Another good week last week as both Clark and Pettersson came close, finishing 2nd and T4 respectively. We now move onto the lucrative Playoffs where the top 125 on the money list tee it up at The Barclays. This year, the first of the Playoff events - The Barclays, has moved to the fearsome Bethpage Black Course, the venue of the 2009 US Open
Total driving is the premium around Bethpage Black. Weather conditions are expected to be vastly different from those at the rain soaked 2009 US Open but on a course playing just shy of 7,500 yards to a par of 71 and without a lot of room off the tee, length combined with accuracy will be extremely important. Greens are small and those with a high ball flight and good spin control from approaches may prevail. Woods and McIlroy dominate the market and will be tough to beat around this track but here are the most likely contenders IMO. Follow me on Twitter: @Nicspicks.
The Barclays Picks 2012
Pick #1: Justin Rose e/w @ 28/1 (general) Winner on tour already this year, Rose comes into the Playoffs and The Barclays off the back of a progressive T5 and T3 at the Bridgestone and PGA Championship respectively. Obviously peaking formwise, Rose sits in the top twenty in the total driving department and lies 1st in GIR%. I mentioned high ball flight from approaches and Rose fits into this category. Everything points to a challenge at The Barclays.
Pick #2: Sergio Garcia e/w @ 28/1 (general) I can't ignore Sergio off the back of a confidence rocketing win at the Wyndham Championship. The Spaniard booked his place in the Ryder Cup and a huge weight has been lifted. He will feel like he's free rolling on his return to the venue he posted a top 10 at in the 2009 US Open. Despite a poor overall season, Garcia still ranks 21st in scoring average and with his tee to green game, Bethpage black is his type of track.
Pick #3: Adam Scott e/w @ 33/1 (general) seems a little overpriced relative to the field. In his best form of the season now, Scott ranked 5th in total driving in 2011 and barring his poor showing at Bridgestone (off the back of Open championship disappointment) his form reads 3rd, second, and T11 at the PGA where he was right in contention on the final day. Course should suit the Aussie this year at The Barclays.
Pick #4: Keegan Bradley e/w @ 33/1 (general) A must pick this week for me with all his stats measuring up to make him a standout for Bethpage. Coming into The Barclays off a win at Bridgestone and a T3 at the PGA, Bradley seems to thrive at this time of the year. 10th in total driving and 1st in the all round, Keegan also sits 19th in putting from 15-20' which could be key this week on smallish green surfaces.
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The Barclays Sleeper Picks Vijay Singh (160.0) and KJ Choi (270.0) are two long odd players I think the course may suit this week. Singh is playing some of his best golf for a while with a couple of top tens in his last three events while Choi showed glimpses of his old self in the early stages of the PGA Championship. They can be backed ew at 80s and 125/1 respectively in the first round leader market and both could be decent potential trades on Betfair.
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