RotoWire Partners

Golf Barometer: The Hero of Woodstock

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

Keegan Bradley:
At first glance it's easy to write him off as a bomber who got hot at the right time, but Bradley's other major stats are all inside the Top 100, so he's more versatile than you might think. And overcoming a triple-bogey late Sunday and rebounding in the playoff showed major stones. I'm not going to guarantee another major, but I'll give him a 40-50 percent chance at one more - and a very good shot at a lengthy, productive career as a touring pro. And I'm always going to root for someone who hails from Woodstock, Vermont.

David Toms:
He finished with a dynamite 65-67 on the weekend, good for a T4 check. And this was on the heels of a Top 10 at Bridgestone. The awful loss at Sawgrass in May hasn't taken Toms down - he won the following week, and he's in the midst of a wonderful renaissance season (sixth on the money list). I give him 3-4 more years as a significant check-grabbing entity on the big tour.

Atlanta Athletic Club:
There was a lot of grousing about the course and setup, but I was fine with it. The winner shot 8-under, friends. Nineteen players were under par. These were not what anyone could reasonably call "impossible conditions." And it's not a shame to see the best players in the world tested with difficult challenges, especially down the stretch at a major. I'd give Atlanta another major down the road, sure.

Fred Couples:
He's not going to pick Tiger Woods for the Presidents Cup team unless Tiger plays in some events before the mid-November showdown. Good for the captain, he's doing the right thing. A rusty Woods has no right being on that team anyway.

DOWNGRADE

Steve Stricker:
Maybe a major just isn't to be for this longtime star? There's no shame finishing T12 on this type of stage generally, but Stricker's game was leaky after his opening 63. Does he have the stomach to be consistent on the weekend at a major championship?

Rory Sabbatini:
The 80 on the final day had that look of "just get me to the airport." Sabbatini shot 43 on the back nine. I've always admired him for his pace of play, but I can't say with full certainty that he tried his best here. A rest should do him well before the playoffs start, because he hasn't seen a heavy check since the solo third at the Wells Fargo in May.

Tiger Woods:
A no-show season, a bunch of no-show quotes, a complete waste of eight months. The biggest news Tiger made all year was firing Stevie Williams. At this point, I'll have to bet on gravity - I don't see Woods getting past the 18 major wins that Jack Nicklaus posted.

HOLDING STEADY

Rory McIlroy:
He played through the wrist injury and his play wasn't half bad, even if it came in way under expectations. A lesser player would have tanked it well before Sunday, but McIlroy still seems like a once-a-generation star to me. I'll pony up big cash for him next season in my auction if he plays a regular PGA Tour schedule.

Jason Dufner:
In the interview room he had that "this was my one chance and I blew it" look to him. He hits fairways and greens, sure, but it's hard to expect miracles when you're 136th in driving distance and 115th in putting. I'll be flabbergasted if Dufner ever gets this close to winning a major again.