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Golf Barometer: Major-less Simpson for POY?

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

Webb Simpson:
We're running out of positives here. Two wins in three starts is fantastic, a playoff win adds to the confidence, and now he's No. 1 on the money list. If Simpson wins the FedEx Cup, he could wind up being Player of the Year despite an ordinary presence in the majors (didn't qualify for the Masters, then T14, T16, MC). Simpson's stat profile is a dream, as there's no notable red flag in any key number. This is a player who can win on any course.

Brandt Snedeker:
At times you wonder if he cares too much, but we're not going to knock a guy who's bagged a pair of third-place finishes in the playoffs. Snedeker's angelic putter pulls him out of a lot of jams (he's second in strokes gained on the green), and he ranks third in final-round scoring, which speaks to his heart and his focus when the lights are brightest.

Phil Mickelson:
The 63 in Boston sparked some momentum, and now Lefty's got a belly putter in the bag - the trendiest club of the year. As much as we hate to see anyone using that bloody instrument, we have to admit, Mickelson would be pretty dangerous down the stretch if he finally starts making all those 5-10 footers that have been driving him batty this year.

Camilo Villegas:
His ball-striking has finally rebounded, he's putting like a genius and he's back at a Cog Hill course that suits his eye (three finishes inside the Top 11 in his last three visits). Villegas barely made it into the FedEx Cup Playoffs to begin with, but now he's primed to last for the entire event. And admit it, you love watching the Spiderman act around the greens.

Adam Scott:
He's making beautiful music with Steve Williams on the bag, winning at Bridgestone, cashing a handful of Top-10 checks, no missed cuts. And Scott never looked more relaxed and confident as he does right now. Finally, the stardom we all expected years ago is coming to fruition.

Chez Reavie:
His putter is the one variable we can't confidently get behind, but otherwise there's a lot here: Reavie is fourth in total driving and 16th in GIR. The Arizona State product has cashed in six of his last seven starts, with three checks over $100K. He's peaking at the right time. The playoff loss in Boston isn't going to bother him.

DOWNGRADE

Robert Allenby:
Cashing six times in a row is nice, but Allenby hasn't made a serious run at contention since early July and we all know he hasn't won on the PGA Tour since dinosaurs roamed the earth. The ball-striking and fairway gait is wonderful, but Allenby's balky putting has kept him from becoming the star he should have been.

Anthony Kim:
It goes down as a tease season, nothing more. The 62 at the Greenbrier lied to us - Kim followed up with a 74 the next day, and only cashed once in his final four events (MC, MC, T24, MC). He wasn't even close in Boston, finishing 85th before the cut fell. Get healthy, get motivated and we'll see you in 2012.

Jeff Overton:
He made 18-of-23 cuts this year but he saved his worst for last, a MC-MC-T68 run that ended his season. When you're not hitting fairways (125th in tee accuracy) and also struggling with wayward irons (132nd in GIR), the rest of your game isn't going to bail you out.

Rickie Fowler:
He's too talented to miss cuts - he's cashed in 17 events this year, including his last seven starts - but it's been a smoke-and-mirrors show most of time. Fowler is 162nd in tee accuracy and 101st in GIR, but his power (26th in distance) and his putter (12th in stroked gained) are pushing him along. A more consistent profile would inspire more confidence.

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