Barclays Opens FedExCup Scramble
With the four major tournaments and Rio 2016 behind them, the prestige among the PGA players has been decided. Now the tour turns into a cash grab. Starting with this week's Barclays, held at Bethpage in Pennsylvania, the next four tournaments comprise the FedExCup Playoffs, which will ostensibly determine the year's PGA champion. But with a total of $67 million in prize and bonus money on the line, it's obviously more than that. Earnings can almost be calculated by the stroke.
The top players have been accruing FedExCup points all season, which qualified the best 125 of them for the playoffs. But the points have been meager compared to those offered in the coming weeks. Consider this: Jason Day currently leads the standings with 2,735 points. Each of the playoff tournaments offers 2,000 points for the winner. So almost anyone can be in contention after The Barclays. It will be a scramble. Here at the top contenders for the $8.5 million Barclays:
JASON DAY is the world No. 1, the defending champion here, and has been playing the most consistently good golf all year. He's an obvious choice.
DUSTIN JOHNSON has been playing well since his breakthrough win in the U.S. Open, with four more top 10s. He mysteriously missed the cut in the PGA Championship, and this will be his first event since. How will he wear the rust?
JORDAN SPIETH won the FedExCup last year and is fifth in the 2016 standings, so he still has something to say. He just hasn't been saying as much lately.
HENRIK STENSON followed up his British Open title with a seventh place in the PGA and a silver medal in Rio. He has to be considered one of the hottest coming in. And he was second place in The Barclays last year.
Day should be the favorite here, and if he comes up at +300 or better in Barclays betting futures, consider that a value play. Stenson and Johnson are worth around +500, and Spieth +800. Toss in Adam Scott, Justin Rose, Sergio Garcia and Jim Furyk as long shots at about +1200 or better. Also look for matchups, by round and for the 72 holes.
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