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Golf Barometer: Justin Rose All Grown Up

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

Justin Rose:
He looked all grown up and completely in control during the steady victory at Doral, and you might as well roll with Rose again this week at the Transitions Championship. His last five starts at the Copperhead Course stack up this way: T5, T13, T14, T25, 20. Rose isn't the strongest driver on tour (he's 100th in total driving), but strong iron play and a cool eye on the green allow him to get the ball in the hole consistently (he's fourth in scoring average).

Peter Hanson:
He made it to the Elite Eight at the Match Play, and then quietly cashed a $362K check last week with an under-the-radar T4 at Doral. The underrated Swede has settled into a nice run in his mid-30s and might be ready to become a significant factor in majors (recall he was tied for seventh at last year's U.S. Open). He's been one of the most consistent players on the European Tour for the last four seasons; call it boring consistency if you want, but the checks keep rolling in.

Charl Schwartzel:
He finished tied for fourth at Doral and never had a round in the 70s despite a so-so ball-striking week. That's how good Schwartzel is: even without his best game, he's capable of contending or even winning. His putter is in excellent form, which sets him up well for a possible repeat at the Masters in a couple of weeks.

Matt Kuchar:
He hasn't finished outside the Top 33 in any event this year, and his steady putter carried him through three wins at the Match Play. Kuchar's 72 on Sunday at Doral was a mild disappointment but otherwise there's nothing wrong with a T8 check in one of the deeper fields of the early season. He's not the best American player on the circuit, but he's certainly in the Top 10.

DOWNGRADE

Sergio Garcia:
His opening round at Doral was one for the books: a 31 on the front nine, a 44 on the back side. And then you had the ridiculous 12 Garcia took at the third hole Sunday. His game looked to be rounding into form at Los Angeles a month ago, but at this point we have to consider that a false positive. Garcia's putting was fine at Doral, but everything else was erratic.

Geoff Ogilvy:
He was a trendy bounce-back pick prior to the season, but Ogilvy hasn't shown anything through the opening couple of months. He was eliminated in the first round of the Match Play three weeks ago, and although he hasn't missed a cut yet, he's yet to cash a check over $52K. There's nothing glaring that jumps out in the component stats - Ogilvy is Top 100 in driving, tee accuracy, GIR and putting - but he hasn't been stellar in any area, either. Until we see Ogilvy doing something that matters on a Sunday, he's not a primary play for our fantasy purposes.

Tiger Woods:
He never really had his top form at Doral, and then you saw how it ended - with a well-captured cart off in the middle of Sunday's round (courtesy of an Achilles' injury). It's likely that Woods will be able to go in the Masters in early April, but how sharp can he really be? And how confident can he be on the heels of another injury? I'll be surprised if Woods wins a major in 2012, or even if he comes remotely close. The Masters is no longer the ideal major for Woods, considering the inconsistent putting we've seen from him for a couple years.

HOLDING STEADY

K.J. Choi:
He hasn't done anything of note since the T5 at the season opener, though he's yet to miss a cut either. Choi is a strong play for this week's Transitions Championship; he's won the event twice (2002, 2006) and he's first in all-time earnings at this event.

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