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Golf Barometer: Welcome Back, Henrik

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

Henrik Stenson:
He's one of the Top-5 favorites at the Barclays, on the heels of three straight Top-3 finishes. Stenson still sits outside the Top 100 on the putting stats, but with an accurate driver (sixth) and locked-in irons (second), he's capable of contending almost anywhere. Welcome back to the big time.

Martin Kaymer:
His switch to the PGA Tour didn't give us the spike we wanted to see, but a more confident putter led to better results over the second half of the year (seven straight checks, including a T5 and T9). Kaymer is barely inside the Top 100 as the FedEx Cup playoffs start, but we get the idea he might last three rounds. And this should be a value pick for the 2014 season.

Camilo Villegas:
Just seeing him in the field at this point feels surprising, given how poorly Villegas was playing in the first couple months. But he's quietly made 10-of-11 cuts since mid-May, riding a hot fairway game and some confidence. If you need a sleeper for Round 1, this is a good place to look.

Jonas Blixt:
In case you thought the win at The Greenbrier Classic was a fluke, take note of Blixt's classy fourth-place finish at the PGA Championship. The Swede is well outside the Top 100 in the ball-striking stats, but a strong putter and a keen eye around the green (21st in scrambling) go a long way.

DOWNGRADE

Steve Stricker:
A torn hamstring has him out of the first playoff event, and while he intends to make it back for the conclusion to the dance, it's hard to imagine Stricker pushing things if the physical condition is borderline. He's always had a wonderful sense of the big picture, and the FedEx Cup isn't worth jeopardizing a career over.

Charlie Beljan:
He nearly won back at the Northern Trust Open in mid-February, but Beljan's controversial mouth was the bigger story in the opening quarter of the year. Perhaps that's led to the subsequent flop that's followed - he's only made 2-of-12 cuts since late April. His final trunk slam mercifully comes this week.

Geoff Ogilvy:
Eight cuts made in 18 starts? One check more than $60K all season? Ogilvy's iron game was never a personal strength, but his reliable driving and strong putting have completely abandoned him in 2013. Simply put, nothing's working and it's time for a rebuild.

HOLDING STEADY

Matt Every:
A surprise T5 at the Wyndham Championships has him back on the radar, but week-to-week consistency has always been a tricky thing for Every. His big week came on the heels of a missed cut at the PGA Championship, and his T4 at the Crowne Plaza back in May was immediately after a trunk slam at the Byron Nelson. Every didn't make the cut here last year, despite a run of good play in the second part of the year.

Brandt Snedeker:
He's won twice this year, so we can forgive the donut of the season (remember the 80 at the Memorial?). But it's hard to feel good about Snedeker's form of late - he's followed up the Canadian Open win with three uneventful events (T33, T66, MC). He's just about a lock to play all four playoff events, but we don't expect Snedeker to win again until 2014.

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