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The Tour Report

August 24 2011

5:50 PM

FedExCup Update: The Barclays

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Reigning FedExCup champion Jim Furyk is finding his game just in time for a title defense.
PLAYOFFS:  Field Study | Points scenarios | Bubble watch | Questions | Guidebook | Season-saving potential By Chris Dunham, PGATOUR.COM Peaking at the right time is crucial to finding success in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup. For the two past FedExCup champions playing this week, their games just may be coming around at the right time. Vijay Singh, the 2008 FedExCup champion, started strong this year but did not crack the top 25 in a tournament in June or July. After a tie for fourth at last week’s Wyndham Championship, however, Singh moved back up to 36th in the standings. Jim Furyk, who returns to defend the FedExCup title, hasn’t had a big-FedExCup-points week this season with a trio of T9 finishes being his high marks. In the stretch of 13 starts between his T9 at Bay Hill and last week’s T9 in Greensboro, Furyk missed five cuts and never cracked the top 20. Furyk, like many others, has found something now with a long putter. He was in contention after 45 strong holes at the PGA Championship and last week he posted four rounds in the 60s at the Wyndham Championship. He knows that one more good week can land him, or anyone, right in the thick of the FedExCup race. “If I was able to go out and win one of the next three events, all of the sudden you've got yourself in a situation where you could win the FedExCup again,” he said. Past champions Furyk (10 Playoffs top-20s) and Singh (four top 20s, two wins) know that big week is all it takes and have done it before. BUBBLE WATCH: A number of notable names will have their eyes filled with “Bubble Vision” this week.. Major champions Graeme McDowell (93rd), Retief Goosen (101st), Ernie Els (118th) and Padraig Harrington (124th) all have work to do to move on to the Deutsche Bank Championship. Others on the bubble include former Playoffs standouts Camilo Villegas (109th) and Heath Slocum (112th), as well as 2010 PGA TOUR winners like Anthony Kim (92nd), Stuart Appleby (113th) and Ian Poulter (114th). Kodak Challenge leader Bill Lunde checks in this week at No. 103, also needing a good Barclays showing. In two years under the current FedExCup points distribution format, just nine players have moved from outside the top 100 into the Deutsche Bank Championship field. It’s a safe bet that more than a couple of the names listed above will be eliminated this week. PICKS GALORE:
In addition to the weekly Expert Picks feature, the PGATOUR.COM panel predicted who they think will win the FedExCup and who they believe will make the biggest move in the Playoffs. See any picks you like or think we’ve missed on? Let us know in the comments below.