2014 FedEx Cup: Updated Odds After the Cut at the Barclays
If you’re a betting person, and, let’s face it, you are, you’ve got to like what you see at the Barclays, the PGA Tour’s opening leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs.
Adam Scott and Cameron Tringale sit atop the leader board at eight under par. Scott put together a resurgent round of golf, hitting the shot of the day on 18, allowing him to birdie into the clubhouse.
Scott told the Golf Channel after his round, “It’s an important time of the year to play well. There’s so much riding on the line especially at Ridgewood, a classic northeast-style golf course. It would be really nice to get my name on a trophy here at this one."
Rory McIlroy, who was an unspeakable 4-1 on the morning line according to Odds Shark, stumbled on Thursday and had a Freaky Friday of a different nature shooting 65—a nine-stroke swing from Thursday’s round.
Now that the cut is behind us, the Barclays demands to be shaken, stirred and re-served for the weekend.
Read on to see who’s worth buying and who’s worth selling on this first leg of the FedEx Cup.
Graeme McDowell: -3
Reason to Buy: McDowell showed he could put together a winning round the way he played Friday. He carded six birdies (but peppered in three bogeys) to go to four under in the tournament. He’s three-under on the par-fives and has eight birdies on the front nine over two days.
Reason to Sell: Those bogeys McDowell sprinkled through his rounds is reason to be wary of this Northern Ireland native.
Updated Odds to Win the Barclays: 40-1
He’ll Win at Ridgewood if: He has a bogey-free weekend. Say, for instance, he didn’t card a single bogey. McDowell would be at 10 under (replacing those bogeys with pars) and in the lead by two strokes.
Sergio Garcia: -3
Reason to Buy: That second round was solid and reminiscent of how Garcia was playing in The Open Championship and the Bridgestone Invitational. On Day 2, he scored four birdies and one bogey, a marked improvement from Day 1 where he went bogey-bogey to end the day.
Reason to Sell: Garcia, if nothing else, has given people every reason to sell over the years in clutch situations. Right or wrong, Garcia has no one to blame but himself. It all depends on what Garcia you believe in: the one who finished the final three holes on Thursday at two over, or the one who finished the final three holes Friday at one under.
Updated Odds to Win the Barclays: 42-1
He’ll Win at Ridgewood if: His putting and scrambling remain solid. Garcia’s putting has been steady all year, and if he can drain birdies and save pars, Garcia could go low over the weekend.
Rory McIlroy: -3
Reason to Buy: C’mon, do you need a reason to buy McIlroy stock even if he is five strokes back? So what changed between Thursday’s 74 and Friday’s 65? McIlroy shed some light during the Golf Channel’s broadcast: “I just went to the range in the afternoon and worked on a couple of things. I didn’t really touch a club last week so getting in here I felt a little rusty. I wanted to hit some balls and practice. I played much better today because of it.”
Reason to Sell: He has won The Open Championship, the Bridgestone Invitational and the PGA Championship, all major-tournament-quality fields. The Barclays is no easier. McIlroy is due for a letdown at some point. It’s not time to get serious yet about the FedEx Cup for this guy, so that makes him a bet against.
Updated Odds to Win the Barclays: 8-1
He’ll Win at Ridgewood if: He goes 14-under over the weekend. There’s no reason to think he can’t go 64-64 over the weekend. He missed a putt on 18 Friday that would have put him at seven under for the day. McIlroy said on the Golf Channel: “I wasn’t worried at all. I knew where my game was, where I’m swinging and what I’m capable of. It’s nice to be in for the weekend. The field is so bunched as well. If I get off to a good start tomorrow I’m right back in the tournament.”
Bubba Watson: -4
Reason to Buy: That the up-and-down Watson scored on 18 to save par—a Bubba Par—was every reason to buy as much Watson as you can afford. That type of scrambling can lead to big things for the two-time Masters winner. If he can keep his cool and not try to mess with people while vying for a $10 million prize, he is a live threat while four strokes back of the leaders.
Reason to Sell: Why is Watson so subversive? On the 276-yard par-four fifth hole, a drivable hole for someone of Watson’s length, he lays up. This incensed the Golf Channel commentators. Peter Oosterhuis said:
This is just unbelievable, isn’t it? Bubba could have hit a 3-metal, probably gotten there easily. If he’d hit a 2-iron, or whatever longest iron he has in the bag, he probably could have gotten there, but he lays up, just to mess with us. Unbelievable.
Updated Odds to Win the Barclays: 40-1
He’ll Win at Ridgewood if: He birdies the back nine the way he did on Thursday. Watson has a total of six birdies on the back nine to just two bogeys. He needs to step up his game on the front nine and if can match his performances on the back, he can move up this leaderboard.
Bo Van Pelt: -6
Reason to Buy: Van Pelt was the leader after Thursday shooting a bogey-free round seasoned with four birdies and one eagle. Van Pelt said after his first round:
As poorly as I played at the start of the year, I'm just kind of glad to be here. Things have been trending in a lot better direction. So I felt fortunate to be here with the position I was in three months ago. I just felt like if I kept doing what I was doing, hopefully I would at least get to next week and then kind of cross that bridge when I got there.
Reason to Sell: He didn’t pair up his Thursday with a clean Friday. It’s fortuitous that he sits just two strokes back at six under after shooting even in the second round. This could signify that he’s uncomfortable on the lead, and anyone uncomfortable on the lead screams three words: sell, sell, sell.
Updated Odds to Win the Barclays: 50-1
He’ll Win at Ridgewood if: He summons the magic from Thursday. He stormed Ridgewood by opening with three birdies and then closed out his round three-under on the final three holes. He’s safe to advance to the next round in the FedEx Cup, but Van Pelt needs to put Friday behind him and summon his Thursday juju to win the Barclays.
Henrik Stenson: -6
Reason to Buy: Stenson is the defending FedEx Cup champion, and he comes off a PGA Championship where he shared the lead at one point. There’s also that seven-under he posted on Friday.
Stenson carded eight birdies and turned a cut-threatening Thursday (one-over) into a tournament-saving Friday. Emily Kay of SB Nation wrote:
Now third in the world, Stenson entered the week after finishing third in the PGA Championship but ranked 70th in FedEx Cup points and in need of a strong performance to stay in the top 100, who will move on to next week’s Deutsche Bank Championship.
Reason to Sell: Stenson’s short fuse could ignite, costing him this tournament. Like Kay said, this round just about assures him a berth in next week’s Deutsche Bank, but being 70th in points means he needs to perform well. Will he perform under pressure with so many others rounding into form?
Updated Odds to Win the Barclays: 10-1
He’ll Win at Ridgewood if: He can summon his game from 2013. His run through the 2013 FedEx Cup catapulted him onto the scene as a golfer who can win any tournament. Can he match Friday’s effort? If he matches that, or a fraction of it, it almost guarantees him a top 10, maybe more.
Cameron Tringale: -8
Reason to Buy: Karma. Tringale disqualified himself from the PGA Championship (several days after the fact) and it cost him a lot of money, but he saved face and his own integrity.
Not many people had heard of Tringale before this incident. Now? He’s tied for the lead in the first leg of the FedEx Cup alongside Scott.
Oh, yeah, and he’s putting very well. His strokes gained putting is 2.972 when the Tour average is -0.002. His driving accuracy is 78.57 percent, 14 percent higher than the Tour average.
Reason to Sell: In his short career, he hasn’t done too well at the Barclays. In three tries, his best finish was T32 in 2011. He missed the cut in 2012 and was T58 in 2013. He’s also never won a tournament since turning pro in 2009.
Updated Odds to Win the Barclays: 25-1
He’ll Win at Ridgewood if: He keeps putting well and hitting fairways. Amazing how putting benefits from driving accuracy!
He’s never won a tournament in his career, and this is a big spot to break his maiden, as they say in horse racing.
Adam Scott: -8
Reason to Buy: He’s the former world No. 1 and he’s playing like a golfer who wants it back. His second round saw him attack the course of seven birdies and one bogey to go to eight under with a share of the lead.
Scott had the shot of the day on 18 where he nearly eagled with his approach. Tap-in birdies to end the day can do wonders for a player’s confidence.
Scott told the Golf Channel after his round, “I played some of the best golf tee-to-green all year. I guess you can’t get too greedy, but I would’ve like to have made a few more putts.”
Imagine if he did? And what if he does going forward?
Reason to Sell: There’s no reason to sell. He did shoot a respectable, though a little disappointing, two-under first round. It appears, at this point, Scott is his worst enemy.
Updated Odds to Win the Barclays: 8-1
He’ll Win at Ridgewood if: He puts Friday on repeat. Seven birdies is close to unbeatable, and he’s hungry after what he considers a disappointing season.
He told Golf Channel after his round, “I’ve got a lot to accomplish this year for me to be satisfied with it. I put a lot into the majors and didn’t get close this year. So the last thing on the list for me is the FedEx Cup so I need to put in 100 percent over the next four weeks.”