Tuesday, 20 August 2013

The Barclays 2013 - Liberty National GC, Jersey

The TOP 125 have made it through to the FedEx Cup playoffs from the PGA Tour season and the first of the the 4 playoffs sees a return to Liberty National GC in Jersey for the first time since 2009 for The Barclays. One of the most expensive courses to build, Liberty received a lot of criticism from the players last time as fairways were hard to find (very narrow) so it will be interesting to see what the reaction is this time round. One thing for sure though is that the backdrop of the Manhattan skyline makes this a special golf course.
   Two players are missing this week in the shape of Brandt Snedeker and Zach Johnson who have both withdrawn for family reasons so we have 123 players. We will lose 25 players between now and next week. Incentive so for those at the end of the rankings whilst the $10M bonus is the incentive for those towards the top.(its still there for all 125 but some need to shoot the lights out over the next 5 weeks) The points allocation does change from the regular season as 5 times more points are awarded meaning Tigers lead of just 766 over Matt Kuchar now seems small. Perhaps one reason we see Tiger in attendance this week ?

My first selection is a player that may have an added incentive as he aims to make the Presidents Cup team. He is also looking for his first win this season and a player I have been following closely. Webb Simpson had a TOP 10 here at Liberty back in 2009 having led after 36 holes.
If fairways need to be found at Liberty, Webb is one of the best at doing so and a fast finish at Sedgefield last Sunday to give him a T11th finish can be the catalyst for a good week. Recent results are showing 2 or 3 good rounds are being compiled but one round is letting him down. He led after day one at Firestone, fell way back and returned a super score Sunday to climb the leaderboard again. He is one of my "simmering" players and I just have to get involved here @30/1 with Paddypower  (paying 6 places !). Simpson can also be backed @ 33/1 with who are paying the normal 5 places.

Matt Kuchar is that man chasing down Tiger and with 2 wins under his belt already this year, who's to say he can't win again before the season is out?
Kuchar's weakness is his accuracy off the tee, but excellent scoring and scrambling stats along with being ranked 4th in par 5 and 12th in par 4 scoring should help him compile a score to challenge here.

Hasn't missed a cut from his 19 starts, 12 TOP 25s including the 2 WINS, Kuchar is in fine form and is worth a bet this week at the same price as Simpson.

Hunter Mahan should arrive here this week rejuvenated after some quality family time despite an appearance at the PGA Championship. He withdrew from the Canadian Open after holding the 36 hole lead so perhaps he has some unfinished business on the Tour. He's 18/21 with 12 TOP25s this season but is a player for the big events. Was TOP 20 at Liberty back in 2009 but is more experienced and patient nowadays, one feels that Mahan wont go the season without a win when a Major came so close during the summer. I like his threeball for the first two rounds as he accompanies last weeks winner, Patrick Reed,as well as Jim Furyk.

I'm not abandoning Martin Kaymer just yet either. I'm a fan and whilst I have backed him a couple of times lately to no avail I have been encouraged by his progress. He returned a superb 63 last Sunday at Sedgefield to grab a TOP 20 and although he has not threatened to win his recent form readsT20-T33-T9-T32-T59-T5. He sits 103rd in the FedEx Cup so needs a good week to make it to The Deutsche. He has 474 points and will be keen to get as many as he can here to progress as far as he can and finish the season with a flourish. He is available @ 66/1 (5 places) or 50/1 (6 places)

TIP 1 : 1 pt e/w W.Simpson @ 30/1

TIP 2: 1 pt e/w M.Kuchar @ 30/1

TIP 3: 1 pt e/w H.Mahan @ 35/1

TIP 4: 0.5 pts e/w M.Kaymer @ 60/1

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