Predictions: The Barclays

There’s a big week of golf on tap for the men of the PGA Tour, as The Barclays marks the start of the FedEx Cup playoffs. Players will look to position themselves heading into the Deutsche Bank Championship next week, and try to build momentum for the next few tournaments. While some people still don’t completely understand the entire FedEx cup format (it’s still flawed), it does usually provide us with some exciting finishes and plenty of drama down the stretch run. With that said, it’s time for predictions!

Here’s my five favorites heading into the week:

Phil Mickelson

Phil didn’t start well at the PGA Championship, but he finished with a lot of momentum, which could have him towards the top of his game heading into this week. He’s still trying to become the top ranked player in the world, and try to at least add another win on the season. When he won at the Masters in April, we all thought this would be a huge year for him. Unfortunately though, he’s sort of just been average since then, and needs to put something together in the next few weeks. His accuracy has been all over the place as of late, but his short game will definitely put him in contention this week.

Rory McIlroy

McIlroy has already won once this year on tour, and came oh so close to his first major championship at Whistling Straits. His game should translate well to this course, as his consistency should allow him to be in contention the entire week. There’s no doubt that he just keeps getting better and better each week, and that won’t be any different here. This is another chance for him to prove himself against the top stars, and I just think he’s going to play very well here.

Tiger Woods

Honestly, of the five on this list, I’d probably rank Tiger fifth. I still don’t have the confidence to be completely sure of picking him, however, this does seem like a reasonable spot for him to contend. While we didn’t see as much as we wanted to see at Whistling Straits, he did show signs that he was heading in the right direction. He started off well before struggling to a decent finish, but he’ll certainly be searching for more this week. I think he is in contention on Saturday, and we’ll find out Sunday if he’s officially back if he can make a run to the top of the leaderboard.

Zach Johnson

This guy will be flying under the radar heading into this event, but he shouldn’t be. He finished tied for third at the PGA, and should play well at this type of course. He’s already got a win this year at Colonial, and this seems like a perfect spot for him to pick up another win. He’s one of the more accurate players on tour, and is one of the better putters. That’s the perfect recipe for success here, and there’s just something about this guy that I like heading into this tournament. He’ll be in contention.

Steve Stricker

Stricker’s won twice on tour this year, but had a disappointing showing in his home state for the PGA. That shouldn’t bother him too much though, as he’s still one of the favorites to not only win this event, but to win the FedEx Cup playoffs as well. If he can get out to a quick start, and pick up some birdies early, he has the consistency to keep it going into the weekend, and ultimately be a factor on Sunday. If he sticks to his game and doesn’t try to force the issue on a course that will make you pay for mistakes, then he’ll be towards the top all week.

And the winner is…..

I’m having a tough time picking between McIlroy and Johnson, as I think both are in prime position to win here. Though their stats may not exactly match up with the type of course that this is, I just have a feeling that both will play well.

However, I like the confidence that McIlroy is playing with right now, and I think he picks up the win this week in New Jersey.

Who is your pick for the week?

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Tags: Barclays Picks Barclays Predictions Deutsche Bank Championship FedEx Cup Playoffs Golf Golf Picks Golf Predictions Masters PGA PGA Championship Phil Mickelson Rory McIlroy Steve Stricker Tiger Woods Whistling Straits World Golf Rankings Zach Johnson

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