Wednesday, 20 August 2014

The Barclays 2014 - Ridgewood GC, New Jersey

The PGA Tour enters the exciting FedEx Cup playoffs this week as The Barclays returns to Ridgewood Golf & Country Club in New Jersey having hosted this event in 2008 and 2010. Vijay Singh who won it in 2008 described Ridgewood as the best course that the PGA Tour had used ,ever ! He’s not alone in his assessment of this course, which is made up of 18 holes from the 27 that the country club boasts, as many others have expressed their admiration on past visits. Matt Kuchar won here in 2010 and its worth noting that on both occasions, a playoff was required to decide the winner. 125 players will tee it up in New Jersey with the TOP100 in the FedEx Cup at its conclusion, moving onto the Deutsche Bank Championship the following week which starts on Friday with a Monday finish.

The Ones to Beat :

Rory, of course, is the one they have to beat following his wins at Hoylake, Firestone and Valhalla. It’ll take a brave man to bet against him. Rickie Fowler is the hard luck story of 2014 having finished inside the TOP5 in each of the 4 Majors. He will be a popular pick here but I’d be inclined to back Scott or Stenson ahead of him pending price. In his last five starts, Fowler has also been runner up on two occasions with two 8th placings and the 3rd place finish at the PGA. Scott has had four TOP10s in his last five starts. He tasted victory six starts ago. It’s three TOP10s in his last five starts for Stenson and he will have good memories of these playoffs twelve months ago too.

Selection 1: Jim Furyk @ 28/1 BetVictor

 Adam Scott is the defending champion but, unfortunately, we'll be missing Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson. Jim Furyk however will be delighted to play this week as he was disqualified back in 2010 for missing his tee time in the pro-am which due to the rules, meant he became ineligible to play the tournament. Furyk was third in the rankings at the time and he enters this week ranked fifth. Perhaps he’s due? He could well be, as recent form has been brilliant, and he’s been knocking on the door for that elusive win nearly every week.  In his last ten starts, Jim has finished in the TOP10 six times, with three of those coming as runner-up.

 Selection 2: Sergio Garcia @ 20/1 BetVictor

 Sergio Garcia has had a tremendous season so far and chased Rory home at Hoylake. Whilst Valhalla was a course that he wasn’t overly fond of, he’ll be looking forward to Ridgewood. He was beaten by Singh in that playoff in 2008 so he’ll be looking forward to this week much more than he did in Kentucky. Three Runner up placings in his last five starts cannot be dismissed lightly and he’s bound to contend here again this time round.

Selection3: Kevin Streelman @ 100/1 Betfair Sportsbook

Streelman is well worth a dabble this week. Winner at The Travelers this season, Streelman has course form here and a story or two to tell also. Although Kevin hails from outside Chicago, his parents hail from nearby Glen Rock and indeed his grandparents are buried in the cemetery that adjoins the 7th fairway. Streelman shot a 63 here in 2010 when finishing 3rd to back up his 4th placing in 2008. He may have some spiritual guidance around Ridgewood, but its clear he likes the place and he has to be included once again for another bold showing.
Finally I'm adding both Paul Casey & Martin Kaymer into my staking plan this week. Casey has secured his card for next season and last weeks performance may be the catalyst for a good showing here. At 100/1, also with BetVictor that 6th TOP20 of the season augurs well for his progress and he can produce a solid score here like he did on his previous visits when finishing 12th in 2010 and 7th in 2008.
Kaymer is overpriced this week. Yes his form has dipped since he won at Pinehurst but I cannot ignore him @ 80/1 this week. Double Major Champion, the Players Champion and stalwart of the European Ryder Cup team, Martin will be up for these FedEx Cup playoffs
Staking Plan:
1 pt e/w J.Furyk @ 28/1 BetVictor
1.5 pts e/w S. Garcia @ 20/1 BetVictor
0.5 pts e/w K. Streelman @ 100/1 Betfair Sportsbook
0.5 pts e/w P.Casey @ 100/1 BetVictor
0.5 pts e/w M.Kaymer @ 80/1 BetVictor

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