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Golf Barometer: If the Choker Fits, Wear It

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

Zach Johnson:
If you were surprised by Johnson's trophy lift at the BMW Championship, you clearly haven't been paying attention. Look at his ridiculous run starting at the John Deere Classic in mid-July: T2, T6, T4, T8, T5, T27, and then a victory. Johnson quietly has 10 PGA Tour victories on his mantle, and he's a good bet to snag another major or two before long. Johnson's never been a long hitter off the tee, but he earns high points for driving accuracy (eighth), GIR (25th) and strokes gained putting (30th). That's a game that can translate anywhere.

Nick Watney:
After a completely lost season, Watney finally found some form in the playoff series - T9, T35 and last week's sole second at the BMW Championship. Watney's closing 64 on Monday was probably his best of the year. The confidence is back, and you might land Watney at a discount at your 2014 table. Heads up here, the Bulldog is back.

Sergio Garcia:
He's only missed one cut in the U.S. this season, and he played well to get this far in the playoffs (T37, T4, T18). So long as he's not in Tiger's shadow, Garcia is a good bet to do something favorable. He's quietly assembled one of the more balanced stat profiles of his career - 44th in total driving, 33rd in GIR and a stunning 10th in strokes gained-putting. Better scoring on Sunday is critical, of course, but let's take this one step at a time.

DOWNGRADE

Billy Horschel:
He finally pushed back into the Top 20 at the BMW, but otherwise it was a lazy summer for Horschel - nothing over $60K in July or August. The T4 at the U.S. Open got your attention, but he didn't make the cut in the final two majors. It doesn't invalidate the nifty season, just make sure you don't get out the anointing oil too soon. He's not a star yet.

Boo Weekley:
He didn't show any form in the first three playoff appearances, and his spot at the finale speaks more to the flaws in the FedEx Cup scoring than anything else. You salute Weekley for his comeback year, but he only had one strong showing after the win in late May. Be careful with your bids when his name comes up next year.

FedEx Cup Points System:
You want to make us care about the moving and shaking and that works to an extent, but it's too hard for deeper seeds to advance to the final 30. Framed a different way, not much changes in the third event. If you want to reward those on the inside of the track, so be it - but astute fans realize they can tune out the third event and not miss very much. Check the math again, men - things are too flat.

HOLDING STEADY

Jim Furyk:
Leave it to the ultimate Steady Eddie, Jim Furyk, to fire a 59 in a tournament and not win the bloody event. Heck, the guy couldn't even break par in two of his rounds - look how funky that 72-59-69-71 card looks at the end of the day. Maybe Sunday Silence (or Monday Silence in this case) should be Furyk's new nickname - he has excellent scoring averages over the first 54 holes this year, but he sinks to 71.46 (that ranks 122nd) for the final 18. You hate to say the C-word, but if the choker fits, wear it.

Tiger Woods:
A so-so playoff for him - the near-win at Barclays, the T65 no-op at Deutsche Bank, last week's blase T11 at the BMW. Tiger would never admit it, but these playoffs don't get his juices flowing (nor does the Presidents Cup in early October). He's probably thinking about his next extended break from the game, or how he's going to attack the Masters next April. In the meantime, Jack's 18 majors are sleeping rather soundly, thank you.