The Barclays Notes
Vijay Singh is the all-time leading money winner in tournament history, pocketing $2,177,301.
Woody Austin, playing in his 15th major championship, finished runner-up to Tiger Woods at the PGA Championship two weeks ago and jumped from No. 19 to No. 10 to earn a position on the U.S. Presidents Cup team. He was the lone player in the PGA Championship field to post four rounds of par or better (68-70-69-67). Austin has played 11 consecutive years at The Barclays, making five cuts and recording three top-25s.
Vijay Singh is one of five multiple winners in 2007, joining Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Zach Johnson and K.J. Choi. Singh won the Mercedes-Benz Championship in January and the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March.
There have been eight players who have made The Barclays their first PGA TOUR win. They are Andy North (1977), Jack Renner (1979), Wayne Grady (1989), Vijay Singh (1993), J.P. Hayes (1998), Dennis Paulson (2000), Chris Smith (2002) and Jonathan Kaye (2003).
Steve Elkington extended his cuts-made streak to 15 consecutive at Westchester Country Club when he played on the weekend in 2006. The streak includes the 2000 season when he made the cut but was forced to withdraw due to injury. Overall, Elkington has made 16 cuts in 18 starts at Westchester Country Club.
Despite being one of the shortest courses on the PGA TOUR, at 6,839 yards, Westchester Country Club’s West Course showed its teeth in 2006, with a scoring average of 73.033. That ranked the course fifth on the TOUR’s most-difficult list last year. A pair of par 4s, the 11th (4.322) and the 12th (4.379), ranked among the top-50 most difficult.
Vijay Singh has three wins at three different events on the PGA TOUR, the Shell Houston Open (2002, 2004-05), the Buick Open (1997, 2004-05) and The Barclays (1993, 1995, 2006).
Three-time Barclays champion Vijay Singh’s previous Barclays wins prior to 2006 came in playoffs, against Mark Wiebe (1993) and Doug Martin (1995).
Sergio Garcia, a two-time Barclays champion, is No. 13 in FedExCup points entering the first event in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup. Garcia won in 2001 and 2004 and has notched four top-10s in seven starts.
PGA TOUR PLAYOFFS FOR THE FEDEXCUP
This week marks the beginning of the four-week PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup. The players have all been reseeded according to their performance through the Regular Season and the sprint to the finish line has begun.
Entering the Playoffs, Tiger Woods has the number one seed and 100,000 points. He has a great track record at the tournament sites, too. He’s made every cut in his 21 career starts at those sites and has won on two of the courses with four total wins.
Shell Houston Open champ Adam Scott, the number 10 seed begins with 96,250 points and he has a fine record as well, winning at two of the tournament sites and making all 10 cuts in his career.
While both have outstanding records it is three-time Shell Houston Open winner Vijay Singh who begins the Playoffs with the best track record. Singh has won on three of the tournament courses (a total of five times) and has 21 Top-10 finishes in 34 starts. Singh opens as the number two seed with 99,000 points.
There are some wild cards to consider, though. Number three seed Jim Furyk has never played in the Deutsche Bank Championship nor has number four seed Phil Mickelson or number six seed Rory Sabbatini. How might they fare on that course?
Number 13 seed Sergio Garcia has never played at either the Deutsche Bank Championship or the BMW Championship and number 19 seed Ernie Els has never played in Boston and only once in Chicago. They’ve both won twice, however, on this week’s course, the Westchester CC, site of The Barclays.
Neither rookie Brandt Snedeker (number nine seed) nor Boo Weekley (number 17) has played at any of the four courses. What might they do on those four courses?
Extensive models run by the PGA TOUR have indicated that in order to have the best chance to win the FedExCup you need to begin the playoffs in the Top 30 or even better, the Top 15.
The performance chart on the following page provides the playing record at the four tournament sites for each of the Top 30 players.
Let the Playoffs begin.
The first event of the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup, The Barclays, will feature 73 of the Top 100 players in the world.
When rookie Brandt Snedeker fired a final-round 63 last Sunday to win the Wyndham Championship, he made 17 of 18 putts inside 15 feet.
More on Snedeker: His win last week made him the seventh player in his 20s to win this year. Snedeker joins a list that includes Aaron Baddeley, Charles Howell III, Adam Scott, Nick Watney, Hunter Mahan and Jonathan Byrd.
Seven former winners of The Barclays are entered this week in the first PGA TOUR Playoff event. Vijay Singh, seeded second, has won the tournament three times while Ernie Els and Sergio Garcia have each won twice. Also entered are former winners Padraig Harrington, J.P. Hayes, Billy Andrade and Bob Tway.
Live@, PGATOUR.com’s live tournament coverage franchise, will cover all four rounds of all four PGA TOUR Playoff events. This week’s coverage will feature the driveable par-4 10th hole at Westchester CC.
It has been a good year for rookies. Thirteen first-year players qualified for the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup. Brandt Snedeker is ninth on the points list to lead the way with Jeff Quinney and Anthony Kim in 41st and 42nd place, respectively.There will be 15 countries represented in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup — U.S., Fiji, South Korea, South Africa, Australia, Spain, Ireland, England, Sweden, Argentina, Colombia, Japan, Germany, Canada and Denmark.
How about this start for the threesome of D.A. Weibring, Peter Jacobsen and Bob Gilder in the second round of last week’s JELD-WEN Tradition. Weibring holed out a wedge for an eagle two and both Jacobsen and Gilder chipped in. That’s no putts for the group.This has been quite a year for Zimbabwe on the Champions Tour. Of the first four majors contested this year, two have been won by natives of the South African country — Denis Watson at the Senior PGA Championship and Mark McNulty at the JELD-WEN Tradition.
Coming off a T4 last week at the JELD-WEN Tradition, Tom Kite enters the Boeing Classic on a high note. Given his track record the past two seasons in Seattle, Kite might be the man to beat this week. He’s the defending champ at the Boeing Classic and finished secondthe previous year.
The victory for McNulty earned him a five-year exemption into the season-opening MasterCard Championship and moved him into 12th place in the Charles Schwab Cup competition. Jay Haas remains in first, 194 points ahead of Brad Bryant.
Nick Flanagan became the eighth player in Nationwide Tour history to earn a three-win promotion to the PGA TOUR, but the first international player to do so.
Brandt Snedeker’s win last week at the Wyndham Championship was the 211th by a former Nationwide Tour player on the PGA TOUR. He’s the 14th player in Nationwide Tour history to graduate to the PGA TOUR and win the next season.
The Class of 2006 continues to shine on the PGA TOUR. Not only did Brandt Snedeker win last week, but 16 of the 22 players qualified forthe PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup.