Leg one of the FedExCup Playoffs is officially in the book — and if last week’s offering was a sign of things to come, then who really cares if there are no more majors until next April.
In what was arguably the best finish of the year when you factor in star power, stakes and what it took from both Jordan Spieth and eventual champion, Dustin Johnson, just to get there.
At time of post, it is tangibly Monday — so most have seen/heard/read/witnessed what went down on Sunday in New York. For those who didn’t, do a little research or find some video. It was epic.
From a stats and fantasy standpoint, it was one of those weeks that all fantasy gamers fear love to hate. On one hand, the cream rose to the top — on the other, that just means the guy you passed on for your horse tied or beat your guy, meaning wins and losses came down to secondary picks.
With that in mind, here’s a look at those who carried the banner and those who threw up on their shoes:
Dustin Johnson — If anyone was worrying about Dustin Johnson, hopefully those fears were quelled following Sunday’s masterful performance in New York. Johnson, who won three times in a row early in the year but has been a bit of a footnote since hurting himself just before the Masters, stormed back to the forefront of fantasy golfers minds with a stunning overtime win over Jordan Spieth. The FedExCup is the one thing missing from DJ’s resume at this point — maybe it’s his year to cash the big check in Atlanta?
Jordan Spieth — If anyone is going to stop DJ in his quest for the Cup, it’ll probably be the guy who couldn’t stop him on Sunday. While the likes of Justin Thomas, John Rahm and Rory McIlroy are all never to be discounted, the Spieth/DJ match up on Sunday had us all salivating and the idea of these two going at it the next three or four weeks. Spieth has been there before, but is he as hungry as Johnson? Only time will tell.
Bubba Watson — It seems like it’s been more than a year since this golf blogger wrote anything positive about ol’ Gerry — but the time has come! After what has been arguably his least successful year on Tour, Bubba Watson begin the Northern Trust needing not just a good week — but a great one just to ship up to Boston. The two-time Masters champ did just that, finishing T-10 and climbing 41 spots from 113th to 72nd in points.
Harold Varner III — Just to be clear — the bogey’s portion of this this week (and for the rest of the playoffs) will feature guys like Harold Varner III. Guys who may not have won, but who did enough to remove their names from the bubble and qualify themselves for the next round of the Playoffs.
Varner, who played well enough two weeks ago in North Carolina to squeak into the FedExCup Playoffs, did similarly well at the Northern Trust, collecting a T-20 finish that vaulted him from 113th to 91st in FedExCup points. Varner said he loves the playoff atmosphere and that he isn’t quite ready for his season to be over. Perhaps he’s worth more than a glance in Boston.
Louis Oosthuizen — After his runner-up at the PGA Championship, I noted that it might be time to give Louis Oosthuizen a look for the rest of the post season. You don’t finish top-2 in a major if you’re unhealthy (unless, of course, your name is Tiger), so perhaps its true that Shrek is finally feeling ship-shape. His top-10 at the Northern Trust moved him into the 26th spot in the standings — certainly within striking distance for the 2010 Open Champion.
Richie Werenski — My dreams — along with Richie Werenski’s — for the Cinderella victory were ended in New York on Sunday. Werenski, my boy from South Hadley, Ma, made the cut and played OK, but only managed to climb two spots — from 108 to 106 — in the standings with his T-49 finish. On the heels of a few great weeks, it was obviously going to be tough for him to keep up the momentum, but I figured it’d be worth a shot.
Phil Mickelson — While Phil Mickelson will be teeing it up at the Dell Technologies Championship this week, he’s going to need to have solid week if he want’s to move on. After another roller coaster week in New York, Lefty not only finds himself on the outside looking in of the Presidents Cup points standings, but also sitting perilously close to the 70th place cut that comes Labor Day in Boston. I want to believe he’ll play well enough to make, it but there’s not recent evidence to suggest he’s worth the gamble.