It’s playoff time on the PGA Tour which means all the best players are teeing it up together again this week at mean, nasty Bethpage Black for The Barclays.
The top 125 in FedEx Cup points qualified for the playoffs and the number will be cut to 100 for the Deutsche Bank Championship next week.
There’s also jockeying for Ryder Cup spots in the mix with the eight automatic U.S. qualifiers to be set after The Barclays. That still leaves four spots for U.S. captain Davis Love III to fill while his European counterpart, Darren Clarke, has three open slots now that the first nine players are in place.
Here are five to watch this week at Bethpage:
5. Jason Day: He’s had time to get some rest and now it’s back to the grind for the world No. 1. Expect him to make a serious run at winning the FedEx Cup.
4. Dustin Johnson: On a long, difficult layout, DJ’s power becomes a bigger advantage. A strong playoff run could give him a serious shot at player of the year honors.
3. Brandt Snedeker: He made a big jump in Ryder Cup points last week with his T3 at the Wyndham Championship and he can lock down his spot this week. It’s a big course for Snedeker’s game but he finished second at Bethpage four years ago when The Barclays was played there.
2. Justin Rose: He won the Olympic gold medal so it would be almost disrespectful not to include him among the top five picks this week. Maybe the swirl of attention that came with winning the gold will dull Rose’s edge or, more likely, he will ride the good vibes a while longer.
1. Henrik Stenson: What’s not to like about him and his game right now? He’s picked up two wins recently and grabbed the silver medal in the Olympics. We’ve seen what happens when he gets on these runs of form and Bethpage Black will accentuate his exceptional iron play.