2008 Barclays Championship – Ridgewood Country Club

The Barclays Championship
Dates: Thursday, August 21through Sunday August 24, 2008
Venue: Ridgewood Country Club – Paramus, NJ
Television: The Golf Channel and CBS

The Playoff Season kicks off this week with the BarclaysChampionship from Paramus, NJ. Steve Stricker is the defending champ for the event, which is being held at Ridgewood CC; the first PGA stop at the course in seven years. The winner will take home $1.2 million for the win and 11,000 FedEx Points, which could yield an early lead in the Playoff series or jump a player into contention from the depths of the qualified list. The Golf Channel and CBS share the coverage for the event.

Here are our picks to win the event; a short, middle and long odds.

Padraig Harrington
11 to 1 to win
Phil Mickelson is the favorite this week at 8 to 1, but Harrington is on a roll after winning the last two Majors of the season. Paddy is the Tour’s 3rd best putter in terms of average, leading to almost four birdies per round and a Tour best 69.28 scoring average. Harrington has proven he can handle the best players in the world, and this week should be no different.

Anthony Kim
20 to 1 odds
Had it not been for the Major run of Harrington, we might be looking at Anthony Kim as the logical challengerto Tiger when hereturns. Kim has two wins in ’08, the Wachovia and the AT&T and has shown the ability to handle any condition with a top-10 at the British. Kim is one of the longest drivers on Tour, averaging a shade over 300 yards, leading toatop-10 rank in par-5 birdie conversion and total eagles. Kim is a slick putter that can string birdies together in a hurry and could make a run here this week.

Fred Couples
66 to 1 odds
They don’t call them longshots for no reason. Couples may be nearing favorite status on the Champions Tour, but has quietly put together some nice finishes on Tour this year, including top-10’s at the Buick, Shell Houston and Wachovia. Couples is 22nd in driving distance at 298.7 and is top-30 in scoring as well, averaging 70.28. Freddy could be motivated by a chance to impress Ryder Cup Captain, Paul Azinger, who is looking ata pretty pedestrian list of potential Captain’s choices. Couples has experience and savvy on his side and a run here would not surprise Fred’s PGA counterparts.

Good Luck and see you next week for the Barclays and FedEx updates as well as the return of the expanded tournament previews.

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