|The Barclays - August 24, 2009
The First of Four Playoff Events
Jersey City, NJ
Par: 36-35—71Yards: 7,419
Winner's FedExCup Points Share: 2,500
Purse: $7,500,000Winner: $1,350,000
2008 Champion: Vijay Singh (276, -8)
PGA TOUR Playoffs Begin this Week
The PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup begin this week at The Barclays, with the top-125 players from the standings qualifying. The Playoffs continue next week at the Deutsche Bank Championship outside Boston, go to the Chicago area for the BMW Championship (Sept. 7-13), take a week off and then finish at THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola.
After each tournament the field will be pared, with 100 players in the Deutsche Bank Championship, 70 in the BMW Championship and 30 at THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola. The first two Playoffs events will also feature 36-hole cuts, another way to reward strong play.
Singh’s Barclays Win Led to FedExCup Glory
At the 2008 Barclays, Vijay Singh gave an indication of things to come with his extra-holes victory over Sergio Garcia and Kevin Sutherland. Singh won the tournament, and in the process he seized control of the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup, which he eventually won.
Singh returns as the FedExCup defending champion and is ready to defend the title he won at Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, NJ, to be played this week at Liberty National, just across the Hudson River from New York.
The Barclays Notes
Tiger Woods enters the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup as the overall leader, 1,276 points ahead of Steve Stricker. Woods won the inaugural Playoffs in 2007 but missed the Playoffs a year ago while he recovered from knee surgery.
Steve Stricker ended a winless drought of nearly seven years and 146 PGA TOUR starts when he won The Barclays in 2007. Stricker hasn’t slowed down since, finishing No. 14 in the final 2008 FedExCup standings and winning twice during the 2009 PGA TOUR Regular Season. Stricker enters the 2009 PGA TOUR Playoffs second in the FedExCup points standings on the strength of victories earlier in the year at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial and the John Deere Classic.
Since the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup began in 2007, there have been eight events, with Camilo Villegas recording the most top-10 finishes. In eight starts, he has finished in the top 10 six times—including two victories. Next on the list is Sergio Garcia, with five top 10s. Rory Sabbatini and Steve Stricker each have four top 10s.
Four players have played in all 32 rounds of the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup. They are Jim Furyk, Sergio Garcia and Steve Stricker. Stricker leads that list with 22 rounds in the 60s, two more than Garcia and Camilo Villegas.
Vijay Singh collected a tournament-record fourth career Barclays victory with a sudden-death playoff victory over Sergio Garcia and Kevin Sutherland in 2008.
Making his fourth-career start at The Barclays, Zach Johnson’s best finish at The Barclays is a tie for 23rd in 2004. A year ago, he missed the cut, a year after he tied for 25th.
Kenny Perry enters the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup ranked No. 4 on the strength of victories at the FBR Open and the Travelers Championship. Perry has seven top-10 finishes on the season including a playoff loss at the Masters to Angel Cabrera. Perry is making his 11th appearance at The Barclays, with his best finish a tie for third in 2005. His only other top 10 in the event was a tie for ninth in 2004.
Lucas Glover returns to the New York metro area for the first time since claiming the U.S. Open in June at Bethpage State Park. In addition to his victory at Bethpage’s Black Course, Glover has four other top 10s this season, including a runner-up finish at the Quail Hollow Championship in May. Two weeks ago, he finished fifth at the PGA Championship.
E NOTES FROM THE PGA TOUR
PGA TOUR PLAYOFFS FOR THE FEDEXCUP
The FedExCup has only been in existence for three years, but still only two players have managed to finish in the Top-10 in the standings in the Regular Season each year — Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.
Troy Matteson earned the 125th and final spot in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup by the slimmest of margins. He finished the Regular Season with 354 points — one more than Matt Jones and two more than Ken Duke.
Looking for a most improved player candidate? Check out Jason Dufner. After finishing 172nd in the FedExCup standings last year, Dufner is 42nd this year. He’s made the cut in 16 of 22 starts with 5 Top-10s, including a T3 at the RBC Canadian Open.
This week’s field offers the Top-10 and 124 of the Top 125 from the Regular Season. Only Paul Casey, who is injured, will miss this week.
The Barclays has only been held previously on two different golf courses and Vijay Singh won at both of them. The defending champ has a chance to add a third course this week as the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup open at Liberty National for the first time. He won at Westchester CC in 1993, 1995 and 2006 and Ridgewood CC last year.
More on Singh: He’s won The Barclays four times in his career with 8 Top-10 finishes in 16 starts.
If you are looking for someone to go low this week, look no further than Hunter Mahan. In the very first PGA TOUR Playoff event in 2007, Mahan shot a third-round 62 at Westchester CC. In last year’s first PGA TOUR Playoff event, Mahan again shot 62 — this time in the first round at Ridgewood CC.
Tiger Woods will be looking to add New Jersey to an impressive list of states in which he has won PGA TOUR events. The number currently stands at 16 with Tiger getting another chance at New Jersey this week.
There will be eight rookies in the field this week at The Barclays — Jeff Klauk, Marc Leishman, Scott Piercy, Webb Simpson, James Nitties, Matt Bettencourt, Bill Lunde and David Mathis.
Mike Reid claimed his second career Champions Tour title last week at the JELD-WEN Tradition. He joins Peter Jacobsen as the only players to have two career titles — both coming in majors. Reid also won the 2005 Senior PGA Championship while Jacobsen has victories in the 2004 U.S. Senior Open and the 2005 Ford Senior Players Championship.
Larry Mize continued his great play of late at last week’s JELD-WEN Tradition with a solo 4th place finish. That gives him 7 Top-10 finishes in his last eight starts.
Fred Funk, the 1992 Shell Houston Open winner, continues to lead in the Charles Schwab Cup race, but there’s a new man holding down second place — Loren Roberts. Roberts trails Funk by 356 points with Bernhard Langer now in third place, 436 points back.
With his third victory of the season last week, Michael Sim not only earned an automatic promotion to the PGA TOUR, but he became the first player in Nationwide Tour history to top the $500,000 mark in season earnings. Sim now has $527,079 to top the old mark of $495,009 set by Troy Matteson.
He’s still searching for his first win, but Blake Adams continues to be as hot as anyone on the Nationwide Tour. He finished solo fourth last week at the Christmas in October Classic for his fifth Top-10 finish in his last six outings.
Chad Collins has climbed from 53rd on the money list to 12th thanks to consecutive 2-2-5 finishes on the Tour.