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FedEx Cup Playoff Preview: The Barclays

FECupPlayoffs_Prf_6c_Pos [Converted]Preview — PGA Tour – FedEx Cup Playoffs –The Barclays – Plainfield Country Club – Jersey City, New Jersey –

The FedEx Cup Playoffs — now in its 9th edition — arrive this week with 125 players making it through the season-long points race.

Jordan Spieth tops the list – thanks to several victories this season including the first two majors of 2015. Spieth is also now the World No. 1-ranked player, making his first start as the game’s top player. Of the 125, only 120 are competing this week.

The overall goal of the field is to advance throughout the playoffs to reach the TOUR Championship at East Lake. At the TOUR Championship, each will have an individual path way to win the FedEx Cup title.

A number of high profile players failed to make the playoffs including Martin Kaymer, Ernie Els, Tiger Woods and Graeme McDowell. Although he made the playoffs and sits 9th in the standings, Rory McIlroy is skipping The Barclays, the first leg of the playoffs.

Jason Day, a recent champion at the PGA Championship, is second in the standings. He nearly won this title a season ago finishing runner-up. The rest of the Top 10 is competing this week including Bubba Watson, Jimmy Walker, Justin Rose, Dustin Johnson and Patrick Reed.

The four-tournament series features progressive field cuts with the ultimate prize comes down to an opportunity to be crowned FedEx Cup Champion joining past champions Henrik Stenson, Billy Horschel, Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, Jim Furyk, Bill Haas and Brandt Snedeker.

Results from this week’s event will determine the 100 players advancing to the Deutsche Bank Championship next week – featuring a Monday Labor Day finish.

A Donald Ross design, Plainfield Country Club in Jersey City hosts this week. Featuring large square foot Poa Annua putting surfaces, the par-71 layout measures up just beyond 7,000 total yards. Conditions are expected to be ideal — dry and in the mid-80s for temperatures.

The winner this week receives 2,000 FedEx Cup points.

2014 Recap:

  • Hunter Mahan (14-under) captured the title held at Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey. Mahan rallied to edge Aussie Jason Day by two shots. Cameron Tringale and Stuart Appleby finished T-2. Mahan’s final-round 65 keyed the victory and snapped his two-plus year win-less streak.

The Golf Channel has exclusive television coverage Thursday and Friday for the opening rounds of play, and handles early coverage on the weekend with CBS Sports bringing home the leaders Saturday and Sunday.

FANTASY: Take Rose. The Englishman is riding a hot streak into the playoffs. Rose has Top 6 finishes in four straight starts including the PGA Championship. He also finished runner-up at this event two years ago while at Liberty National. Paul Casey, who is 5th in tour in Greens in Regulation, should be a fit for this layout. Casey has two playoff losses this season on the PGA Tour. He was also T-3 last week. This could also be a spot for Stenson to step up. Day is certainly a play this week with two victories — including the PGA Championship — in his last three starts. He also leads the PGA Tour in the Birdies or Better category.

BETTORS: At 5 1/2-to-1 odds at Sky Bet, Spieth leads the betting favorites followed by Day at 7-1 odds.  For better payouts, consider Brooks Koepka (28-1) for his value. BK, who was in the mix last week finishing T-6, has three Top 6s in his last three starts. He has a victory this season and ranks 16th in the world. Take Charl Schwartzel at 40-1. The former Masters champ is in good form coming in here and needs a good week to advance.

Other Golf News:

  • France’s Victor Dubuisson, 50th in the Official World Golf Ranking, headlines the field this week at the European Tour’s D+D Czech Masters. He enters as a 16-1 betting favorite at www.skybet.com.
  • The LPGA Tour hosts the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic this week in Alabama. Stacy Lewis headlines the field this week as a 5-1 LPGAtour logoNEWbetting favorite at www.ladbrokes.com.
  • Inbee Park continues to lead the Race to the CME Globe standings followed by Lydia Ko and Lewis, who has yet to win a title in 2015.
  • Bernhard Langer enters this week’s Dick’s Sporting Goods Open as defending champion and the outright betting favorite at Ladbrokes at 3 1/2-1 odds. Langer has Top 3 finishes in his last five starts on the Champions Tour. 
  • The Barclays moves to the Black Course at Bethpage State Park next season. Tournament organizers announce the 2017 edition will be held at Glen Oaks Club in New York. The club dates back to 1924.