The Barclays Predictions
Dates: August 21-24, 2014
Course: Ridgewood CC Paramus, NJ
TV: The Golf Channel/CBS
by Evergreen, Golf Wagering Handicapper, Predictem.com
Bet your 2014 Barclays picks at the online sportsbook that offers the lowest betting odds (which will save you BIG money), the most props and the ABSOLUTE fastest payouts when you win: 5Dimes.
Well, the PGA Tours version of a playoff is upon us again and no matter what you think of the playoff format, it does ensure a months worth of seeing the best in the world in action, and it all starts this weekend with The Barclays. The top-125 on the FedExCup points list qualify for the playoff opener and winning will definitely be on everyones mind as it is virtually impossible to win the $10 million dollar top prize without at least one victory in the final events. At the bottom of the list, players will also be trying to move into the top-100 as that is the cut line to make it to next weeks Deutsche Bank Championship. Rory, Adam Scott, Justin Rose and Phil Mickelson headline this very strong field that will likely produce a very tight finish.
Ridgewood CC has been around since the late 1890s and while it moved a bit in its infancy, it has been a fixture in the current location since the 1920s. The 7,319 yard, par-71 course features most of what you would expect to see from a classical layout with winding fairways that are lined by mature trees and plenty of bunkering, both in the fairways and around the greens. Ridgewood hosted the 2008 and 2010 Barclays with the average winning total coming in at 10-under. Expect a similar scoring pace as there are plenty of challenging shots throughout and players will need every club in their bag to get around here. The greens arent particularly hard but can be tricky to read and putting will be more about solid lagging than anything else.
The online betting sites have fired up the boards this week, so lets take a look at the best bets for the Barclays. Get a FREE bet on The Barclays simply by registering for an account at GTBets, depositing $100 and then they will give you a $100 credit to your account!
Sergio Garcia (20 to 1 odds to win)
Garcia has put together an impressive record in 2014 but he is still in search of a tournament victory. He has only missed one cut to this point, turning in eight top-10 finishes and five top-3s. It is a bit odd to have that much success without breaking through for win, especially as he is turning in one of the best putting performances of his career. Sergio wallowed outside the top-125 at various points over the last five years but he has improved his strokes-gained stat to 35thentering the week. Pair that with a top-5 birdie average and the best scoring average on Tour and you have a great value at 20 to 1. McIlroy and Scott get higher billing but dont forget that Sergio has been around longer than any of them and he knows how to get things done. He should be on the short list to win any of the remaining events and the Cup itself.
Jimmy Walker (50 to 1)
Walker was the darling of the Tour with three wins before we even hit March but he hasnt won since and that has sent his stock down. There was naturally going to be some correction there and no one could have seen him winning six or seven events but he hasnt really stumbled at any point, missing just three cuts in 23 starts. Looking at the Majors, Walker notched three top-10 finishes and a T26 so he went toe to toe with the best and fared well. He is 19thin distance, 30thin greens hit and a stellar 7thin strokes gained-putting. He is 2ndin birdie average and total birdies with top-11 ranks in scoring on all holes when you break them individually by par value. There isnt much that Jimmy hasnt done well this year and it took Rory winning everything at the end to push Walker out of the top spot on the points list.
Ryan Moore (50 to 1)
If you take a look at some of the previous winners here you see control players with controlled demeanors like Vijay Singh and Matt Kuchar. If there is truly something to that, than Moore is a good bet this week. Outside of his win in October of 2013, Moore hasnt made too much noise but he has quietly produced throughout the season, most recently turning in four straight top-12 performances prior to the PGA Championship. He is not exciting but does get things done by hitting fairways and greens and has a good enough putter to turn in the 9thbest birdie average and 23rdbest scoring mark. Moore needs to eliminate a bogey or two each round to really have a look at winning this week but he fits well with the scoring pace and should be a factor based on his ballstriking alone.
Head to Head Matches
Ive checked out the online sportsbooks and identified a couple of matches that I like. I make picks to win based on final score after all four rounds but check your bookie for single round matches and prop bets.
Rickie Fowler (-110) v. Phil Mickelson (-110) (my pick to win: Fowler)
Fowler is the hottest player not named Rory right now and that alone might be good enough to pick him in this one but there are some good metrics as well. Fowlers stats are still being dragged down by a rough start to the season but he still manages and edge over Phil in ballstriking and that edge certainly grows if you look at just the last two months or so. Phil has always been good into the greens but he is off his career pace in birdies which also lets the scoring creep north. Mickelson had a really nice PGA Championship but I just dont see the consistency that should be there for him at this point of the season. Phil could be easy pickings for the playoffs as his name recognition keeps him against really good competition regardless of his current level of play.
Hunter Mahan (-110) v. Brandt Snedeker (-110) (my pick to win: Mahan)
Both of these guys should be on the short list for disappointment of the year as neither have been able to turn in a consistent stretch of good play. So, it is a fitting match to put them together but Mahan should be the one to put your money on. Hunter owns the course record after he carded a 62 in 2008 and he still brings the 15thbest ballstriking stat into the week with Snedeker outside the top-100. That should play out in Mahans favor at this course and he also has the edge in distance and fairways hit. I see both of these players running in the middle of the pack this week but Mahan has a better chance to get something going on a course that he has scorched before.
Good luck and good golf!