Brooks Koepka's 2014 calendar year was highlighted by a win in the Turkish Airlines Open on the European Tour and he ends the year 34th in the Official World Golf Ranking.
It's widely known that Koepka played his way to full status on the PGA TOUR for 2014-15 after beginning the 2013-14 season without any status. Before the win in Turkey and a trio of less notable finishes across the globe, he logged just two starts on the PGA TOUR in 2014-15, tying for eighth in the Frys.com Open and sharing fourth in the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. His last missed cut on any tour came at the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open in July, the week before The Open Championship. That is a streak of 12 consecutive paydays. For obvious reasons, big things are expected for Koepka on the PGA TOUR this season.
Michael Putnam secured two of his four cuts to begin the 2014-15 PGA TOUR season.
His best finish was a T26 at the CIMB Classic, which was a no-cut event. The other payday came in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba, where he shared 51st. He broke 70 in just three of of his 12 rounds and ranks 112th in the FedExCup standings. In the sibling rivalry between Michael and his younger brother, Andrew, the elder is chasing the younger in the FEC standings. Andrew is currently 68th.
Steve Stricker underwent surgery today for a bulging disc in his back.
According to GolfChannel.com, Stricker's pain was due to "acute and chronic L5 radiculopathy." It's an issue that he's been battling for a while. "I’m very excited to get back to practicing and competing in 2015 and expect to be 100 percent physically which really excites me." he said in a statement. "I’ve been limited the last several years and I’m confident the procedure will allow me to perform at the level I expect from myself. I don’t have a target date for a return to the PGA TOUR at this point, that will very much depend on how my body responds to the surgery and rehab." The one-hour, outpatient procedure will shelve the 12-time winner at least eight weeks. Stricker will turn 48 years old on Feb. 23, so his age doesn't figure to aid in a speedier recovery period.
Daniel Summerhays kept the pedal down during the Fall Series and will enter 2015 ranked 51st on the FedExCup leaderboard.
Summerhays was a perfect 5-for-5 this fall, but failed to land any finishes inside the top 25. As the owner of a runner-up finish in each of the past two seasons, he belongs on a short list of golfers ready to secure a maiden victory. The primary takeaway from 2013-14 was his improved consistency, missing just five cuts in 27 starts. Gamers should now feel comfortable rostering him on a weekly basis.
Blayne Barber is off and running during his rookie season, closing out the Fall Series ranked 54th in the FedExCup standings.
The Auburn product was 3-for-5 overall this fall. The rookie saved the best for last as he closed out with a pair of T9 finishes. Barber has immense talent, finishing 7th on the 2014 Web.com Tour money list to secure his PGA TOUR card. His only downfall in the past has been signing the wrong scorecards. Gamers should keep him on their breakout radar this year and wish him a happy birthday as he turns 25 years old tomorrow.
David Hearn navigated the Fall Series without missing a cut and currently ranks 31st in the FedExCup standings.
Hearn is 4-for-4 with three finishes inside the top 20. The Canadian has been a cut-making machine since returning to the PGA TOUR in 2011, sporting a 80-for-112 record in that stretch. He should always be on the radar for DFS gamers, but take note that he owns just one podium finish in 145 career starts.
Steve Wheatcroft is taking advantage of his new PGA TOUR status, earning four paychecks prior to the holiday break.
Wheatcroft won the Albertsons Boise Open on the Web.com Tour last season and gained his PGA TOUR card thanks to his final position of 19th on the money list. His 4-for-5 record this season is nice, but it's not moving the needle just yet as he still sits 38th after the first reshuffle. Gamers should watch closely to see if this consistency continues before investing in any format.
Carlos Ortiz is 58th in the FedExCup standings due in large part to a hot flat stick.
While strokes gained: tee-to-green is all the new rage for stat gurus, it is the more established strokes gained: putting metric where the rookie is shining the brightest. He ranks seventh in that statistic and has ridden that strength in his game to four paydays in four starts. His best finish was his most recent, tying for ninth in the OHL Classic at Mayakoba. He is exempt from the reshuffle due to his three wins on the Web.com Tour last season.