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Golf Barometer: FedEx Cup Predictions

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.

With the playoffs finally here, it's time for a reset. Here's what I'm expecting from some big names, and not so big names, in the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

Tiger Woods:
He has something to prove, and the Player of the Year trophy is still within reach. He also needs to get ready for the Ryder Cup (something he ordinarily isn't gung-ho for, but there's a reputation to rebuild). Look for him to be Top 5 in the Cup when it's all over.

Rory McIlroy:
Here's the Player of the Year leader in the clubhouse, but often he's coasted a bit after big wins. He'll finish after Tiger over the next month. Maybe it still gets him POTY anyway.

Steve Stricker:
He plays so smoothly and beautifully until the lights are brightest. Maybe the major never comes. A roll the next month would not be big consolation. Call it outside Top 20.

Phil Mickelson:
His driver is writing checks that his short game can no longer cash. I wouldn't be shocked if he missed the Tour Championship.

Jim Fuyrk:
Needs to show something, especially on a Sunday, to earn that Ryder Cup bid. I wouldn't pick him, not that DL3 has called.

Bo Van Pelt:
Putting is improving, ball striking has always been terrific, but can he make the putts on a Sunday in contention? His win total is underwhelming given the overall skills. Time to take a step up in class.

Dustin Johnson:
Ball striking has been inconsistent, and he'll never be super on the greens. Maybe we've overrated the power game a little bit.

Ben Curtis:
A mild run late in the summer, but this feels like a story that for the most part came and went. He won't get to Atlanta.

Sergio Garcia:
His scrambling was superb in the win last week, and it's amazing how a confidence surge in scrambling ends up helping you not need to scramble in the first place. Watch out for Garcia the next month, something big might happen.

Ted Potter Jr:
The FEC rank is all built off the surprise victory in a very weak field. He's not going to last past two starts.

John Senden:
When in doubt, pick the ball-striking aces. But like Van Pelt, you wonder why Senden hasn't won more. Look for Senden to get to the Final 30, then fade at the end.

Ken Duke:
He's been an overachiever all season, but now the fields are deep and Duke doesn't have an elite game. He'll be eliminated in the middle of the proceedings.

Matt Every:
Nice breakout year, but he's another player likely to be exposed by the depth of the fields. Two starts, then out.

Gary Christian:
He's been consistent in late summer and has the type of game (accurate driver, radar irons) that could easily turn an outside-100 player into a three- or four-event story. Keep an eye on this Englishman.

Nick Watney:
I'm embarrassed how high I ranked him in January. I hope Watney is embarrassed, too. He won't be around much longer.

Ian Poulter:
Did you see his nerve on the greens in South Carolina? He knows he can win any event when that putter shows up. Top 30, easy, maybe a chance to steal it.

Zach Johnson:
He's the type of unheralded pro who surprises in these sorts of manufactured events. Get the mantle ready: FedEx Cup Champion.