The Fantasy Insider: John Deere ClassicJuly 09, 2013
By Rob Bolton, Fantasy Insider, PGATOUR.COM
The conversation surrounding the top 125 in FedExCup points has ramped up, and rightfully so. Just eight tournaments remain before the Playoffs begin, and with two doubleheaders in the next four weeks, that time is going to fly by.
The top 125 at the conclusion of the Wyndham Championship qualify for the FedExCup Playoffs. They are also fully exempt for 2013-14. Those ranking 126-200 in FedExCup points are eligible for the four-event Web.com Tour Finals from which 50 will earn fully exempt status on the 2013-14 PGA TOUR.
Golfers finishing 1-75 on the Web.com Tour money list can also compete in the Web.com Tour Finals. The top 25 in Web.com Tour regular-season earnings are guaranteed PGA TOUR status in 2013-14. In addition to prize money in the Web.com Tour Finals, they'll be playing for position in the reshuffle.
The leaders in earnings of both the 2013 Web.com Tour and the Web.com Tour Finals will be exempt from the reshuffle. Each will earn a berth into the 2014 PLAYERS Championship although the same golfer could finish atop both lists.
Other golfers could also qualify for the Web.com Tour Finals. These would include any that finish 126-200 in non-member FedExCup points and golfers that missed time due to injury and/or personal crisis. Golfer fully exempt on the 2013-14 PGA TOUR but ineligible for the FedExCup Playoffs can participate in the Web.com Tour Finals, but they will have no impact on the graduate reshuffle since they'd already own status in a higher priority ranking.
There is no qualifying criterion for combined earnings on the PGA TOUR and Web.com Tour or a fusion of FedExCup points with Web.com Tour earnings. Only in the depths of the PGA TOUR Priority Rankings do combined earnings help assign spots in the overall pecking order for Past Champions and Veteran Members, but this has no connection to the new qualifying process for PGA TOUR status.
Look for my choices for PGATOUR.COM's fantasy game for the John Deere Classic in Expert Picks. My one-and-done selection, analysis and season totals will appear in The TOUR Report on Wednesday.
On a Roll
Jonas Blixt ... Thoroughly impressive week at Greenbrier en route to his second PGA TOUR victory. Despite ranking 67th in total driving and T43 in greens in regulation, he placed second in strokes gained-putting, T3 in scrambling, first in par breakers and converted on all 53 chances from five feet and in. He acknowledged that it completely changed his year. While a letdown can't be ruled out, this isn't an unfamiliar territory for the Swede. Plus, his top-shelf short game can play anywhere.
Harris English ... Since emerging with his first PGA TOUR victory at the FedEx St. Jude Classic, he's 2-for-2 to suggest that he's taken it in stride. That offers relief to gamers that hold their breath after a 20something breaks through. Making his debut at TPC Deere Run. Ranks 44th on TOUR in greens in regulation and 21st in par breakers.
Tommy Gainey ... Opened Greenbrier with a 62 to share the 18-hole lead en route to his third consecutive cut made, the first time he's strung together that many since last year.
K.J. Choi ... No worse than 68 in his last three rounds at Greenbrier to reel in a top 25, his sixth on the year. Tied for 13th at last year's John Deere Classic despite a 72 in the second round.
Greg Owen ... Sandwiched a missed cut at the AT&T National with top 25s in Connecticut and West Virginia. Tied for ninth at TPC Deere Run in 2009.
Brendan Steele ... First start at TPC Deere Run. After missing six consecutive cuts, he's rebounded by going 3-for-3 with two top 20s. Sits 50th in greens hit.
George McNeill ... Tied for 17th at Greenbrier where he led the field in fairways hit and ranked T9 in greens in regulation and 13th in proximity to the hole. Two top 25s in five appearances at TPC Deere Run.
Chad Campbell ... Enters having survived four consecutive cuts for the first time in over a year. A T16 at the AT&T National is his best finish this season.
Nicholas Thompson ... More like "On the Road." This is his 13th straight start dating back to the RBC Heritage. He's survived just five of the 12 cuts, but four occurred consecutively in the back half -- from the FedEx St. Jude Classic through the AT&T National.
Horses for Courses
Luke Guthrie ... The University of Illinois product tied for fifth here last year. His only notable result of the last two months was a T21 at Congressional where he closed with a pair of 69s and ranked second in scrambling and third in par 4 scoring average.
Kevin Streelman ... Attended high school in the western suburbs of Chicago, a couple of hours from the Quad Cities, so this isn't necessarily any kind of home game for the well-traveled PGA TOUR winner. However, he's logged a pair of eighth-place finishes in three starts at TPC Deere Run. This tournament comes at a great time since he's missed four consecutive cuts since a co-runner-up at THE PLAYERS Championship.
Charles Howell III ... While he's already paid off salary gamers on the strength of five top 10s, he hasn't added a top 15 in his last six starts. That relative slide is in danger of continuing at TPC Deere Run where he's survived six of seven cuts and signed for 23 of 26 rounds under par.
Chris Kirk ... TPC Deere Run offers an opportunity for him to find some form given all eight of his rounds here have been under par. He's finished no better than T35 in his last six starts entering this week.
Jerry Kelly ... Solid record of four top 25s among six cuts made in seven appearances and under par in 21 of his 26 rounds. Arrives this week having survived his last five cuts on the season, two of which resulted in a top 25.
Jeff Overton ... A T59 at Greenbrier extended his drought without a top 25 to eight starts, but he's 4-for-4 with two top 25s at TPC Deere Run and 14 of 16 rounds under par.
Brian Harman ... Had a front-row seat in the penultimate pairing last year playing alongside eventual champion Zach Johnson. The lefty closed with a 73 and settled with a share of 19th place in his debut.
Ben Kohles ... The PGA TOUR rookie hasn't posted consecutive rounds under par since opening Colonial 67-67 only to taper to a T62. That remains his best finish in his last 10 starts. He needs to harness some of that blistering form with which he began his Web.com Tour season a year ago since the developmental circuit is known as a breeding ground for par breakers. Ranks T22 in proximity to the hole on the PGA TOUR and T45 in putting inside 10 feet.
Not So Fast
D.A. Points ... No hometown tournament love here. The native of Pekin, Ill., is 1-for-7 at TPC Deere Run with a T38 in 2011. He's broken par in only seven of 16 competitive rounds on the course. He also arrives having broken par just once in his last 11 this season.
Pat Perez ... With top 10s in two of his last three starts, some gamers will disagree with his spot here. Consider it a reminder that he's one of the most difficult on TOUR to project. However, his recent success has fallen relatively in line with his course history. With that in mind, in his last eight starts at TPC Deere Run, he's finished no better than T30 in 2009. Rate him as a calculated flier to complement more reliable options.
Carl Pettersson ... An inconsistent history at TPC Deere Run aside -- he's survived four of seven cuts and hasn't broken par in a third round -- he's gone nine consecutive starts entering this week without a top 25 and hasn't broken par in a third round in the eight cuts he survived during that stretch.
Kevin Stadler ... After a T10 in his first appearance at this event in 2005, he's 1-for-5 with a T34 in 2010. He's also gone six starts this season without a top 25. The 33-year-old non-winner makes enough cuts to remain valuable in our world, but only in long-term formats.
Sean O'Hair ... Broke through at the John Deere Classic for his first of four PGA TOUR victories, but has missed the cut in his most recent of two appearances (2008, 2012). He's also currently in the midst of a stretch in which he's survived only three of 11 cuts, none of which resulting in a top 40.
Scott Langley ... The Illinois native and product of the University of Illinois has missed 14 of 21 cuts this season, including his last three. He's also gone 16 rounds without breaking par.
Trevor Immelman ... Making his debut at TPC Deere Run. Missed four straight cuts for the first time since a similar period of the schedule in 2011.
Greg Chalmers ... Riding an 0-for-4 skid and no top 35s in his last 12 starts. Has broken par just once in his last 11 rounds.
Aaron Baddeley ... Extended his streak of missed cuts to nine when he was six swings too high at The Greenbrier Classic. He's carded 72 or higher in 16 of his last 21 rounds.
Vaughn Taylor ... Since a T10 at the Wells Fargo Championship vaulted him to 123rd in FedExCup points, he's fallen to 148th after going 2-for-6 with no better than a T66 at the FedEx St. Jude Classic.
Charlie Beljan ... Zero top 35s among four cuts made in his last 14 starts.
Justin Bolli ... Six consecutive missed cuts since finishing fourth at the HP Byron Nelson Championship.
Colt Knost ... Since a T21 at the HP Byron Nelson Championship, he's missed five straight cuts.
Will Claxton ... He's missed 14 of 19 cuts, including his last four. No top 25s among his five cuts made.
Back in the Saddle
Justin Hicks ... After stringing together four sub-70s en route to a T7 in Memphis, he's gone 0-for-3 with a withdrawal in his last start at the AT&T National due to a back injury.
Jimmy Walker, Marc Leishman and Peter Hanson ... Each qualified for next week's Open Championship.
Cameron Tringale, James Driscoll and Jason Kokrak ... Each rank inside the top 80 in FedExCup points.
Steve Marino ... Fifth straight week off. Still has nine starts on his Major Medical Extension.
Kris Blanks ... His return remains on hold as he withdrew from the Utah Championship. It's his second early WD in the last three Web.com Tour events.