The Barclays

Fantasy Fix

We discuss long putter fantasies, the unpredictability of the NFL, the return of the FedEx Cup Playoffs and of course, this week's PGA Tour event

PGA Tour: Fantasy Fix: Steve Stricker

No one has benefitted more from the creation of the FedEx Cup Playoffs than Steve Stricker.

The Barclays

Where: Edison, N.J.

Course: Plainfield Country Club

Defending champion: Matt Kuchar defeated Martin Laird in a playoff at Ridgewood CC to win his third PGA Tour title.

Purse: $8,000,000

This Week's Fix Six

1. Jason Day
2. Luke Donald
3. Steve Stricker
4. Matt Kuchar
5. Adam Scott
6. Charles Howell III
August 23, 2011

Welcome to another edition of Fantasy Fix, where long putters are starting to pop into our dreams at night. If equipment companies were smart, they'd start making late-night infomercials to take the place of all those "Girls Gone Wild" spots. Being able to putt like Keegan Bradley is what the guys I talk to are fantasizing about these days. Then again, I do work at Golf Digest... Anyway, onto the next event, or events, since the FedEx Cup Playoffs are finally upon us. Here are some thoughts on how things will shake out.


The PGA Tour heads to Plainfield Country Club for the Barclays, the first leg of the four-event postseason. Since none of the players have ever played the classic Donald Ross design in competition, handicapping the field could be a bit tricky.

Random tournament fact: Jack Nicklaus won the inaugural event at Westchester Country Club, where the tournament was played for the first 41 years. The Golden Bear would wind up with 73 PGA Tour wins and 18 majors, but the absence of a FedEx Cup title leaves a glaring hole in his resume...


Matt Kuchar. In an odd twist, Kuch won his third career event here last year and for the third time he won't have the opportunity to defend his title on the same course. Nevertheless, he seemed to like the layout when he took a quick tour of it on media day last month. He also got a lesson in how to play the finishing hole from yours truly. Unfortunately, it won't play like it did that day having been turned into a driveable par 4 for the tournament. Well, driveable for the guys with names on their bags.


Steve Stricker. The Strick Show has earned this nickname for his play in the playoffs during its first four years of existence. While technically this tournament will end before the calendar turns to the next month, we still like his chances to win here, take home the shiny FedEx Cup Trophy and earn PGA Tour Player of the Year. And all while using a conventional putter. Imagine that!


Jason Day. How has this guy not won this year? Other than Kuchar, he is the highest-ranked player on the FedEx Cup points list without a victory. It wouldn't be surprise if he changed that in the next month, especially considering how well he played in these four playoff events last year, when he followed up a T-5 at the Barclays with a T-2 at the Deutsche Bank Championship.

Adam Scott. We'll keep the Aussie theme going with yet another guy who appears to have been saved by the long putter. Scott followed up his, yes his win at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational with a solo seventh at the PGA Championship. The way he's hitting the ball from tee to green, Scott could probably get around the unfamiliar Plainfield CC layout blindfolded.


Luke Donald. In case you haven't heard, the Englishman is pretty good. The top-ranked player in the world continued his fantastic campaign with a runner-up at Firestone and a T-8 at the PGA despite the fact that he lost a couple sleeves of balls on Atlanta AC's closing stretch.


"Hey, Alex. Love the column even though I have no clue what fantasy golf is. Anyway, I just wanted to hear your thoughts on the long putter. Personally, I don't think it's fair. If I had used one I might have been able to make a run at Jack's 18 majors. I also would have won by five shots at Turnberry two years ago. Talk to you later, Tom Watson."

Thanks for the note, Tom. I'm glad you wrote since I think you are partly to blame for golf's latest equipment craze. It was actually your badly-missed par attempt for the win two years back that caused a lot of people to switch to the long putter. OK, so maybe that's not where experts trace this trend back to and no, Watson didn't write, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't. Please feel free to email me with comments, questions or just to make fun of my picks. And of course, you can follow me on Twitter.

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