Expert Picks: The Barclays

August 21, 2012
PGA TOUR staff

The PGA TOUR travels to Bethpage State Park Black Course for The Barclays. Here's how the PGATOUR.COM experts sized up the top contenders:

How it works: Our experts from PGATOUR.COM select the player they think will win this week's event. By using a draft process, no two picks can be the same. The player who wins the previous week picks last the following week.
MORE: Power Rankings | Inside the Field | Inside the Course | FANTASY GOLF: Play our game
SLEEPER PICKS: Who will surprise at Bethpage Black?
Expert Picks: The Barclays
Pick orderPlayer selected
TIGER WOODS. I had to pick Tiger Woods at Bethpage Black ... right? He's the only player with three PGA TOUR wins this year. Ranks first in FedExCup points, scoring average and money. And ... he's won on this course before.
KEEGAN BRADLEY. I love his playoff seed of eighth, leaving just enough incentive to jump into the top five before the TOUR Championship. He won the Bridgestone Invitational and was third at Kiawah, giving him the best two-week run of anyone going into the Playoffs.
If Swantek had the top pick ... Bradley
CARL PETTERSSON. The Swede showed no emotional letdown after a grueling week at the PGA. Instead, he continued the best golf of his career with a top five in Greensboro. I see no reason that trend won't continue this week.
If Balionis had the top pick ... Woods
RORY MCILROY.. Thanks for picking Pettersson and Bradley ahead of the world No. 1, guys. Bethpage Black is a big ballpark, and no one is hitting it better than Rory right now. Tied for 10th here in 2009 U.S. Open. If he putts halfway decent, it's over.
If Smithson had the top pick ... McIlroy
MATT KUCHAR. Steve Stricker may be Mr. September, but Matt Kuchar could be "Mr. Late August." After winning The Barclays in 2010, Kuchar was a runner-up to Dustin Johnson last year. His putting stats have dipped, but I look for Kuchar to get rolling.
If Dunham had the top pick ... McIlroy
GRAEME MCDOWELL. I thought about Mr. October-in-September, Steve Stricker, but McDowell's been playing too well to overlook. G-Mac's rattled off four straight top-25s at big events. Finished top 20 here in 2009.
If Deason had the top pick ... Woods
BO VAN PELT. As long as he's in the FedExCup Playoffs -- and at 23rd in points right now he's got a great shot at going all the way -- I'm backing him. He's been ultra-consistent this year (eight top-10s and 13 top-25s in 20 starts) and he's second in the all-around.
If Schwarb had the top pick ... Van Pelt
BUBBA WATSON. Coming off a T11 at the PGA Championship -- and I like him at another bomber's course at Bethpage Black. First in driving distance, second in greens hit and second in greens hit from the rough. Tied for 18th here in 2009.
If Cooney had the top pick ... McIlroy
PHIL MICKELSON. He says he's been lethargic, but Phil has a lot to play for over the next six weeks -- and there's nothing like a New York crowd to get the man who finished second in the two U.S. Opens played at Bethpage going again.
If Ross had the top pick ... Pettersson
ADAM SCOTT. The Black Course suits his game well with a premium on length off the tee. Plus, caddie Steve Williams knows it better than anyone after his trips around the place with Tiger Woods in 2002 and 2009. Was a strong T11 two weeks ago at Kiawah Island.
If Wacker had the top pick ... Woods
DUSTIN JOHNSON. There is a new venue this year, so being the defending champ has little carryover effect. But considering that Bethpage Black is 7,468 yards, DJ's length could have a huge impact. Bonus: He's won Playoffs events the last two years.
If McAllister had the top pick ... Bradley
Standings after 33 events
LAST WEEK: The Regular Season title belongs to Lauren Deason, but the FedExCup Playoffs mean 2,500 points are on the line every week, so it's anyone's ballgame. Last week was a solid week for picks -- although no one had Sergio Garcia. Mike McAllister's pick of Tim Clark (solo second) was one of four picks in the top 10.
Position Name Wins Top-5s Top-10s Top-25s MCs FedExCup points
1 Lauren Deason
Editorial Coordinator
4 9 11 19 4 3854.24
2 Ryan Smithson
Site Producer
4 11 14 22 4 3679.00
3 John Swantek
Host, On The Tee
2 5 12 15 11 2620.15
4 Helen Ross
Chief of Correspondents
1 5 8 19 7 2548.70
5 Amanda Balionis
Host, PGA TOUR Today
1 8 16 19 9 2510.50
6 Mike McAllister
Managing Editor
1 5 7 16 6 2247.10
7 Brian Wacker
Site Producer
2 6 7 12 8 2132.03
8 John Schwarb
Site Producer
1 4 8 17 5 2029.00
9 Chris Dunham
Editorial Coordinator
1 3 5 17 3 1866.99
10 Anne Szeker
Site Producer
0 4 11 19 2 1620.33
11 *Bill Cooney
Site Producer
1 1 3 7 3 938.50
*First event in Week 19 at HP Byron Nelson Championship

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