By Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy Insider
The timing of The Barclays lands at the confluence of strategies employed in this format. For frontrunners, it's merely the next step on the path to success. Treat this week as you would any invitational with a 36-hole cut. For those in pursuit, you assume what's sure to be a popular position of leaving nothing on the table. While the gamers ahead of you can take the same approach, they're more likely to stick with what got them where they are. Of course, if you use FedExCup points instead of earnings, then all bets are off since points are quintupled.
My run through the Playoffs is pretty much mapped out. Of the top 13 in my Power Rankings, only Adam Scott (fourth) and Jason Dufner (sixth) are still on my board. Since I've reserved the Aussie for next week's Deutsche Bank Championship [DBC], I'll go ahead and burn Dufner at Liberty National. Even if I had something against a guy coming off his first victory in a major, he's still the most valuable possibility available. I've also bought into his assessment that the victory at Oak Hill will change his life, but it won't change him. If any touring pro was going to say that, he's at the top of the short list of guys in whom you believe it's true.
Because it's always wise to plan ahead when possible, I'm saving Luke Donald for the BMW Championship at Conway Farms where he's a member. The top 70 in the FedExCup standings at the conclusion of the DBC will advance to the BMW. The Englishman starts The Barclays ranked 55th, so he'll need to survive at least one of the first two cuts to have a fighting chance to qualify.
Last week: Hideki Matsuyama; 15th; $95,400.00
Overall Record: 33-for-36
Top 5s: 7
Top 10s: 16
Top 25s: 25
Missed Cuts: 3