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Golf Barometer: Tiger's Back on Top

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

Tiger Woods:
There were a few hiccups in the final-round 71 (this wasn't one of the coronations we're used to with Woods), but he did what he needed to to secure the victory, and there's nothing wrong with two trophy grabs in four starts. While Rory McIlroy futzes around with his new equipment, Woods deserves to be the top-valued player in fantasy - and the obvious favorite at The Masters.

Steve Stricker:
For a guy hardly playing this year, it hasn't hurt Stricker one bit: he ran second at the TOC to open the year, made the Final 8 at the Match Play, and then ran a sole second at the WGC-Cadillac. If Stricker hadn't offered up a putting tip to his buddy Woods, maybe he would have won the tournament after all. Sometimes less is more; that's the case with Stricker and his 2013 schedule. We'll make the best of his 10-12 events.

Richard Sterne:
He's healthy again and already has a European Tour win under his belt, not to mention the T17 at the Accenture and a T12 at Doral last week. Sterne could be a factor in any of the majors this year, especially the British Open, now that the confidence appears completely restored.

DOWNGRADE

Doral Golf Resort and Spa:
Here's hoping you had a good look at it, because they're going to basically blow the place up and start again - a redesign is in the works. Here's hoping Donald Trump shows more attention and caring than he did the USFL. It's still a pretty course, not that it couldn't use some fine-tuning and modernization.

Steve Marino:
Another last-minute withdrawal this week, this time from the Tampa Bay event. Is Marino hurt again? Even in fantasy leagues that go 100-120 deep, I can't see the case for holding on.

Martin Kaymer:
He had a couple of victories at the Match Play, but otherwise it's been a lost couple months for the convert to the PGA Tour. When you're 137th in tee accuracy, 163rd in GIR and 124th in putting strokes gained, it's a miracle you're not missing every cut. Kaymer's short game has been in and out since his major breakthrough; that's the biggest thing holding him back.

Holding Steady

Rory McIlroy:
He finally started to show us some Rory Vision on the weekend, far away from competition, but why is he playing just once more before The Masters? This is a player who needs reps, reps and more reps to shake off the rust and acclimate to his new equipment - things that can't fully happen in practice sessions.

John Senden:
He's still one of the best iron players in the world, but why can't he close better on the weekend? The 70-74 at Doral took him out significant contention, and he did a similar fade in San Diego (69-68-74-73). It's astounding to see just one win next to Senden's name, given his longevity and level of consistency. Maybe the problem is between the ears.