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Golf Barometer: The Sizzling Gator

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

Billy Horschel:
You don't get any hotter than the sizzling Gator: T2, T3, T9, then the win at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans. Horschel can keep the momentum rolling at next week's Players Championship; he's played the Sawgrass course many times. Horschel doesn't have a gap in his component stats, making him a true horse for any course. And when you combine 37th in tee accuracy with 23rd in GIR and 12th in putting strokes gained, you realize we could be looking at a future star.

Boo Weekley:
The former Ryder Cupper is finally healthy again and one of the most consistent players on tour, making 10 consecutive cuts. Three of the checks have pushed more than $100K, including last week's haul in New Orleans (T6). Weekley's putting is still the weak link in his game, but otherwise his tee-to-green game is in outstanding shape. Welcome back to relevance.

D.A. Points:
He was a trunk-slamming machine in the early part of the year, only making 2-of-9 cuts (and they combined for about $24K). Maybe the injury concerns weren't in the past year. But Points found a win at the Shell Houston Open when no one expected it, and he ran a sole second in New Orleans last week. The mid-30s is a sweet spot for many a golfer; this could be and should be Point's best season. An accurate driver (43rd in tee accuracy) and good decisions around the green are pushing the story along. Points has to be considered a primary favorite at Quail Hollow this week; he made it into a playoff last season.

Lucas Glover:
He's had a hit-or-miss season with 7-of-11 cuts made; only two of the checks were anything to write home about. That said, Glover ran T4 in New Orleans and has a past Quail Hollow win on his mantle. He's not a bad sleeper this week.

DOWNGRADE

Steve Marino:
He hasn't broken 70 since the Honda Classic (an event that started in late February) and has made just 3-of-9 checks all year. The knee doesn't look right. Even if you go 150 golfers deep in your pool, you need to do better than this.

Bo Van Pelt:
What's a player of his ability doing 95th on the money list? BVP has three Top-20s on the season but nothing in the Top 15; he hasn't made a push when it counts. Most notably, check his Sunday scoring average (72.20, 145th on tour). Chasing Van Pelt this year after the breakout season - a season without a win, mind you - was probably a mistake. There's a reason this guy has just one PGA Tour trophy on the mantle (and it dates to 2009).

HOLDING STEADY

Vijay Singh:
He won the appeal on the antler spray wrap, and he's made 7-of-8 cuts, that's the good news. But Singh hasn't cracked $65K in any event (or the Top 20) and his putting has been horrendous all season (166th in strokes gained). The circus leaves town for everyone eventually; maybe Singh is no longer a Top-100 player at age 50.

Padraig Harrington:
His game appeared to be in fine form before the Masters, but Harrington never got a call en route to a Friday exit. He's played well at Quail Hollow, but predicting Harrington has become a fool's errand at this juncture of his career. Harrington's body language doesn't exactly portray confidence either. Your guess is better than ours.