OK, you’re a PGA Tour pro but you didn’t qualify for this week’s Open Championship in England.
What’s a player to do?
Well, that’s easy. There’s a secondary event, the Barbasol Championship, being held at Keene Trace Golf Club in Nicholasville, KY.
Granted, it’s not going to be a showcase event as most of the big names will be teeing it up across the Pond.
But, that’s great news for many players looking to make a move. And there are plenty who need to make a move.
Remember, it’s just about a month until the FedEx Cup playoffs and for those looking to climb the ladder when it comes to FedEx Cup points and Official World Golf Ranking spots there’s no better week to make your move.
If you’re outside the top 125, those points would make the difference between getting into the playoffs and having three weeks to work on your game and get ready for the 2021-2022 wraparound season which is, weirdly, just around the corner.
Along with those points, the winner also receives a top prize of around $650,000. Now that may seem paltry compared to the $2-plus million the winner of the Open Championship will pocket, but it’s one other major perk that will have guys fighting like there’s no tomorrow. And that’s because the winner will also earn that highly-coveted two-year exemption on Tour and be able to pick and choose events rather than being on the alternate list or sponsor invite list.
Odds To Win The Barbasol Championship From DraftKings
|Barbasol Championship Odds||DraftKings|
Lacking Star-Power Can Be A Good Thing
While the stars are shining at the Open Championship, it’s the guys in that next tier of talent who are trying to break into that ‘star’ status category.
The list of winners (there have been just five events held) is what you’d expect from this type of tournament: players who could be on the rise or players who found lightning in a bottle for one week.
In the former category is Troy Merritt. He won here in 2018 (with Jim Herman winning in 2019. The 2020 event was cancelled). Merritt is now finding his way into the PGA Tour spotlight when it comes to Sundays as he lost in a playoff at the Rocket Mortgage Classic two weeks ago to help jump-start his career.
Time For The Next Contestant To Step Up
Like one of the famed game shows always tells us:
‘Come on down, you’re the next winner on the PGA Tour’ or something along those lines.
This is one of those weeks Tour players dream about. With a field that’s down because it’s an off-field event, it’s time for that next player to step up his game.
And the odds prove that out as, at least on DraftKings, the favorites are +2000. That’s unheard of when it comes to big events because the oddsmakers know the names like Dustin Johnson, Jon Rahm, etc., are likely to have a shot come Sunday. When there aren’t the big names, it’s a guessing game.
Well, let the guessing begin.
Let’s Start Out With a Longer-Than-Average Longshot
We’re looking at Chesson Hadley at +5000. It’s a big gamble that he’s going to win but he’s got no choice. He’s ranked 243rd in the points race and has to make a move…now.
He’s got a never-say-die attitude and we like that. He came off five straight missed cuts with a T-2 at the Palmetto Championship. He also played solid last week at the John Deere (T-34 with two average weekend rounds) so he’s going in the right direction.
With the talent level on more even footing, this just might be his week.
But Then There’s A Player Looking For a Comeback
While we’re concentrating on those players trying to make a name (and pick up a win) for themselves, let’s not forget about the guy who may have just gotten his act together…and just in the nick of time.
A name like Luke List, one of the favorites at +2000, is perfect in this spot.
List is coming off a T-4 at the John Deere Classic after three straight missed cuts. He put together four solid rounds and was on the first page of the leaderboard all week.
And he needs a great finish. Heading into the John Deere, List was T-117 in the FedEx Cup points race. His finish last week moved him up but there’s still work to be done.
He is still looking for that first PGA Tour win (he lost in a playoff in the 2018 Honda Classic to Justin Thomas) so there’s no better time than the present.
There you have it: A full field of golfers looking to find their way into the winner’s circle and move up in the points chase.
Whether it’s another victory or their first, it doesn’t matter. It’s the check, the FedEx Cup points and the two-year exemption that will result in a huge smile during that post-tournament interview.