This article is part of our Golf Barometer series.
Three weeks into the PGA Tour's much-anticipated return from a three-month hiatus, we're hopefully due for more Sunday drama at the Travelers Championship despite the lack of crowd noise as bombers like Dustin Johnson and Bryson DeChambeau attempt to chase down 54-hole leader Brendon Todd, who'll be seeking his third win of the 2019-20 campaign. While the fourth round at TPC River Highlands transpires, we'll take a look at several players who have seen their fantasy value either hike or dip since the restart.
No one has been better with their iron play since the restart than Ancer, who gained a whopping 16.5 strokes on approaches over eight rounds at the Charles Schwab Challenge and RBC Heritage before adding 6.1 more strokes gained in this category through three rounds at TPC River Highlands this week. He's top-10 on Tour in proximity from 150-175 yards this season, becoming a green-hitting machine in June on the way to results of T14-2 with another high finish in his sights at the Travelers on Sunday.
Hovland posted top-25s at Colonial CC and Harbour Town to join the top-40 in the FedEx Cup standings, but he's maintained momentum this week in Connecticut and has now broken 70 in nine of 11 rounds since the restart. He's fourth in SG: Tee-to-Green at the Travelers Championship with 18 holes to play, but he's been especially valuable in DFS formats lately with three eagles at the RBC Heritage before adding another on the par-5 13th on Thursday at TPC River Highlands. Additionally, Hovland ranks second on Tour in proximity from 150-175 yards and eighth in proximity from 175-200 yards.
Just one spot behind Hovland at fifth in SG: Tee-to-Green through three rounds at the Travelers, Niemann's high-quality ball-striking carried him to a T32-T5 run at the CSC and RBC Heritage as he traveled to Cromwell with the seventh-most strokes gained on approaches since the schedule resumed. The 21-year-old Chilean is top-20 in the FedEx Cup standings, 18th in GIR percentage, third in proximity from 175-200 yards and 26th in par-4 scoring this season.
Duncan hit all 14 fairways in regulation during Round 3 at TPC River Highlands to bring his total FIR percentage to 88 percent through 54 holes, ultimately leading the field in SG: Off-the-Tee heading into Sunday's final round at the Travelers. Duncan also gained a combined 6.3 strokes on approaches at the RBC Heritage and Charles Schwab Challenge to notch back-to-back top-40s after missing the cut in consecutive starts prior to the break. Enjoying the best season of his career from an earnings perspective, the 2019 RSM Classic champion ranks top-30 in the FedEx Cup standings.
Prior to the Travelers Championship, Day endured a rough stretch of MC-WD-MC-MC from the Genesis Invitational through the RBC Heritage while falling outside of the top-50 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Although he finally advanced to the weekend at TPC River Highlands, he's currently lost over two strokes on approaches while being forced to rely on his short game and will face an uphill battle the rest of the way Sunday just for a chance at a pedestrian top-50 finish.
Smith's 36-hole total of three-under-par in Rounds 1 and 2 at the Travelers kept him one shot shy of making the cut, and he's now MC'd in each of his first three starts since the hiatus ended. The Aussie lost 4.2 strokes on approaches at Colonial CC, three strokes putting at Harbour Town and 1.3 strokes on approaches at TPC River Highlands. Smith ranks outside of the top-150 on Tour in SG: Tee-to-Green, SG: Approach and driving accuracy through 29 measured rounds.
Moore is in the same boat as Smith with a narrowly missed cut at the Travelers resulting in what has become a dreaded three-event MC streak. Moore's short game failed him this week at TPC River Highlands, but he also lost a collective 3.2 strokes from tee to green in four total rounds at the RBC Heritage and Charles Schwab Challenge. He's elected not to participate in the upcoming Rocket Mortgage Classic, where he missed the cut in 2019.
Not exactly an injury/illness update for the No. 4 player in the world himself, but Koepka was informed Wednesday that his caddie, Ricky Elliott, had tested positive for the coronavirus as the team was forced to withdraw prior to Thursday's first round in Cromwell. Hopefully avoiding any setbacks, the duo's next appearance could come at the Memorial Tournament hosted by Muirfield Village GC in mid-July. A hot putter at the CSC and RBC Heritage allowed Koepka to finish T32-7 in his first two starts back.