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August 20 2012

5:55 PM

FedExCup wrap-up: Barclays field set

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Heath Slocum, who won The Barclays in 2009, is in the field this week after playing his way into the FedExCup Playoffs at the Wyndham Championship.

By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- The field of 125 for The Barclays is set now. Only one player, Heath Slocum, managed to punch his ticket for The Barclays, which tied 2010 for the least ever, but there was still plenty of movement as in the FedExCup standings on the eve of the Playoffs. 

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WHO’S NO. 1? -- It's official. Tiger Woods will enter the FedExCup Playoffs as the No. 1 seed. Jason Dufner, though, has bypassed PGA champion Rory McIlroy for second. Dufner was projected at No. 1 when he was tied for second with Tim Clark early Monday but he never was able to recover from a double bogey at the seventh hole. Dufner, who shot 69 on Monday, ended up tied for seventh.

Dufner, who has played three straight weeks now, plans to take The Barclays off and return home to Auburn. "I'm going to take some rest and probably start practicing toward the end of (the) week, getting ready for the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston and get ready for the Playoff stretch and leading into the Ryder Cup," Dufner said. "So a little bit of both time off and  little bit of practice."

Oh, and he might sneak over and watch his beloved Auburn Tigers football team practice. "Guys start up the Saturday of Deutsche Bank," Dufner said. "It's right around the corner. That's always a good part of the year for me."

BUBBLE WATCH -- When all was said and done, Heath Slocum was the only player to move into the top 125 in the FedExCup standings --  bumping Jhonattan Vegas, who started the week ranked No. 124. Slocum, who was 128th entering the Wyndham Championship, made his life challenging, though, with a double bogey on the 14th hole -- his first on Monday -- and two more coming home, including at No. 18. Slocum was projected at No. 120 when he teed off at No. 14. He dropped to No. 123 with the double bogey and to No. 124 when he finished the 72nd hole.

"I hit a good drive off 18 and thought I hit a pretty good second shot, hit it solid, kind of the shot I wanted to play and it's ten yards short," Slocum said. "Then trying to get this chip -- you know, I'll be honest, trying to kind of make it but at the very worse you're trying to give yourself a nice little chip-in or putt, downhill, 5-footer, foot of break is not fun."

Slocum said he knew it was going to be close when noticed the reporters gathering behind the 18th hole on Monday. "I remember a couple years a ago at Disney I was trying to finish 30th on the money list," he said. "I get to the last and bunch of media out there. … I ended up making a 7-footer to like edge out by $1,400 over J.B. Holmes. Seeing everybody there (today) I was like alrighty, it's going to be close."

Three years ago, Slocum missed the cut at the Wyndham Championship and had to wait anxiously on Sunday too see if he made the field for The Barclays -- which he did, with a mere two points to spare, when he clocked in at No. 124. "That was way worse," said Slocum, who went on to win The Barclays. "At least you have some kind of control here. (I) say that as I'm spiraling but it's funny how golf, sometimes the momentum, you miss one putt, couple errant shots." ...

Bobby Gates, who started the Wyndham Championship ranked No. 141, made a bid on Monday, as well, with three birdies in a four-hole stretch on the back nine but ended up moving to No. 129. He never quite got into the 125 threshold and double bogeyed his last hole.

"Coming in the week we knew we needed a top-10," Gates said. "Had a great chance today. The good Lord gave me an opportunity to do it today, and I'm glad to got to play. ... There's goals as have to begin the year. One of my goals was to make the Playoffs. I came pretty close today. I just learn from it, try and do better next time and see if I can improve."

NOTABLES WATCH -- Sergio Garcia moved 69 spots to No. 33 with his victory on Monday. Garcia said he's looking forward to returning to Bethpage Black, where he finished fourth and 10th in the two U.S. Opens played there, for The Barclays this week. "We'll try to keep playing the way we've been playing," Garcia said. "... It's kind of interesting to see hopefully it plays firm and it will be interesting to see how tough it can really play that well."...

Clark made the second largest move in the standings, vaulting from No. 109 to 54th with his second place finish at The Barclays. "Five weeks ago, I wasn't even in the Playoffs," Clark said. "I had to play some decent golf going in and now that I've hit my stride I've moved up. ... It's a big thing. But now that you're playing good golf, you can really make a move. I'm excited about the next few weeks.” ...

Carl Pettersson moved up two spots to No. 7 in the standings with his tie for fourth. The Swede, who went to high school in Greensboro, heads to the Playoffs with momentum after Monday and last week's tie for third at the PGA Championship. "Certainly, it's nice coming in playing well, but next week is a new week," Pettersson said. "I don't want to set goals. I want to play good golf." ...

Jimmy Walker, whose best FedExCup finish is 68th last year, moved from 55th to 43rd. Walker, who held sole possession of the second round lead, was pleased with the work he's been doing with his new coach, Butch Harmon, of late and he's got his sites set on a spot in the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. "That's the goal, top 30," he said. "Kind of the golden ticket out there. It tends to pretty much take care of everything. That's the goal. Keep hitting it good and I think it's attainable."

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