Okay, class, sit up straight and eyes forward. It’s time for a math lesson. It’s one that every PGA Tour pro knows very well.
Pay attention because there are a lot of numbers coming up that are important. And there will be a test at the end.
It’s simple math for the next three weeks. But it’s math that doesn’t add up when it comes to the Tour: 126 is greater–or more than–125. In most aspects of life, that’s a good thing. On the PGA Tour, 126 is one of the worst possible numbers players want their name associated with.
See, the top 125 make it to the FedEx Cup playoffs that begin in just two weeks. In that time, there are three Tour events for players to make a move if they aren’t in the top 125.
If you’re No. 126 after these three events, enjoy your time off before the 2021-2022 wraparound season begins.
Two of those tournaments are this week, the WGC-FedEx Cup St. Jude Invitational (where all the big boys will be teeing it up so their status is secure) and the Barracuda Championship, an alternate-field event that will have players crunching numbers after every shot.
The Barracuda Championship will be played at Tahoe Mt. Club in Truckee, CA.
While both offer great tuneups for players as the playoffs get nearer (just two weeks away after next week’s Wyndham Championship), it’s the Barracuda event that will be front and center.
Odds To Win The Barracuda Championship From DraftKings.
|DraftKings||Odds To Win|
It’s All A Numbers Game
As we said earlier, if you’re No. 125 when the playoffs start you’re in the picture. That’s why this week is so vital to so many players looking to play their way in.
With the WGC event taking the big names off the board, it opens up a variety of ways for players to get in.
Obviously winning is the No. 1 choice. And while there can only be one winner, players in the top 10 after the event can certainly move themselves into the playoff picture with one week remaining.
Check Out The Format Before You Bet
This tournament gives players an ideal format to be aggressive. It’s called the Modified Stableford scoring format and it’s quite simple. Players are still looking for birdies and eagles (or better) but the scoring is drastically different.
Players earn eight points for a double eagle, five points for an eagle, two points for a birdie and zero points for a par.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is players lose one point for a bogey and they lose three points for a double bogey or worse.
That means it’s flag hunting time.
It’s Time For A Perfect Storm
The last two winners, Collin Morikawa two years ago and Richy Werenski last year, have shown a victory here can be life-changing. It may be an alternate-field event but the past few winners have shown how life-changing a win here can be.
This year might be time for another perfect storm.
Brandt Snedeker at +3500 has had mixed success here. He was T-6 three years ago but fell to T-27 two years ago and T-67 last year. But, he’s also got a pair of top-20 finishes in his last two outings including the Open Championship.
He’s at No. 91 in the FedEx Cup standings so a win here (or a very high finish) moves him up into a more comfortable spot in the playoffs race. That’s all players can ask for.
But with his recent success, it just might be time to put all four rounds together and hoist that championship trophy.
Other Choices Also In The Picture
Just because a player hasn’t performed well recently doesn’t mean he has forgotten how to win.
And Aaron Wise at +2500 fits that picture to a ‘T.’ He hasn’t won in three years since his lone title at the 2018 AT&T Byron Nelson. But he’s been near the top of the leaderboard enough to know his game is trending in the right direction. Take a few of the big names out of the picture with the WGC event going on as well, and it might be just what the doctor ordered.
He also had an impressive 19-point final round last year to move up to an eighth-place finish in this tournament.
Then There’s The Long, Long Shot
Sometimes there’s a player out there who just seems out of place. He’s won before but hasn’t been in the conversation much lately.
Now might be the time for Jimmy Walker at +10000 to get back into form. He’s been lukewarm and cold (notice we didn’t have hot anywhere in the conversation) but that can change with just a few more made putts over the four days.
He’s cashed plenty of paychecks but hasn’t hoisted that oversized check in five years since he won the 2016 PGA Championship.
In the last 18 months he has a T-11 and a T-6 along with a number of so-so finishes.
Add in the fact that he’s 163rd in the FedEx Cup points race and it’s a must for him to win–and soon–if he doesn’t want his season to end outside the playoffs.
Now, about that test we promised (threatened?) earlier.
Actually, we’re feeling generous today: Everyone passes.