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P.J. Murray 24th Aug 2011 - 11:00

Donald a banker at The Barclays?

The Barclays is the first event in the FedEx play-offs and will feature the top 125 points scorers over the regular season.

Nick Watney has been leading the way for over two months while Luke Donald has started to come to the fore. But in the first of four events who will be the banker for the Barclays?

The field will tackle one of the oldest courses in the US, Plainfield Country Club, which was founded in 1890 and the course was subsequently built and designed in 1921.

Luke Donald has been inserted as the tournament fav at 11/1. The Englishman ended a five year streak in a big way this year, recording wins on both sides of the Atlantic. He currently holds the world No. 1 ranking and won't be short of confidence. He comes into the Barclays as number four in the rankings, the highest he has ever entered the play-offs. There is a lot for Donald to play for, he can become the first player in history to win the Money lists on both tours. He is Even money to finish in the Top 10, something which he has done in his last 14 outings.

Steve Stricker has shown a good ability on courses that he is not entirely familiar with and he has a good record of 10 top 10 finishes in all 16 play-off events over the last four years. The American is 16/1 to win the tournament outright and could be good value at 27/20 to finish in the top 10. He has two tournament wins this year, claiming victory at the Memorial and John Deere classic. He also comes into his own more so in the play-offs hence the nickname 'Mr September'. He was the Barclays champion in 2007 and has also finished tied second and third in the last two Barclays events.

Gary Woodland at 40/1 is well worth a punt, he could dominate this course with a mix of powerful driving and solid putting. He never missed a putt outside of 15ft during the final round of his Transitions win and he ranks 9th in GIR.  He has proven to be a clutch putter with nerves of steel and last year he finished in the top 25 of three of the majors.

Matt Kuchar is the defending FedEx Cup champion and if he is to retain his title then he will need to get off to the best possible start. This will feel like 2010 all over again as he comes into this tournament once again in the top 15 in the current FedEx standings and with several top 10 finishes he is eight in the scoring average. He is also on a course which will suit his game a lot more. He is 25/1 to win this tournament and could very well be one to watch.

Someone who has really kept off the radar in recent weeks is Fijian Vijay Singh and at 66/1 he could be a very tempting e/w punt. He is a four time Barclays Champion, his most recent win coming in 2008. He tied fourth at the Wyndham last week and could well be gearing up for a big run at what has to be his favourite tournament.

My love of outsiders pulls me away from Luke Donald and more in the direction of Wooland and I would be having an e/w on the American in the hope that he truly can overpower the field and be sitting pretty come Sunday night.


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