Power Rankings: Barracuda Championship
As the PGA TOUR season nears its conclusion, the annual pressure cooker is plugged in and turned on high. Everything from qualifying for the FedExCup Playoffs to return trips to qualifying school for Web.com Tour status will be determined this month, so those who have chosen this career path might as well mix it up every now and then. Just as variety is the spice of life, the Barracuda Championship is the TOUR's version of a road less traveled; well, at least as it concerns measuring strokes taken. For the sixth consecutive edition, the Modified Stableford scoring system will be utilized. The points-based system that promotes aggressive play has yielded winning totals of at least 43 points at Montrêux Golf and Country Club in Reno, Nevada, in each. More on the scoring, the course and the weather beneath the ranking. Salvaged his season with a pair of top 10s in July, including a T6 at Grand National. Sat T2 here last year before fading to a T7. Placed T6 in only prior visit in 2011. A good bet to extend sizzling form (10th, Barbasol; T5, Canadian) as he's 7-for-7 at Montrêux with three top 15s since 2009. Eight on TOUR in greens in regulation. Since a T3 at the Valero, he's 10-for-11 with six top 20s. Montrêux feeds right into his distance and aggressive style. Placed T42 in only prior trip in 2014. Fifth on TOUR in fairways hit and first in proximity. At 63rd in FedExCup points, he could rest, but he continues to percolate. Riding a 9-for-10 run with three top 25s. Lost in a playoff here in 2015 after recording tournament-record 22 points in the final round. Returned for a T9 last year. Two of last three top 20s occurred in additional events. Five straight cuts made. Fresh off a career-best T5 in Canada where he locked up his card. Should now have a blast, literally, at altitude. Ranks T8 on TOUR in par-5 scoring. Chasing a third consecutive top 25 after going six starts without a top 35. Perfect in three trips with a T7 in 2013. With his card sewn up, he's free to pile on. Surging at the perfect time. Ended an 0-for-7 drought with a 4-for-4 with three top 25s. T7 here in 2013 the first of three consecutive cuts made at Montrêux through 2016. Inching toward his first career Playoffs appearance at 136th in points. Two top 25s in last three starts; career-best six on the season. Tied for ninth here last year. T25-T18-T10 in last three weeks and 8-for-9 since May, all entirely wedged into 126-150 range in FedExCup points. Currently 126th. T11 in par-5 scoring, T13 in scrambling. POWER RANKINGS: Barracuda Championship RANK PLAYER COMMENT Montrêux G&CC is a par 72 with four par 5s. It measures 7,472 yards, but it can't play that long due to its perch a mile above sea level. It also features almost 500 feet in elevation change across the layout. Winners since 2012 have included bomber Gary Woodland (2013) to defending champion Greg Chalmers, whose reputation is as a phenomenal putter. The gist is that the course doesn't discriminate despite its length. The field of 132 can very much drive for show and putt for dough. Greens average 6,000 square feet and will run upwards of 12 feet on the Stimpmeter. Hot, breezy conditions are typical at this time of year and they will be again this week. After potentially touching triple digits on Thursday, a leveling toward the norm in the lower 90s will occur. The chance for rain is virtually nonexistent. Just as the first three additional events of the season rewarded their champions with 300 FedExCup points, this week's winner will bank the same, but it may valuable to hit the ground running with the mindset that he'll prevail after 54 holes. See, every 54-hole leader since 2011 has gone on to win the tournament. Chalmers slept on a six-point lead last year and won by the same margin thank to a walk-off eagle worth five points. The champ will also be fully exempt on the PGA TOUR through 2018-2019 and will receive exemptions into next week's PGA Championship, the SBS Tournament of Champions and THE PLAYERS among other invitationals. ROB BOLTON'S WRITING SCHEDULE PGATOUR.COM’s Fantasy Columnist Rob Bolton will be filing his usual staples leading up to this week’s event. Look for the following columns this week. MONDAY: Rookie Ranking, Qualifiers, Reshuffle, Medical Extensions, Power Rankings (WGC-Bridgestone) TUESDAY*: Power Rankings (Barracuda), Sleepers (WGC-Bridgestone), The Confidence Factor (WGC-Bridgestone), Fantasy Insider WEDNESDAY: One & Done (WGC-Bridgestone), One & Done (Barracuda) THURSDAY: Ownership Percentages in PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf and One & Done presented by SERVPRO * - Rob is a member of the panel for PGATOUR.COM’s Expert Picks for PGA TOUR Fantasy Golf presented by SERVPRO, which also publishes on Tuesdays.
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