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Golf Barometer: POY Clubhouse Leader

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:
He'd surely trade all five of the victories for one major, but he's nonetheless the leader in the clubhouse for Player of the Year (unless Phil Mickelson scores at the PGA). The stat sheet validates Tiger's dominant season: he's first in scoring average and all-around ranking, eighth in total driving, fourth in strokes gained putting and 21ST in GIR. Tiger vs. the field is no longer a short proposition, but you'd be foolish to pick anyone else if given just one selection.

Gary Woodland:
The victory at Reno might not mean a lot given that it's opposite the WGC event, but let's give some props for Woodland's consistent season (17-for-21 on cuts, 66th on the money list). His all-or-nothing approach on the tee (third in distance, 166th in accuracy) probably takes him out of the PGA sleeper talk, but it's been a nifty bounce-back year for Woodland nonetheless.

Miguel Angel Jimenez:
He's healthy again and showing fine form on the course - a T13 at the British Open and a T4 at Bridgestone the last three weeks. Make it seven checks in nine starts since the return from the broken leg, and put Jimenez on your list of contenders at Oak Hill. The most valuable item in The Mechanic's toolbox - his unflappable personality on-course.

Martin Kaymer:
His PGA Tour membership debut was a big yawn early in the year, but he's managed to make 7-of-8 cuts since The Masters, including a couple of Top-10s (Byron Nelson, Bridgestone Invitational). Kaymer finally looked comfortable with the putter last week in Ohio, the thing that's been holding him back the last few seasons. He has a legitimate chance at the final major.

Richard Sterne:
Our sleeper pick for the British Open didn't pan out, not that there's any shame in a T21 showing. Sterne backed that up with a T9 run at the Bridgestone, and he's been one of the better players in Europe all season. Sterne's iron play has been inconsistent in PGA Tour events this year, but that wasn't an issue in Ohio. Look for another four-day run of relevance at Oak Hill.

DOWNGRADE

Rory McIlroy:
He hasn't had a whiff of contention since The Players Championship, dealing with a wayward driver (143rd in accuracy) and a balky putter (117th in putting). Forget a repeat at the PGA Championship - we're not confident he finishes in the Top 40. Write it off as a lost season.

Carl Pettersson:
He keeps cashing checks just about every week, and yet despite the 17 cuts made he's outside the Top 100 on the money list (that's very difficult to do). The weekend play has been an issue for the grinding veteran - Pettersson stands 157th in Round 3 scoring and 164th in Round 4 scoring. Don't expect a deep FedEx Cup run; something is amiss here.

Robert Garrigus:
Here's another player who hits it all over creation (eigth in distance) but doesn't have a clue where it's going (175th in accuracy). You can get away with that if the rest of your game is in shape, but Garrigus stands 169th in putting and 190th in scrambling, which explains why he's cashed just one check since the first week of May. Look for another trunk slam this week.

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