Amanda Balionis looks back at all the good, the bad and the unusual sights and sounds from RBC Canadian Open, PGA Championship, The Barclays and the Deutsche Bank Championship.
NORTON, Mass. -- Adam Scott certainly enters the Deutsche Bank Championship with momentum after Sunday's 66 lifted the Aussie to victory at The Barclays.
With the victory in the first FedExCup Playoffs event, Scott rose from 11th to second in the standings. No one who has won a FedExCup Playoffs event has failed to rank in the all-important top five entering the finale at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
Scott should have good vibes at TPC Boston, too. His first win came in the inaugural Deutsche Bank Championship in 2003 and he has five other top-fives here (T2-2004, T5-2010, T7-2012, T8-2011).
Scott is seeking to join Vijay Singh as the only players to win The Barclays and Deutsche Bank Championship in the same season. Singh made those wins count, too -- eventually capturing the FedExCup in 2008.
Here are some other interesting tidbits on Scott, the reigning Masters champion.
>>> Scott is one of five multiple winners in 2013, recording multiple victories in a season for the second time in his career by winning the Masters Tournament and The Barclays. He joined Rory McIlroy (2012) and Tiger Woods (2007) as the only players to win a major championship and FedExCup Playoffs event in the same year.
>>> Scott's victory at The Barclays came in his 21st FedExCup Playoffs event. His previous-best finish was fourth at the 2007 BMW Championship. Here’s a look at his FedExCup rankings: 2007 (No. 12), 2008 (47), 2009 (110), 2010 (19), 2011 (16), 2012 (25). Victory at The Barclays came in his 21st FedExCup Playoffs event. His previous-best finish was fourth at the 2007 BMW Championship.
>>> Scott entered the final round of The Barclays tied for 13th and trailing Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland by six strokes before beating Tiger Woods, Graham DeLaet, Gary Woodland and Justin Rose by one. It marked the largest come-from-behind win in the 47-year history of The Barclays. His 10th official PGA TOUR victory (also won the unofficial, 36-hole 2005 Northern Trust Open) came at the age of 33 years, 1 month and nine days in his 210th career start.
>>> Scott's victory at Liberty National made him just the fourth player to win a World Golf Championships event (2011 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational), a FedExCup Playoffs event (The Barclays 2013) and the PLAYERS Championship (2004), joining Phil Mickelson, Tiger Woods and Matt Kuchar.
Check out the top five shots of the week from The Barclays and Boeing Classic -- including the craziest shot of Scott Brown's career and twin aces in the third round from K.J. Choi and Greg Chalmers.
Editor's note: Ernie Els is writing a blog for PGATOUR.COM in 2013 and this is his latest installment. For more information on the World Golf Hall of Famer, visit www.ernieels.com.
I like the golf course at Liberty National and always enjoy staying in New York. More importantly, I was also feeling pretty good after a final round 65 in the Wyndham Championship, so it’s hard to explain shooting 5-over par and missing the cut in The Barclays. My game was a bit off, but still I should have scored better than I did. It was a frustrating couple of days, to be honest.
It could have been worse, though. When I finished my second round I was projected to fall to 102nd in the FedExCup points’ list and with only the top 100 moving on to this week’s Deutsche Bank Championship, that would have been ‘season over’ for me. However, by the time the rain-delayed second round had concluded on Saturday morning, my ranking had improved to 91st. I’m not making it easy for myself, but at least I’m in. No more second chances, though. I need to perform this week.
By now you probably know the format for the FedExCup Playoffs. Only the top 70 players from this week’s Deutsche Bank Championship will make it through to the BMW Championship. The thing is, with one good result you can really turn things around very quickly, so that’s obviously my goal this week. At the very least, the absolute bare minimum, I’m probably going to need a top-25 finish in order to progress to the BMW Championship.
So this week we’re back at TPC Boston, which is a lovely venue. This Arnold Palmer-designed golf course is only around 12 years old, but you wouldn’t know it. The course has a mature, almost traditional feel about it and it’s in a beautiful setting in the lovely New England landscape. It’s a decent mix of holes, too.
In recent years I’ve not done much here, but in 2008 I started 66-65 and ended up finishing tied-third at 14-under par. I could really use that kind of form again this week. This FedExCup Playoffs series creates a strange kind of pressure, very different to trying to win a golf tournament, and it certainly focuses the mind. You want to stay the distance and be one of the 70 players who tees it up in the BMW Championship and then one of the 30 who plays in the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
First things first, though! Let’s see how we go here in Boston.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- While Adam Scott was busy winning The Barclays, there was a tournament within the tournament going on Sunday at Liberty National.
Five players moved inside the top 100 in the FedExCup standings to earn a trip to TPC Boston for this week's Deutsche Bank Championship.
The biggest move among those who started outside the FedExCup's top 100 was made by Greg Chalmers, who tied for 37th at The Barclays to climb from 122nd to 93rd.
Here are some of the key movers from this week at The Barclays as the top 100 in the FedExCup standings move on.
Moving In: The last time The Barclays was played at Liberty National, in 2009, Erik Compton was a year removed from his second heart transplant. On Sunday, he sank a 5-foot, 9-inch putt on the final hole to cap a 1-under 70 to tie for 43rd and move from 117th at the start of the week to 94th in the FedExCup in his first Playoffs appearance. ... Likewise, Stuart Appleby made a 4 1/2-footer on the 18th to shoot even par, tie for 41st and climb from 123rd at the start of the week to 96th. ... Martin Kaymer struggled on the weekend with rounds of 75-72 to tie for 50th but it was enough to move the former world No. 1 from 103rd to 90th. ... Camilo Villegas, who just five years ago won two Playoffs events, appeared to be headed home after missing a 6-footer on 18 but moved to No. 100 when Aaron Baddeley bogeyed his last three holes to shoot 77 and drop out of the top 100. Villegas had started the week 110th. ... Chalmers, meanwhile, had six bogeys sandwiched around two birdies over his final 11 holes but a third-round 66 had him in a tie for 19th and given him the wiggle room he ultimately needed.
Moving out: James Driscoll, Ted Potter Jr. and J.J. Henry all missed the cut to leave their fate in the hands of others. It didn't turn out well for any of them. Driscoll, who has never advanced to his hometown event in Boston, dropped from 93rd to 103rd, Potter from 96th to 105th and Henry from 97th to 106th. ... Geoff Ogilvy did control his own fate, but he missed a par putt from inside 3 feet on the final hole to drop outside the top 100 (he also bogeyed the par-4 15th). ... Jeff Overton, who entered the week on the bubble at No. 100 in the standings, shot three straight 74s and ultimately fell to 108th. Sunday's 74 included four bogeys on the back nine.
Bubble Boy: Villegas flirted with the magic number all day until finally sneaking in on the misfortune of Baddeley. But he also showed signs of returning to his 2008 form. Villegas opened with a 65 to sit just one shot off the lead at The Barclays. It was the fourth time this year he'd shot 65 or lower in the opening round of a tournament. But just like the other three, he failed to capitalize on the good start and failed to break par the rest of the week. Perhaps a return trip to TPC Boston will help. He finished seventh there in 2007 -- shooting a first-round 65 then, too -- and a year later finished third. It will be his first time back since 2011.
Eliminated: Of the 25 players between 101st and 125th in the FedExCup standings coming into this week, 20 of them were eliminated. All of those who did either missed the cut or withdrew. Below is a look at the list.
|Prior||Player||The Barclays||FedExCup status|
|101||James Hahn||Missed cut||Eliminated|
|102||Mark Wilson||Missed cut||Eliminated|
|103||Martin Kaymer||T50||No. 90|
|104||Charlie Beljan||Missed cut||Eliminated|
|106||Jason Bohn||Missed cut||Eliminated|
|108||Jeff Maggert||Missed cut||Eliminated|
|110||Camilo Villegas||T54||No. 100|
|111||Morgan Hoffman||Missed cut||Eliminated|
|112||Chez Reavie||Missed cut||Eliminated|
|114||D.H. Lee||Missed cut||Eliminated|
|115||Andres Romero||Missed cut||Eliminated|
|116||Johnson Wagner||Missed cut||Eliminated|
|117||Erik Compton||T43||No. 94|
|118||Charlie Wi||Missed cut||Eliminated|
|120||Steven Bowditch||Missed cut||Eliminated|
|122||Greg Chalmers||T37||No. 93|
|123||Stuart Appleby||T41||No. 96|
By Fred Albers, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent
Wow. It will be tough for the remaining trio of FedExCup Playoffs events to match the final round drama of The Barclays at Liberty National. You had the Masters champion and U.S. Open champion going head-to-head with Tiger Woods a shot behind. There were birdies made and opportunities missed. There were heroic carries and watery splashes.
Adam Scott’s win places him in the conversation for PGA TOUR player of the year, but the lingering shot that will be replayed time and again will be Woods dropping to his knees with a back spasm and still almost winning the tournament.
It was pathos worthy of a Greek drama.
Just a few years ago, the golf season seemingly ended following the PGA Championship and now it’s become great drama.
A trio of FedExCup Playoffs events remain followed by the Presidents Cup.
Scott's maturity: Has anyone’s golf game changed more in the last four years than Scott’s? In 1999, Scott was mired in a slump but Greg Norman selected him to the Presidents Cup International team and Scott’s confidence grew. Scott was bogey-free in the final round and did not drop a shot following the 12th hole on Saturday. Golf is a strange game in that confidence plays such a critical role.
Chances: Gary Woodland has to feel he let a tournament slip away. A questionable driver led to bogey at the par-5 13th hole. Woodland then had makeable birdie putts at 16, 17 and 18 and missed all three. Woodland led the tournament with 22 birdies and in driving distance at 314.9 yards. He was second at Liberty National hitting 72.22 percent of his greens in regulation and second in putts per green at 1.615. Everything indicates Woodland won the tournament, except his final total.
Fluctuation: It’s said every shot on the PGA TOUR makes somebody happy and that was certainly the case in the final round. Nobody wished bad luck on a fellow competitor but every miscue changed the FedExCup standings. Camilo Villegas bogeyed the 18th hole to fall outside the top 100, then when Aaron Baddeley bogeyed his last three holes, it moved Villegas back into the top 100, giving him a spot in the Deutsche Bank Championship. There were dozens of little dramas that played out long before the leaders walked down the 18th hole.
Woods has time to heal: Woods has a little extra time on his side thanks to the FedExCup schedule. His cranky back gets an extra day to heal this week since the Deutsche Bank Championship doesn’t start until Friday. Following the Deutsche Bank, there will be a 10-day break before play begins at the BMW Championship. Woods tweaked his back with his drive on the 12th hole and spasms then dropped Tiger to his knees on the 13th. He gingerly walked his way around the rest of the course and was non-committal about his future schedule.
Liberty National: Everyone was enthusiastic about the golf course and embraced the changes following the 2009 Barclays but Liberty National is still a very difficult golf course. The edges of greens and bunkers are very sharp, and when the course dried out, golf balls raced into difficult positions. The greens’ numerous undulations made it hard to get an approach shot close and even on Sunday, putts were still being misread.
Ball striking: As the golf course got faster and faster, it’s not a coincidence the game’s best ball-strikers climbed the leaderboard. Scott, Graham DeLaet, Justin Rose and Woods all rank inside the top 20 in the ball-striking statistic on the PGA TOUR. Don’t overlook the play of DeLaet. His second-place finish is not a fluke. DeLaet is No. 1 this year in total driving and ball-striking, and third in greens in regulation.
Fred Albers is a course reporter for SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio. For more information on SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio, click here
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- Adam Scott added even more hardware to a career-defining season on Sunday when he won The Barclays and moved to No. 2 in the FedExCup standings on Sunday.
While others where struggling on a Liberty National course that had firmed up well after three days of sunshine, Scott shot a bogey-free 66 that lifted him to 11 under and one stroke ahead of Tiger Woods, Graham DeLaet, Justin Rose and Gary Woodland. The victory was the second of the season for Scott and the 10th of his career.
"I can't believe it to be honest," the Aussie said. "I just played a good round today and I came in and really didn't think it had a chance. But obviously things went my way a lot out there, and so happy."
Scott finished about 90 minutes before the final group and he was tied, at the time, with his good friend Rose. The Englishman proceeded to miss a 16-footer for birdie at the 17th hole and then made a three-putt bogey at No. 18, failing to convert from 5 feet for par, to leave Scott alone in the lead.
Next up was Tiger Woods, who proved extremely resilient while battling a back issue that forced him to his knees after hitting his approach at the 13th hole. Woods pulled back within a shot of Scott after consecutive birdies at Nos. 16 and 17, but left a tying 27-foot putt from the fringe at the 18th hole about a couple of inches from the hole.
"I had a chance," said Woods, who leads the FedExCup standings. "... I hit a good putt. I thought I made it. It was a little double-breaker and I thought I had it."
Scott's last challenge came from Woodland, who had held a share of the overnight lead with Matt Kuchar at 12 under. But Woodland missed birdie putts of 8, 10 and 10 feet on the last three holes, the latter with Scott standing with his caddy Steve Williams on the range and watching the action on the LED board.
Adam Scott fired a final-round, 5-under 66 to win The Barclays on Sunday, the first event of the FedExCup Playoffs. Scott moved to second in the FedExCup standings.
Want to congratulate Scott? Leave a note in the comments section below and we'll deliver it to him.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- Tiger Woods' week began with a stiff back due to a soft hotel mattress, and it ended with another hard-luck loss at Liberty National.
Playing through a back spasm that began on the 12th hole of Sunday's final round of The Barclays, Woods' birdie attempt on the 18 to force a playoff with Adam Scott came up inches short.
He finished in a tie for second one stroke back.
It was the first time Woods shot four rounds in the 60s in a PGA TOUR event this season and the second straight year he had back issues because of a mattress at this event.
"I felt great until that tee shot at 12," said Woods, who had been receiving treatment for his back throughout the week. "I was perfectly fine. I was playing pretty good, and I was hanging right there.
"I was in the perfect spot, and unfortunately just couldn't finish off the rest of the day."
The outcome was similar to the last time The Barclays was played here, in 2009, when Woods missed a 7-footer for birdie on the final hole that might have forced a playoff.
Only that day it was Heath Slocum who made a 21-footer behind Woods to stun everyone and win by one.
This time, it looked like Woods might not even have the opportunity.
After three birdies on the front nine to get within a stroke of the lead, Woods bogeyed the par-4 10th and par-5 13th after missing the green left on both occasions.
When Woods missed his 11-footer to save par on the par-4 15th, it looked like he was finished. He bounced back, however, with two straight birdies to again get within one of the lead.
His 8-iron approach from 190 yards on the 18th flew all the way to the flag, however, and the ball rolled through the green, leaving him a difficult double-breaking 27-footer for birdie from the fringe that stopped just short.
"I had a chance," Woods said. "I don't know how I hit that 8‑iron that far. But I hit a good putt. Thought I made it."
Woods left Liberty National still atop the FedExCup standings, but his future for the Playoffs is somewhat uncertain.
"That's all hypothetical right now," Woods said when asked if he would be able to play in next week's Deutsche Bank Championship. "I'm not feeling my best right now."
He'll at least get an extra day of rest.
The Deutsche Bank -- which Woods won in 2006 the year before the FedExCup Playoffs were created and which his foundation is connected to -- doesn't start until Friday.
If Woods does play, he'll be paired for the first two rounds with Adam Scott and Phil Mickelson, who are second and third, respectively, in the FedExCup standings.