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Golf Barometer: No Country for Short Men

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

Carl Pettersson:
How do you run second and first in back-to-back starts and not draw any attention to yourself? When the middle week is the Masters, and you don't qualify. Pettersson is sixth on the money list for 2012 and has an intriguing mix of tee power, iron consistency and solid putting, but he seems to get a little leaky in key spots when the majors come calling. He hasn't managed a Top 10 in a major since the 2008 U.S. Open, and he hasn't played in all of them since 2009. Hey, the world needs ditch diggers, too. I'll be shocked if Pettersson is in the Top 15 on the money list when the season is over. There's a game here, but it's not an elite package of skills.

Louis Oosthuizen:
The playoff loss at Augusta didn't leave an emotional mark - Oosthuizen jetted over to Malaysia and triumphed over a strong field that included Martin Kaymer and Charl Schwartzel. He has to be seen as a significant contender for the final three majors, not to mention the Players Championship. He's a dangerous player when he's fully engaged.

Matt Every:
More consistency would be nice, but Every has made the most of his five checks: he's banked $604K and stands 55th on the money list. Every's driver cannot be trusted (127th in distance, 134th in accuracy), but he's shaving all sorts of strokes with his sharp putter and creative play around the green (36th in scrambling). Keep an eye on this emerging Gator.

Robert Garrigus:
Always beware the long hitters because everyone has a week where the putts go in, sooner or later. Garrigus already has a couple of second-place checks to his credit in 2012, and he played three smooth rounds last week (71-66-70) before slipping a bit Sunday and settling for a T13 finish. Garrigus doesn't get enough credit for his iron play - he's third in GIR. He's in line for a win at some point this year.

DOWNGRADE

Texas Open:
The field is embarrassingly weak this week (at least Matt Kuchar is teeing it up), in part because of the Masters and in part because of the solid field Harbour Town drew. If you needed a week off from golf, this is a good time to take a break. You're not itching to follow Scott Dunlap and Paul Stankowski around, are you?

Justin Leonard:
He had a solid push in January (notably the T8 in San Diego), but he's been a trunk-slamming machine since. Sitting 150th in tee distance, 141st in GIR and 175th in putting, I can't imagine how the story is going to reverse itself. The power demands of the PGA Tour have priced Leonard out of the game. The yardage book doesn't lie: it's No Country for Short Men.

Ricky Barnes:
Is he bored? Hurt? What's happened to his eye on the greens? If you throw out the week at Pebble Beach, Barnes doesn't have a single cash over $25K this year. We're getting tired waiting for the overdue breakout season.

HOLDING STEADY

Padraig Harrington:
The T8 at the Masters was nifty, sparked by a super 68 on Saturday, but Harrington didn't bookend that showing with much (T71 at Houston, MC at Harbour Town). Everyone remembers the three major wins from 2007-08, but he hasn't been close to winning another one since. Heck, he's missed the cut at the last two British Opens, on the heels of a T65 in 2009. Harrington still has decent rounds and weeks left in him at age 40, but good luck figuring out when they'll show.