2015 The Barclays Picks + Predictions, Plus the Driver-Off-The-Deck BOLD Play of the Week #isitThursdayyet

Following last week’s awesomeness that was Davis Love III winning at the ripe young age of 51 at the Wyndham Championship, onward to the playoffs we march (yes, we talkin’ bout playoffs!), with The Barclays officially kicking off the action. 

This year’s host course is Plainfield CC in Edison, NJ, which played host to the event its first and only time back in 2011.  Hurricane Irene shortened the event that year to 54 holes and was so wet seals were splashing in the fairways, making it a dart throwing contest into the overly saturated greens.  It’s still certainly a benefit to have the prior course knowledge, but unquestionably the Donald Ross layout/Gil Hanse design will play far different this time around.

With the fifth hole being reduced from a par 5 to a par 4, Plainfield now plays as a par 70 (34-36), at a total of about 7,100 yards, it’s medium in length relatively speaking.  At 7,500 square feet on average, the poa annua greens are large, so scrambling will likely play less of a factor this week than some others.

Last week at the Wyndham Championship, all 4 of my picks again made the cut, with Lockzilla Brooks Koepka continuing his hot run to notch a t-6th finish and my Driver-off-the-Deck BOLD play of the week Cameron Smith finishing a solid t-18th.  My other Lockzilla Justin Thomas completely imploded on Sunday after being in the top 10 at one point and fell all the way to a t-56th finish.  My BUST on Carl Pettersson was a miss, as the local fella finished t-6th.

Now, let’s hop into some picks for this week:

LOCKZILLAS (Last Week: Thomas t-56th, Koepka t-6th)

Brooks Koepka
Brooks Koepka
– Despite the fact that CBS STILL refuses to show us hardly any Koepka (no joke- they’ve showed a total of 3 Koepka shots on Sunday the past two weeks, when he finished t-5th at the PGA and t-6th at the Wyndham- oh yeah, and they were all on tape delay), he is one of the hottest players in the world at the moment.  Eight straight top 25s worldwide and absolutely poised for a monster FedEx Cup Playoff run.  Stay aboard the Koepka train again this week.

Matt Kuchar
Matt Kuchar
– Matty K has finally been rounding back into Kuch-like form of late, with a t-7th at the PGA being his sixth top 26 finish worldwide in his past seven starts.  Kuch hasn’t missed the Tour Championship since back in 2009, and at 26th currently in the FedEx Cup Standings, he’ll need to play well the next few weeks to earn a tee time at East Lake (a course in his home state that he absolutely loves).  Add in that he finished runner-up to DJ here in the rain-shortened event back in 2011 and Kuch is arguably the safest play on the board this week.

SEMI-FLIER (Last Week: Castro t-66th)

Brandt Snedeker
Brandt Snedeker
– A bit of an unnerving finish on Sunday at the Wyndham Championship, as Sneds ballooned to a final round 75, falling from in contention to wildly out of it (t-43rd).  The good news?  Sneds loves him some poa, and that’s the surfaces that he’ll be rollin’ his nugget on this week.  Oh yeah, and Sneds isn’t one to take his poor Sunday finish lightly.  On Thursday at the Wyndham, he was peeved at the way the he played (shot 70), so he practiced intensely til dark, then came back out and fired a course record-tying 61 in the second round.  He followed it up with a third round 67 and ok yeah, it didn’t last week with the aforementioned poor final round, but with the poa factor, rising recent form, and the fact the he finished t-3rd here in 2011 (which also included a 61), lovin’ me some Sneds again this week.

HOSEL-ROCKET BUST (Last week: Pettersson t-6th)

Adam Scott
Adam Scott– Don’t be lured in by his plummeting price in DFS, Adam is a basket case right now.  He can’t buy a putt to save his life and with Stevie leaving him for good now, that’s not going to improve anytime soon.  It’s just plain sad to see a former world #1 and likable guy like Adam struggling so badly with his confidence in such a critical area of his game, but after watching nearly every one of his shots on PGA Tour Live on Friday morning (and yep, that was his best round of the week- 67) I can tell you that he’s nowhere close to getting past his troubles with the flatstick.  Stay away until further notice.

DRIVER-OFF-THE-DECK BOLD PLAY OF THE WEEK (Last Week: Cameron Smith t-18th)

Nick Watney
Nick Watney
– This five time PGA Tour champ (past Barclays champ too- at Bethpage) is finally beginning to rediscover some form with three top 35s in his past four Tour starts.  Yes, I realize that he hasn’t notched a top 10 since May, but I’m betting that a return to a tournament that he loves where he finished t-10th in ’11 at Plainfield will change that.  Nick Watney is your Driver-off-the-Deck BOLD play of the week!

#isitThursdayyet

Joel Harrington
@joel4deepgolf

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