Golf Barometer: Don't Call My Name

Golf Barometer: Don't Call My Name

This article is part of our Golf Barometer series.

An entertaining yet laid-back team atmosphere at last week's Zurich Classic spiced things up during the post-Masters lull, and this week the Tour heads to a new venue for the Wells Fargo Championship at Eagle Point Golf Club. A somewhat uninspiring field will tee it up this week, but a certain level of anticipation remains with the game's top-ranked player returning from injury as he pursues his fourth consecutive win. Additional analysis on DJ's comeback can be found below, but we will also take a look at several others who are "rising" or "falling" in value with the coveted PLAYERS Championship looming in the near future.

VALUE RISING

Kevin Kisner

All the talk is about Kisner hitting what could turn out to be the shot of the season Sunday night at the Zurich Classic, cashing out for eagle from just off the green to force a playoff. While the Kisner/Scott Brown duo ultimately failed to capitalize during Monday's extra holes, Kisner notched his second runner-up finish in his last five events and also extended his streak of cuts made to eight (not counting the cut-less WGC-Mexico Championship). With six top-15 results so far in 2017, the 40th-ranked player in the Official World Golf Ranking has jumped to No. 14 in the FedExCup standings and has already surpassed the $2-million mark in earnings this season.

Jason Dufner

Dufner is another cut-making machine who has also thrown in his fair share of top-15s in 2017, with five to be exact, just one

An entertaining yet laid-back team atmosphere at last week's Zurich Classic spiced things up during the post-Masters lull, and this week the Tour heads to a new venue for the Wells Fargo Championship at Eagle Point Golf Club. A somewhat uninspiring field will tee it up this week, but a certain level of anticipation remains with the game's top-ranked player returning from injury as he pursues his fourth consecutive win. Additional analysis on DJ's comeback can be found below, but we will also take a look at several others who are "rising" or "falling" in value with the coveted PLAYERS Championship looming in the near future.

VALUE RISING

Kevin Kisner

All the talk is about Kisner hitting what could turn out to be the shot of the season Sunday night at the Zurich Classic, cashing out for eagle from just off the green to force a playoff. While the Kisner/Scott Brown duo ultimately failed to capitalize during Monday's extra holes, Kisner notched his second runner-up finish in his last five events and also extended his streak of cuts made to eight (not counting the cut-less WGC-Mexico Championship). With six top-15 results so far in 2017, the 40th-ranked player in the Official World Golf Ranking has jumped to No. 14 in the FedExCup standings and has already surpassed the $2-million mark in earnings this season.

Jason Dufner

Dufner is another cut-making machine who has also thrown in his fair share of top-15s in 2017, with five to be exact, just one short of Kisner. Dufner is gaining strokes in every category, most impressively placing inside the top 40 on Tour in both SG: tee-to-green and SG: putting. He hasn't had a quality finish at the PLAYERS Championship since a T6 in 2011, but will look to carry recent his recent momentum into TPC Sawgrass next week.

Brian Gay

Gay posted just one top-25 result in the first nine events of his 2016-17 season, but he finished sixth in back-to-back events at the RBC Heritage and Valero Texas Open over the last several weeks. He has been carried by a hot putter and accuracy off the tee, earning more money through 11 events than either of his previous two disappointing campaigns on Tour. Gay ended the 2016 calendar year ranked outside of the top 750 in the OWGR, but he ascended to No. 261 by the end of May. He has also qualified for next week's PLAYERS Championship, but will first tee it up at the Wells Fargo Championship.

VALUE FALLING

C.T. Pan

The former University of Washington standout, who was also ranked No. 1 in the 2013 World Amateur Golf Ranking, entered his rookie campaign in 2016 with plenty of hype as he placed T6 at November's RSM Classic before finishing runner-up at January's Farmers Insurance Open. Since then, he has missed six cuts in nine events to go along with zero top-25 performances, falling to No. 65 in the FedExCup standings. He ranks outside of the top 125 on Tour in both SG: tee-to-green and SG: approach-the-green, two key statistics that could lead to success at this week's Wells Fargo Championship. Pan also remains unqualified at this point for the upcoming PLAYERS Championship along with all three of the remaining majors, further depressing his value until he gets back on track.

Seung-yul Noh

Noh appeared to finally be rounding into form throughout February as he made four consecutive cuts, a run that included back-to-back top-12 finishes at Pebble Beach and the Genesis Open. While he ranks 32nd in SG: around-the-green and 59th in SG: putting, Noh's short-game prowess did not translate to success during the last two months as he missed four cuts and posted an MDF at the Shell Houston Open. That leaves a T56 at the Puerto Rico Open -- when the world's top golfers were at the WGC-Dell Match Play -- as the best finish in his last six events. Noh is in the field for both the Wells Fargo and PLAYERS Championships, so he will have a couple opportunities to turn things around in the near future.

Roberto Castro

After finishing the 2015-16 season inside the top 25 in the FedExCup standings, Castro has fallen off the grid while legitimately missing eight consecutive cuts. Through 14 tournaments so far this season he's earning just $16,041 per entry and is currently seated at No. 161 in the race for the FedEx Cup. To make matters worse, Castro is losing a majority of his strokes to the field around (and on) the green, not a good combination for a guy who averages just 278 yards off the tee. He lost in a playoff to James Hahn at last year's Wells Fargo Championship, but course history will be thrown out the door this week as the event moves to Eagle Point.

INJURY UPDATE

Dustin Johnson (back)

After an infamous slip on a flight of stairs prior to the Masters forced the world's No. 1 golfer to withdraw at Augusta, Johnson's much-anticipated return to tournament action will come this week at the Wells Fargo Championship. With the injury immediately being explained as a minor issue, and with several weeks of recuperation, Johnson remains the highest-priced option in daily formats this week. A strong showing will likely put him in the same spot next week at TPC Sawgrass.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bryce Danielson
Bryce covers the PGA for RotoWire and provides input on the golf cheat sheet. He also contributes to the coverage for NFL, NBA and other sports.
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