|The Barclay's Championship - August 18, 2008
The First of Four Playoff Events
Ridgewood Country Club
Par: 35-36—71Yards: 7,319
FedExCup Points: 50,000Winner: 9,000
Purse: $7,000,000Winner: $1,260,000
2007 Champion: Steve Stricker (268, -16)
The Barclays Notes
The Barclays will play at a rotation of golf courses in the greater New York area over the next few years. From 40 years at historic Westchester Country Club to the well-received move this year to Ridgewood Country Club to playing in the shadow of the New York City skyline next year at Liberty National, each course provides a different challenge to the game’s best players. The sites also offer an opportunity for Metropolitan New York/New Jersey to experience this one-of-a-kind event, the first in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup. The rotation for The Barclays for 2010 and beyond will be announced at a later time, although under the terms of the contract with Westchester Country Club, The Barclays will return at least once by 2012.
In 2007, Steve Stricker won his first PGA TOUR event since 2001 at the first event in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup. Stricker birdied four of the final five holes in the final round to overtake K.J. Choi. Stricker jumped to No. 1 in the FedExCup points standings with the victory and ultimately finished second to Tiger Woods in the FedExCup. The victory came in his 148th start since his last victory at the 2001 World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play Championship.
Last year, two players, Doug LaBelle II and Rich Beem, from outside the top 120 were able to advance to the following week’s Deutsche Bank Championship. LaBelle, a rookie, advanced, thanks to a birdie on the 72nd hole at The Barclays and tied for 41st to move from No. 121 to No. 120. He edged Steve Allan by 25 points. Beem made a large jump from No. 134 to No. 113 with a tie-for-seventh finish.
Padraig Harrington, who won the British Open and PGA Championship within a three-week period, is a former Barclays champion. At the 2005 Barclays, the Irishman made a 61-foot eagle-putt on the final hole of regulation to beat Jim Furyk for his second PGA TOUR victory. To date, Harrington has five PGA TOUR victories and 16 international wins.
Vijay Singh is the tournament’s only three-time winner. He recorded his first PGA TOUR victory at The Barclays in 1993. He won again in 1995 and then again over a decade later in 2006. With his victory earlier this month at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational, Singh became the oldest player to win a World Golf Championships event and also broke the record for PGA TOUR victories (32) by an international player.
Ridgewood Country Club, this year’s tournament site, has hosted a number of high-profile golf tournaments, including the 1935 Ryder Cup, the third team competition held in the United States; the 1974 U.S. Amateur, won by Jerry Pate; the 1990 U.S. Senior Open, won by World Golf Hall of Famer Lee Trevino; and the 2001 Senior PGA Championship, won by World Golf Hall of Famer Tom Watson. In addition, Hall of Famer Byron Nelson once served as an assistant professional at Ridgewood. An area of the clubhouse is dedicated to the Ryder Cup competition at Ridgewood.
E NOTES FROM THE PGA TOUR
This week’s The Barclays at the Ridgewood CC in Paramus, NJ, will be the first co-sponsored PGA TOUR event in New Jersey since the 1968 Thunderbird Classic.
The field at The Barclays includes every PGA TOUR winner from 2008 with the exception of the injured Tiger Woods.
The Barclays field includes nine rookies—Chez Reavie (#35), Michael Letzig (#88), Brad Adamonis (#93), Kevin Streelman (#102), Matt Jones (#106), Tim Wilkinson (#110), Dustin Johnson (#117), Jason Day (#127) and Martin Laird (#128).
The field for the first event in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup will feature players from 16 different countries.
Last week’s Wyndham Championship was kind to the rookie class with four first-year players finishing in the Top-10. Scotland’s Martin Laird had his second consecutive T4 finish and he was followed by Kevin Streelman (T6) and Michael Letzig and Bob Sowards, each of whom finished T9.
More on Laird: Following the RBC Canadian Open, the rookie was 182nd on the FedExCup points list, but his T4 at the Legends Reno-Tahoe Open and T4 at the Wyndham Championship vaulted him into the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup in 128th place.
Last week’s winner, Carl Pettersson, tied the PGA TOUR 36-hole scoring record with his 64-61—125 total at the halfway point. The 125 effort tied the mark set previously by Tiger Woods, Mark Calcavecchia, Tom Lehman and Corey Pavin. His 72-hole total of 259 marked just the 16th time in TOUR history that a player broke the 260 barrier for 72 holes.
With his T7 at last week’s JELD-WEN Tradition, Bernhard Langer remains as the only player to finish in the Top-10 in all four Champions Tour majors this year. He’s still got one to go, though—the Constellation Energy Senior Players Championship in early October.
Massy Kuramoto has gone 308 consecutive holes without a 3-putt green—the longest streak on the Champions Tour this year.
Jay Haas and Bernhard Langer continue to wage a tight, back and forth duel at the top of the Charles Schwab Cup points list. With his T3 last week at the JELD-WEN Tradition, Haas regained the lead by a slim 98 points over Langer.
The Champions Tour is in Seattle this week for the Boeing Classic. The event had a record-breaking finish last year with Denis Watson winning a seven-man playoff. The seven-man playoff set a new record for most players involved.
When Brendon de Jonge won last week’s Xerox Classic he became the first player in Nationwide Tour history from Zimbabwe to win. Zimbabwe is the 20th country to produce a Nationwide Tour winner in its history.
More on de Jonge: He has 12 consecutive rounds in the 60s in his last three starts finishing T18-5-1. He’s 44-under par over that stretch.
This week’s field at The Barclays will have a strong Nationwide Tour influence with 89 of the 136 players having previously played the Nationwide Tour.
Greg Owen is currently 10th on the Nationwide Tour money list. He’s first in Scoring Average (69.74), first in Total Driving (35), first in Birdie Average (4.26) and first in All-Around (105), yet he hasn’t won a tournament this year.