RotoWire Partners

Golf Barometer: Buy-Low Opportunity

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

Graeme McDowell:
It was a stunner to see him miss the cut at Augusta, but look at everything else on his form since the Accenture: T5, T9, T3, T45, win. McDowell's unflappable nature was critical during the tricky winds of Harbour Town, and it figures to make him one of the primary contenders at the British Open - especially if the weather goes rogue. McDowell turns 34 at the end of July; these are the prime years for a dynamite player.

Mark Leishman:
The surprising contention at Augusta stopped the bleeding on a washout year, and Leishman kept it going with a snappy T9 at Harbour Town. Leishman doesn't show anything impressive in the individual component stats and yet he's 61st in scoring - there's something to be said for resourcefulness and creativity. He's not the best player from Australia, not by a long shot, but he can be one of the Top 50 on the PGA Tour.

Russell Henley:
Looks like his brief slump is over, as he ran 67-69 on the weekend at Harbour Town en route to a T6 finish. The Georgia product has all the looks of a future star: a long and accurate driver, steady iron play, terrific putting. Experience is the only thing he lacks. Write it down in ink: Henley is a future star.

Jason Dufner:
He's in the middle of a disappointing year (80th on the money list), and he never made a serious push at the Masters. But he's the defending champ at the Zurich Classic and the all-time leader in money won there, so it's a good time to dial him up. Say this for The Duff, his last four checks have been T35 or better.

DOWNGRADE

Charlie Hoffman:
There's a reason why this tour veteran has just two wins on the big tour; we saw it Sunday at the RBC Heritage. A 77 on the lead comes with no excuses, even in the wind. The driver became balky, the putter inconsistent, the irons imprecise. If you're in a league where wins push the needle, Hoffman can't be taken seriously as a primary player.

Martin Kaymer:
When we saw him stepping into PGA Tour membership, we didn't expect him to be outside the Top 100 at this point in the year. Kaymer played well for a few days at the Accenture Match-Play Championship but otherwise that's been it thus far. His T35 at the Masters didn't move the needle, and his Harbour Town experience got worse by the day (69-70-76-78). He hasn't looked comfortable on the greens in two years.

HOLDING STEADY

Aaron Baddeley:
He's still one of the Top-10 putters on the PGA Tour and has found a way to quietly cash eight checks in 10 starts, banking $544K in all. Off an unimposing T42 at Harbour Town and not appearing at the Masters (or this week in New Orleans), the timing might be right for a buy low.

Brendon de Jonge:
Another contender from Harbour Town who couldn't stand the heat on Sunday (75). You could find 10-12 players at a weekend municipal course who have prettier swings. At the end of it all it's results that matter (11th in GIR), but de Jonge's putter (118th in strokes gained) stands in the way of fantasy significance.