FedEx Cup Standings 2013: Stock Watch for Top Players in PGA Tour Playoffs
The 2013 FedEx Cup schedule is hitting the home stretch, as the field dwindles to the top 70 players in the point standings entering next week's BMW Championship.
Plenty of big names are near the top, but some enter the third leg of the PGA Tour postseason in poorer form than others.
Henrik Stenson won the Deutsche Bank Championship after four top-three finishes in five prior events without a victory. That essentially confirms his status as the hottest golfer on the planet, and it's reflected in that he passed Tiger Woods for the points lead.
There is essentially a bye week before the BMW, but let's take a look at the stars amongst the first 10 in the standings and what their respective outlooks are for the remainder of the playoffs.
Stock Up: 1) Henrik Stenson; 2) Graham DeLaet; 3) Jordan Spieth; 4) Steve Stricker; 5) Matt Kuchar
These players will be listed by number in terms of how high their respective stocks are, and it's hard to dispute that Stenson's is the highest based on his recent form.
If not for Phil Mickelson's final-round charge at the Scottish Open and his virtuoso performance to capture the Open Championship's coveted Claret Jug, Stenson might have had two additional wins worldwide in 2013.
Instead of sulking on his close calls at those events, and at the PGA Championship where he contended, the Swede was patient. It paid off in a big way, as he led the field with an 84.72 greens in regulation percentage last week to win at TPC Boston.
DeLaet is a wiry Canadian who came in third and is praised for his power, but not often enough for his precision. He hit over 73 percent of fairways last week, but only missed five in the entire tournament at The Barclays in finishing tied for second.
The only reason Spieth isn't higher on this list is because he's 20, and it remains to be seen if he'll have some sort of crash despite his magnificent season on tour to date.
I don't personally see it happening, especially with how he closed the Deutsche Bank Championship by going birdie-birdie-birdie-eagle to vault into fourth place with a final-round 62.
A limited schedule has done wonders for Stricker when he has teed it up this year, and now he finds himself up 20 spots in the standings from last week thanks to a runner-up finish.
Kuchar returned to being his characteristically consistent self after a disappointing final-round 78 at The Barclays, tying for fourth in Norton with all his rounds in the 60s to notch his eighth top 10 of the season.
Stock Down: 1) Tiger Woods; 2) Brandt Snedeker; 3) Adam Scott
The two players most prominently in the conversation for player of the year honors are Woods and Scott, but neither were impressive most recently.
Woods played the final 36 holes in two over-par—not a recipe to succeed at the birdie fest that is TPC Boston. He finished the event with a two-over 73, adding to a shocking stat that has Woods 121st in final-round scoring average.
To summarize Snedeker's struggles: Since winning the RBC Canadian Open, his past five results are as follows: T33-T66-CUT-CUT-T47.
The defending FedEx Cup champion has some serious work to do on his game to mount a legitimate defense of his title.
Then there's Scott, who won almost in spite of his putting at The Barclays, then wound up 71st at the Deutsche Bank Championship in strokes gained putting. As well as he's contended in the big events lately, the broomstick-style putter he chooses to deploy may be due for a switch.
Stock Flat: 1) Phil Mickelson; 2) Justin Rose
It appeared the momentum Mickelson generated from a final-round 65 at The Barclays carried over to Boston, when he opened with a spectacular 63. That was disproved when Lefty stagnated at level par for the next three rounds, settling for a T-41 finish.
Which major champion will finish best at the BMW Championship?
To Mickelson's credit, he did grind back after bogeying his first three holes last Sunday, but he tied for 56th in greens in regulation for the week, but his trusty short game did bail him out frequently. With that facet of his game in top form, Mickelson is always a threat no matter where he sprays it.
The reigning U.S. Open winner fell just shy of being lumped into the "stock up" category, but he regressed slightly from his joint-runner-up effort at The Barclays.
Rose has most frequently been undone with the putter, and that was definitely the case in the postseason's second stop, where he was 43rd in strokes gained putting.
What's good for the Englishman is that he was in the top 10 in GIR percentage, so if he can roll in a few more putts, he should be golden in Lake Forest.
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