRADE


Zack Miller: The rookie was a check-cashing machine earlier in the year, but things have dried up considerably in recent months. He's only made 7-of-17 cuts over the last five months, with nothing over 40K. The rookie wall rears its ugly head.

Mike Weir: Not even a return to Canadian soil could get his game in gear: he shot a 74 on the first day and withdrew in the middle of Friday's round. Taking the rest of the year off might be worth considering.

Stephen Ames: He's lost the feel of his driver and putter and it shows in the results: he has just one decent check in the last five months. Ames is also 47, an age where a cliff season is to be expected. He might not be draftable in standard pools next year.

HOLDING STEADY


John Daly: His T9 in Canada came completely out of nowhere and it was a tremendous story, but who's to say what it really means. Daly could easily go 83-85 at The Greenbrier Classic and slam the trunk on Friday afternoon. We need more than one week of cohesive play before we buy into anything here.


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