Golf Barometer: Terrific Tony
Golf Barometer: Terrific Tony

This article is part of our Golf Barometer series.

The 2017-18 season has ended for all but the top-30 in the FedExCup standings as an elite field travels to Atlanta for the TOUR Championship and a shot at the $10 million grand prize. The transition from summer to autumn becomes a bit more bearable knowing East Lake and the Ryder Cup remain on the schedule. We'll take a look at several fantasy trends on Tour as the season winds down, along with a couple of notable injury updates.

VALUE RISING

Justin Rose

Rose claimed the No. 1 spot in the OWGR for the first time in his career with back-to-back runner-up finishes at the BMW and Dell Technologies Championships, also ascending to No. 2 in the FedExCup standings behind only Bryson DeChambeau. The Englishman is on fire as he travels to a place of familiarity, having posted five top-10s in eight trips to the TOUR Championship. He's second in both SG: Total and birdie average, while it's hard to find any weaknesses right now.

Hideki Matsuyama

Matsuyama is returning to his good ole self with top-15s in each of his past four starts, having fallen from fifth to No. 20 in the OWGR throughout 2018. The 26-year-old ranks 15th on Tour in SG: Approach and 18th in birdie average heading into the season finale.

Tony Finau

Finau earned the final captain's pick for Team USA after notching his third top-10 of the FedExCup Playoffs at the BMW Championship, but he'll look to add a fourth at East Lake before heading to Paris. Finau was second among the field in both SG: Off-the-Tee and GIR percentage in his most recent showing at Aronimink, while he's up to ninth in SG: Total on the season.

VALUE FALLING

Jordan Spieth

Spieth is all of a sudden in danger of falling outside of the top-10 in the OWGR, having began the 2018 calendar year at No. 2. He posted just one top-10 performance in his last 12 starts of the season, failing to qualify for the TOUR Championship for the first time in his career at 31st in the FedExCup standings. He'll look to get revenge on the game at the upcoming Ryder Cup as he attempts to put up some points for Team USA.

Patrick Reed

Reed has zero top-15s on American soil in his last six starts dating back to the Travelers Championship, falling from 11th to 14th in the OWGR as a result. He ranks 149th on Tour in GIR percentage and 171st in driving accuracy this season, which won't fly at a venue like East Lake. Reed has finished in the top half of the field just once in four career appearances at the TOUR Championship.

Jon Rahm

For the seventh-ranked player in the world, Rahm isn't looking too hot heading into the TOUR Championship. He's finished T24-T43-MC in the first three legs of the FedExCup Playoffs, falling to 24th in points on the season. During his last start at the BMW Championship, Rahm ranked outside of the top-55 among the field in both driving accuracy and GIR percentage, which are two statistics that directly translate to success at East Lake GC.

INJURY UPDATE

Justin Thomas

Thomas tweaked his wrist during the final round of the BMW Championship en route to a T12 finish, but the fourth-ranked player in the OWGR doesn't seem bothered by the issue heading into East Lake. He'll likely wear some form of tape as a precautionary measure while attempting to add his third consecutive top-6 finish in Atlanta, having gone 2-T6 at the past editions of the event.

Paul Casey

Casey withdrew prior to his final round at the BMW Championship due to what is believed to be a minor back injury, but he's slated to tee it up at East Lake this week without much lingering discomfort. The Englishman hasn't finished top-20 in five consecutive starts, but the TOUR Championship could serve as a tune-up for one of Team Europe's captain's picks at the upcoming Ryder Cup.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bryce Danielson
Bryce covers the PGA for RotoWire and provides input on the golf cheat sheet. He also contributes to the coverage for NFL, NBA and other sports.
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