The Barclays at Bethpage State Park’s Black course in Farmingdale, New York gets underway on Thursday. It’s the first of the four FedExCup Playoffs tournaments and includes a field of 125 players. Only the top 100 players will move on to play in the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston, so the bottom 25 will need to have good performances to keep their chances at moving on alive.
Bethpage Black, a 7,468 yard par 71 course that was dubbed by Sam Snead as “an unfair test of golf,” is a difficult track. There is even a sign on the course signifying that it’s not for your average golfer.
The field this week is obviously loaded as Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth, Adam Scott, Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson, Russell Knox, Jimmy Walker, and every winner on Tour this season except Greg Chalmers all qualified for the event.
Notably missing are Sergio Garcia, who is sitting out the first event for the second consecutive year, Masters champion Danny Willett, and Shane Lowry, who is playing in the final European Tour event to try and earn a spot on the European Ryder Cup team.
Last year’s winner Jason Day will be looking to defend his title. Day entered the tournament in 2015 having won twice over four weeks, the win at The Barclays was his third over five weeks and he went on to win again at the BMW Championship two weeks later. Day, who has three wins this season, is paired with Adam Scott and Dustin Johnson, who each have two wins this season.
Quick note: Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka, both currently under the Nike brand, were spotted testing out Scotty Cameron putters at The Barclays.
Th – 7:30 AM – 6:00 PM (PGA Tour Live); 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM (Golf Channel)
Fr – 7:30 AM – 6:00 PM (PGA Tour Live); 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM (Golf Channel)
Sa – 8:10 AM – 6:00 PM (PGA Tour Live); 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM (Golf Channel); 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM (CBS)
Su – 8:20 AM – 6:00 PM (PGA Tour Live); 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM (Golf Channel); 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM (CBS)
|7:20 AM||Adam Hadwin||Chad Campbell||Chez Reavie|
|7:31 AM||Patrick Rodgers||Ryan Palmer||Vaughn Taylor|
|7:42 AM||Alex Cejka||Chris Kirk||Ben Martin|
|7:53 AM||James Hahn||Aaron Baddeley||Tony Finau|
|8:04 AM||Emiliano Grillo||Charley Hoffman||Scott Piercy|
|8:15 AM||Smylie Kaufman||Graeme McDowell||Rickie Fowler|
|8:26 AM||Brooks Koepka||Jason Dufner||Daniel Berger|
|8:37 AM||Brian Harman||Martin Laird||Hudson Swafford|
|8:48 AM||Andrew Loupe||Boo Weekley||John Huh|
|8:59 AM||Blayne Barber||Mark Hubbard||Ben Crane|
|12:00 PM||Webb Simpson||Bryce Molder||Spencer Levin|
|12:11 PM||Paul Casey||Billy Hurley III||K.J. Choi|
|12:22 PM||Roberto Castro||Colt Knost||Brendan Steele|
|12:33 PM||Jim Herman||Gary Woodland||Jamie Lovemark|
|12:44 PM||William McGirt||Jimmy Walker||Matt Kuchar|
|12:55 PM||Justin Thomas||Kevin Kisner||Hideki Matsuyama|
|1:06 PM||Russell Knox||Jordan Spieth||Brandt Snedeker|
|1:17 PM||David Hearn||Johnson Wagner||Peter Malnati|
|1:28 PM||Zac Blair||Tyrone Van Aswegen||Francesco Molinari|
|1:39 PM||Sung Kang||Shawn Stefani|
|1:50 PM||David Toms||Seung-Yul Noh|
|7:20 AM||Jerry Kelly||Brian Stuard||Jason Bohn|
|7:31 AM||Danny Lee||Billy Horschel||Kevin Streelman|
|7:42 AM||Zach Johnson||Justin Rose||Kyle Reifers|
|7:53 AM||David Lingmerth||Luke Donald||Jon Curran|
|8:04 AM||Kevin Chappell||Henrik Stenson||Si Woo Kim|
|8:15 AM||Patrick Reed||Phil Mickelson||Kevin Na|
|8:26 AM||Jason Day||Dustin Johnson||Adam Scott|
|8:37 AM||Jim Furyk||Robert Streb||Lucas Glover|
|8:48 AM||Jonas Blixt||Brett Stegmaier||Robert Garrigus|
|8:59 AM||Graham DeLaet||Troy Merritt||Luke List|
|12:00 PM||Scott Brown||Harold Varner III||Russell Henley|
|12:11 PM||Jason Kokrak||Ricky Barnes||Freddie Jacobson|
|12:22 PM||Louis Oosthuizen||Marc Leishman||Patton Kizzire|
|12:33 PM||J.B. Holmes||Charles Howell III||Fabian Gomez|
|12:44 PM||Harris English||Rory McIlroy||Daniel Summerhays|
|12:55 PM||Bill Haas||Charl Schwartzel||Jhonattan Vegas|
|1:06 PM||Ryan Moore||Bubba Watson||Branden Grace|
|1:17 PM||Vijay Singh||Steve Stricker||John Senden|
|1:28 PM||Keegan Bradley||Cameron Tringale||Sean O’Hair|
|1:39 PM||Michael Kim||Kyle Stanley||Derek Fathauer|
|Si Woo Kim||60/1|
As I said last week, offering up one pick just isn’t worth it, so I’ll give you five names I think can win.
- Jason Day – This seems like an obvious pick, but Day has had time to rest and should be ready to go. He is also the only player with three wins this season and almost pulled off a spectacular win at the PGA Championship.
- Hideki Matsuyama – Matsuyama quietly finished tied for third last week at the Wyndham Championship, and while Bethpage Black is a much tougher course, he’s currently 12th in FedExCup points and coming off of a tie for fourth at the PGA Championship and that third place finish at the Wyndham. His last win was in February at the Phoenix Open, but he’s one of my favorite players so I’m putting him on the list.
- Brooks Koepka – Brooks finished tied for fourth at the PGA Championship and said afterwards that he felt like he was 70% healed after an injury. He then finished tied for ninth at the Travelers Championship.
- Dustin Johnson – Johnson had an impressive stretch of golf this year that included a third place finish at the Memorial, fifth place finish at the St. Jude Classic, win at the U.S. Open, win at the WGC-Bridgestone, tie for ninth at The Open, and tie for second at the Canadian Open before faltering at the PGA Championship and finishing just a few strokes out of last place. Since the PGA Championship, Johnson has taken time off to relax, even if some people got upset with him for doing so instead of playing in the Olympics, so he should be ready to resume play.
- Rickie Fowler – Yes, I’m going there. Fowler’s second half of the season has been dreadful. His highest finish since the Wells Fargo Championship in May was at the WGC-Bridgestone where he finished tied for 10th. In the time since the Wells Fargo, Fowler has missed three cuts and finished outside the top 30 four times, but he’s currently ranked 12th in Ryder Cup points and this will be his final push to try and grab an automatic spot or impress captain Davis Love III enough to earn himself a captain’s pick.
I wanted to, and probably should have included Kevin Na in that top five, so keep an eye on him because he’s been having a pretty good run lately.
And if you were wondering what my Yahoo Fantasy team looks like…