Ryan O'Sullivan

Sully's Snapshot

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Ryan's Top 125, FEC Playoffs

Monday, August 19, 2013

The FedExCup Playoffs field of 125 is set and The Barclays awaits. Knowing the cast of characters and realizing that there are numerous games out there just for the Playoffs, we’re going to dive in and take a look at how the players stack up.


When reading this list, it is to be considered a valuation of each player and not necessarily a predicted order of finish. As an example, I have projected only two players currently sitting outside the top 100 as a value inside the top 100. The reason for that is simple. A missed cut for any of those at Liberty National and he's done.


The numbers that matter at this point are the top 100, top 70 and top 30. Those are the cutoffs for the Deutsche Bank championship, BMW Championship and TOUR Championship, respectively.


The further down the current FedExCup standings a player stands, the more that has to go right for him to play in each of the four events. So, I may have a dreaded gut feeling that Martin Kaymer, currently 103, is about to start a hot streak, but slotting him anywhere inside the top 70 would be a ridiculous risk.


With that as the backdrop, here’s how they stack up:


Rank  Golfer (FedExCup seed)  Comment


Tiger Woods (1)  He owns multiple wins at two of the four Playoff venues and has proven to be a huge threat in any tournament that isn’t a major. Last I checked, none of these are majors.

Adam Scott (11)  He’ll have a chance to lock down Player of the Year honors with a win at East Lake. Expect his move to start at TPC Boston.

Brandt Snedeker (3)  Tied for 12th at Liberty National in ’09 and owns top-six finishes in each of the last three years at the Deutsche Bank. Form is a question.

Rory McIlroy (49)  Think I’m crazy? He started to look comfy in the midst of playing eight tournament rounds in 11 days at the WGC-Bridgestone and the PGA. Could be down to him or Scott for a TPC Boston win.

Phil Mickelson (4)  Why not?

Matt Kuchar (2)  The Playoff venues in play this year haven’t proven to be his best friends, but he’s solid enough to contend anywhere.

Luke Donald (55)  Perhaps a big reach, but he’s racked up several top threes at TPC Boston; the BMW is played in his hometown; and if he can sneak into East Lake, he’s finished inside the top three each of the last three years.

Jim Furyk (23)  He could top-15 the first three events to death, and then head to East Lake where he is a past champion with nine top 10s.

Henrik Stenson (9)  Has very little record to speak of on the Playoff courses, but his form is undeniable.

10  Jordan Spieth (8)  Would anything he does truly surprise anyone? This would lock him up for the 2014 major rota, which is a huge deal considering he started 2013 with but a few sponsor exemptions.

11  Jason Day (14)  Steady record in the Playoffs and his season has been a great bounce back.

12  Bill Haas (5)  Really not sure how he faded this far, but he’ll be dangerous at East Lake considering he won in his only start.

13  Justin Rose (7)  Doesn’t boast the strongest record in some of the early Playoff venues, but he’s always a factor.

14  Dustin Johnson (16)  Life is good. He got engaged last week and has a nice Playoff résumé over the years.

15  Zach Johnson (18)  He’s skipping The Barclays for his brother’s wedding, but hasn’t finished out of the top 10 in his last five starts this season. He’ll be dangerous when he gets back.

16  Hunter Mahan (21)  New dad should have had time to recover and jump back in with both feet.

17  Billy Horschel (6)  Concerned by his recent chilly form and his lack of Playoff experience. Others have a leg up on him in course history.

18  Keegan Bradley (10)  How much would he love to win in Boston?

19  Jason Dufner (15)  The question will be how long his PGA hangover lasts, but he won twice in close proximity in 2012. Anybody else pulling for a pairing with Rory Sabbatini?

20  Webb Simpson (17)  One of very few players that can claim top-10 finishes at Liberty National, TPC Boston and East Lake. Hasn’t been elite in 2013, but hasn’t been bad either.

21  Lee Westwood (35)  He still has one really good week left in him.

22  Charl Schwartzel (33)  Weak Playoff history but a solid season leads him into the Playoffs. He could be due for a win.

23  Patrick Reed (22)  He seems like the kind of guy that could get very hot and very confident in a spurt, much like we’ve seen from Spieth and Horschel this year.

24  Matt Jones (37)  He’s slithered his way up the FEC standings this season and has threatened to backdoor a win on more than one occasion. Final-round 62 at Wyndham demonstrates perfect form.

25  Angel Cabrera (40)  He’s had a great season and his best chance to make a move in the Playoffs will be at TPC Boston.

26  Chris Stroud (47)  He’s popping up on leaderboards with greater frequency, narrowly missing a win in Hartford and making noise with a first-round 64 in Greensboro last week.

27  Boo Weekley (12)  Finished T41 at Liberty National in ’09 and has made his share of cuts at TPC Boston. It won’t take much to get him to East Lake.

28  Kevin Streelman (13)  Similar to Weekley in almost every way, he should grab a cut or two and sneak into the TOUR Championship for the second time.

29  Harris English (19)  If he had a little more course history to go on, I may feel a little better about his chances. Tied 69th at TPC Boston last year.

30  Steve Stricker (20)  He’s sitting out The Barclays, but expected back for the Deutsche Bank. Has to jump on the horse quickly.

31  Graeme McDowell (28)  His feast-or-famine season makes him a legitimate risk/reward player, but his course history is lacking in both opportunities and form when he’s had chances.

32  Bubba Watson (38)  Like many of the longer players, his best option for a big week could be TPC Boston. Missed cut at Liberty National in ’09.

33  Jonas Blixt (29)  Though just a sophomore, he’s shown how deadly he can be with the ball-striking keeps up with his white-hot putter.

34  David Lingmerth (45)  By definition, the rookie doesn’t have any experience on these courses but that hasn’t stopped him from having a big season and showing up in some big events.

35  David Hearn (53)  A breakthrough season in many ways for the Canuck, a Playoff push is not out of the question.

36  Gary Woodland (60)  Now that he’s had a little time to process his win in Reno, he’ll be an interesting watch in the Playoffs if for nothing more than a true value in 2013-14.

37  Russell Henley (24)  Might need a Playoff win to overtake Spieth for Rookie of the Year.

38  Jimmy Walker (26)  His excellent season finally cooled off after a T2 at The Greenbrier Classic.

39  Graham DeLaet (34)  Made a nice run in the 2012 Playoffs after barely sneaking in and has a realistic shot at making the TOUR Championship this time around.

40  Charles Howell III (29)  Often seems to fade as the year drags on, and this year hasn’t been much of an exception.

41  Rickie Fowler (42)  Has some pressure to salvage a mediocre season.

42  Charley Hoffman (48)  That he is a past winner at TPC Boston should pique interest.

43  Nick Watney (63)  He’s the defending champ at The Barclays, albeit at Bethpage Black, but also finished T6 at Liberty National in ’09.

44  D.A. Points (25)  Was T31 at Liberty National in ’09 and must do something similar this time around or he could fade very quickly.

45  Ernie Els (82)  Has a T3 at TPC Boston and was T2 at the ’09 Barclays. One of those further down the list that could nab a couple of top 10s and make some noise.

46  Chris Kirk (31)  Still making cuts, but hasn’t been a factor in a tournament in a while.

47  Roberto Castro (41)  The question is whether he has one more big run in him. It all comes down to the flat stick.

48  Tim Clark (56)  Easily a guy that could throw up a couple of top 25s early and enter the fray.

49  Sergio Garcia (59)  Missed a nice opportunity after opening strong at the Wyndham, but he’s never been much of a defender as was the case in Greensboro.

50  John Huh (65)  After a great Wyndham Championship, he could be the guy that finds a quirky Liberty National to his liking.

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Ryan O’Sullivan joined Rotoworld in 2012. The Clemson grad blogs as The Golf Aficionado and can be found on Twitter @ryangolfblogger.
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