It's with a bit of a heavy heart that I come to you this week, dear friends and degenerate wagerers. This week marks the beginning of the FedExCup playoffs, which also marks the beginning of the end of summer. All is obviously not lost since the snow hasn't started falling -- yet -- but I know you're all with me when I say I'm not ready for this incredible season to end.
That being said, there are still four weeks and a Ryder Cup to go before you run out of opportunities to bet on sure things (since I won't be giving out NFL picks). Sure the Frys.com Open and the McGladrey Classic will be fun, but the next month in golf will be the last that anyone pays attention to until Tiger returns in December. So, without further ado, here are your can't-miss picks for The Barclays:
Ridgewood CC - Paramus, N.J.
Aug. 21-24, 2014
ODDS to Win:
|Bo Van Pelt||125/1|
|Field (all others)||11/2|
Oh, what's that? Rory McIlroy is playing? Well then, I must pick him. Huh? He's only getting 9/2 odds? Who cares! Bet the Farm! Seriously guys, that conversation isn't far from what's actually going on. I feel like you wouldn't bet against Muhammed Ali in his prime, so why wouldn't you put money on McIlroy right now? If the odds were 2/1 I'd take him. You'd be foolish to think McIlroy doesn't at least collect a top-five this week if he doesn't win.
Name No. 2 is a bit of an underdog but a guy who has played well -- and well on big stages -- as of late, and is ready to collect PGA Tour win No. 2. Marc Leishman has impressed over the second half of the 2013-14 season and comes into The Barclays ranked 27th in FedExCup points (my lucky number). He's collected three top-three finishes this year -- including a third at the WGC-Bridgestone. He also finished T-5 at the Open Championship. At 60/1, Leishman is a great pick in New Jersey this week.
Rickie Fowler has got to win something this year and I don't see why it can't be The Barclays. In the last three years, Fowler's finishes have gotten progressively better at this tournament, going from a tie for 52nd to T-24 to a T-9 showing last year. If that trend continues, he's one to watch this week. Oh, and he's also coming off of T-2, T-2, T-8 and T-3 finishes in his last four starts on tour. At 15/1, Fowler is one of the favorites this week and should be one of yours, too.
Only once in the seven-year history of the FedExCup has a player collected his first career PGA Tour win in a playoff event. Graham DeLaet could join Camilo Villegas on that list this week. Yes, I know I've picked DeLaet half a dozen times this year and he's still winless -- for now -- but the Canadian has played well lately after experiencing a bit of a mid-year slump. He finished T-15 at the PGA Championship and has finished T-5 in The Barclays each of the last two seasons. At 50/1, DeLaet is a steal.
Finally this week, I'm taking three-time tour winner and astrophotographer Jimmy Walker. Astrophotography really has nothing to do with him winning this week, but, you know … whatever. What does count is that Walker is playing some really good golf again. He comes into The Barclays off a top-10 at the PGA Championship, his third in a major this year. At 50/1, Walker certainly deserves a couple shekels. McIlroy certainly looks like he can win them all right now, but if he can't, there's got to be someone to knock him off and Walker could be that guy.
That's all for this week, kids. Best of luck to you -- we all know the tour pros aren't the only ones looking to hit it big in New Jersey. Until next time, go and choose wisely.
Past Prophecies: Golfstradamaus Archive
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