EDISON, N.J. -- Getting there may be a challenge with Hurricane Irene rumbling up the East Coast.
But eight players punched their ticket to TPC Boston on Saturday at The Barclays when they moved into the top 100 in the FedExCup standings.
Camilo Villegas made the biggest move -- jumping 58 spots to 51st when he tied for sixth at Plainfield Country Club. Chris Stroud moved up 31 spots, Ian Poulter 36, Padraig Harrington 44, Bill Lunde 18, William McGirt 29, John Merrick 6 and Ernie Els 19 to No. 99.
Poulter and McGirt had two of the biggest challenges in the final round. The colorful Brit birdied four of his last five holes on Saturday to seal the deal while McGirt, who was the last man to make the field for the first event in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup, clocked in at No. 101 until he made a birdie on the 17th hole.
Falling out of the top 100 were Bryce Molder, Hunter Haas, Chris DiMarco, Paul Goydos, Nick o'Hern, Matt Bettencourt, Tim Herron and Michael Bradley. Of that group only Molder made the cut and his closing 70 and tie for 65th simply wasn't enough.
EDISON, N.J. -- The last two players in the field for The Barclays have positioned themselves for what could turn out to be a long run in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup.
Padraig Harrington, who moved from 130th to 124th last week at the Wyndham Championship, has just finished off a round of 67. That left him at 10 under for the tournament and in pursuit of his first PGA TOUR win since he won the last two majors in 2008.
Harrington is now projected at No. 48 in the FedExCup standings, which gives him a legitimate shot at making it through all four Playoffs events for the third time in his career.
Harrington's playing partner, William McGirt, who was the bubble boy when he came to Plainfield Country Club, has also prospered this week. The PGA TOUR rookie shot 69 on on Friday after opening with a 64. McGirt is projected at No. 62 in the FedExCup.
Harrison Frazar, who held a share of the lead at 7 under overnight, has played eight holes of his second round. He's made four birdies and now stands in sole possession of third at 11 under, three strokes off the pace being set by Matt Kuchar.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
EDISON, N.J. -- He certainly didn't want to, not with the kind of roll he was on. But William McGirt had to leave that 12-footer for birdie on the par-5 12th hole until Friday morning.
The PGA TOUR rookie had just made birdies on seven of his last eight holes. But darkness was settling over Plainfield Country Club and McGirt didn't want to take the chance of missing that putt.
"I wanted to hit it so bad, but just looking at it there was enough of a shadow on the green that I couldn't really read it," McGirt said. "My eyes were seeing one thing and my feet were feeling something else. So I put a mark on it."
If McGirt makes that putt, he'll own sole possession of the lead at The Barclays, a tournament he wasn't sure he was going to get to play in until Sunday afternoon when he climbed two spots to No. 125 in the final regular season FedExCup standings. He left the course on Thursday tied for the lead with Harrison Frazar, who had finished off his 64, and Matt Kuchar, who had two holes remaining.
McGirt, though, will have six more holes to play after he putts out on the 12th. Interestingly, his PGA TOUR career low came last Friday on another Donald Ross course at Sedgefield Country Club where he shot 64 and went on to tie for 52nd at the Wyndham Championship. McGirt, who had some anxious moments on Sunday, eventually edged Justin Leonard by six points for the final playoff spot.
"All in all, everything is going pretty well," McGirt said of his performance Thursday. "I was driving it pretty well, hit my irons pretty well and making some putts. So pretty good combo. Hopefully, I can finish it off in the morning and get another good one in the afternoon."
McGirt holed a 13-footer to save par from the greenside bunker at No. 3, and he said that "jump-started everything" on Thursday. He made a 21-footer for his first birdie at the fourth hole and got up-and-down from the back fringe at the par-5 5th before deadly approaches at Nos. 6 and 7 left him putts of 4 feet and 13 inches.
McGirt got on another run at the ninth hole where he made an 11-footer for birdie. He followed with putts of 4 and 31 feet on the next two holes to move to 7 under before three quality shots set up the 12-footer he'll face at 7:15 a.m. on Friday.
"It's been so long since I've been on a streak like that, I wish I could do it more," McGirt said. "It seemed like today I had a lot of good numbers for shots. Just like last Friday, last Friday it seemed like every shot we walked off was a perfect number.
"Then on Saturday, I don't think I had a good number all day. Everything was dead in-between clubs. You're just trying to rip one or feather on in there. So it's kind of easy to get it going when you're hitting stock shots all day. So hopefully I can continue that tomorrow."
EDISON, N.J. -- William McGirt probably won't be happy to see Thursday come to an end.
The PGA TOUR rookie, who came into The Barclays as the bubble boy at No. 125, has just drained a 31-footer on the 11th hole to move to 7 under for the tournament. McGirt, who has actually made seven birdies in his last eight holes, is now tied for the lead with Harrison Frazar.
McGirt is playing the par-5 12th hole right now. With daylight on the wane, though, this could be his last hole of the day.
EDISON, N.J. – With less than an hour of daylight left, Justin Rose probably won’t get his first round finished. But the Englishman should go home energized after making a run up the leaderboard on Thursday afternoon.
Rose birdied his first hole and bogeyed his next before playing his next 11 holes in 5 under. His most recent birdie came at the 13th hole, where he rolled in an 11-footer for his sixth of the day.
And Rose isn’t the only player prospering as the afternoon wanes. Matt Kuchar, playing two groups behind him, has just made consecutive birdies at Nos. 11 and 12 to join Rose at 5 under.
The group at 4 under is getting bigger, too, with the addition of D.A. Points, Chris Stroud and William McGirt to the mix. Points has played 12 holes, Stroud 10 and McGirt eight.
McGirt, who came into the week as the bubble boy at No. 125, reeled off four straight birdies starting at the fourth hole. It’s very early, but the PGA TOUR rookie is now projected at No. 82.
EDISON, N.J. – This probably won’t come as a surprise but we likely won’t get the first round of The Barclays finished on Thursday.
The final group of Arjun Atwal, Padraig Harrington and William McGirt aren’t slated to tee off No. 1 until 4:35 p.m. ET. But if Mother Nature cooperates, they could make considerable progress toward completion of their opening 18 holes.
The weather forecast for Friday is good with partly cloudy skies on the horizon and the rain expected to hold off until Saturday afternoon. Of course, the main event arrives on Sunday when Hurricane Irene blows into the area.
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- John Mallinger has just bogeyed the 11th hole, playing a bit of Army golf from the rough.
With that, he dropped into a five-way tie for second -- and out of the top 125. That boosted Padraig Harrington back to No. 124 and William McGirt back to the bubble spot. Justin Leonard, who is playing the 18th hole, is less than a point behind.
Minutes later, though, McGirt and Leonard had changed spots – likely due to Tommy Gainey’s double bogey at the 11th hole.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- First, William McGirt planned to hit the showers.
Once he had a feel for whether he had a chance of remaining inside the top 125 in the FedExCup standings, McGirt was going to hit the road -- literally, as well as figuratively. He was either headed home to Boiling Springs, S.C., or off to Plainfield, N.J., to make his debut in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup.
"One way or the other, driving somewhere," McGirt said.
The PGA TOUR rookie was the bubble boy when he finished off a round of 70 on Sunday. For the next two hours, McGirt dropped in and out of the top 125 – primarily locked in a tight battle with Justin Leonard, who was just teeing off when he finished.
"I wish it was in my hands and not in somebody else's hands," McGirt said. "I know there's three guys out there that can pass me. I wish it was left up to me. I just didn't drive it very well today and every putt I hit burned the edge. ... Just sit around and wait all day and see, I guess."
McGirt said he knew he was projected at No. 125 as he played his final three holes. He had two birdie putts inside 16 feet and another chance from 36 on the final hole but couldn't convert.
"The shots I hit, the last three holes ... I was very pleased with," McGirt said. “My caddy asked me on 16 green walking to 17 tee he said, 'Do you want to know where we stand?' I said, 'Yeah.' He said, 'Right now we're projected at 125.' So, you know, right now I just wish it was in my hands and not somebody else's."
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Justin Leonard has just rolled in a 16-footer for eagle at the fifth hole to move back inside the projected top 125 in the FedExCup standings.
Leonard was sitting at No. 124 after the third round but was knocked out early Sunday by Padraig Harrington and William McGirt, who have already finished and face an anxious afternoon. Only the top 125 when the Wyndham Championship is over get to compete in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup.
McGirt is now the odd man out but there is plenty of golf remaining on a sultry Sunday afternoon. Follow the projected standings by clicking here.