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.
LATEST FEDEXCUP STANDINGS
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."
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- He made the 18th hole harder than he'd hoped but Sergio Garcia still managed to gut out a bogey that gave him a two-stroke win at the Wyndham Championship.
The victory was Garcia's first on the PGA TOUR since the 2008 PLAYERS Championship. He finished 18 under after shooting a final-round 66 and beat Tim Clark by two strokes and Bud Cauley by three.
Garcia now heads to Bethpage Black for The Barclays with momentum, ranked 33rd in the FedExCup, a jump of 69 spots. The Barclays, which begins Thursday, is the first of four events in the FedExCup Playoffs that will decided the season-long champion and winner of the $10 million bonus.
“I am proud of the way I played coming in,” said Garcia, who had four birdies in a five-hole stretch starting at the 13th hole on Monday. “Hopefully this will secure my spot in the Ryder Cup.”
With the win, Garcia appears to have moved well into the automatic qualifiers for the European team with one week remaining. The matches will be held at Medinah Country Club where a 19-year-old Garcia finished second to Tiger Woods at the 1999 PGA Championship.
Garcia won’t be able to earn any Ryder Cup points at The Barclays but even should he fall out, the Spaniard appears to be a lock for one of Jose Maria Olazabal’s Captain’s Picks. Garcia has played on five of the last six European teams, missing only 2010 when he was named a vice captain.
As far as the Playoffs are concerned, only one player managed to move into the top 125 and earn a spot at The Barclays. That was Heath Slocum, who moved from No. 128 to 124th with his tie for 31st – making Jhonattan Vegas the odd man out.
In 2009, Slocum missed the cut in Greensboro but managed to remain at No. 124 – with two points to spare. He ended up going out and winning The Barclays the following week and placed eighth in the FedExCup overall.
“I think that what I did last time kind of frees you up,” Slocum said. “You really have nothing to lose. That was the best thing I did in '09. I remember I went into that week just completely free, no expectations. I just went and played golf. I got in my own way.
“Kind of the same situation I've gotten myself into this year to get to this point. It's a lesson to be learned from. If I can execute, obviously a W would be fantastic but at this point, I'm just trying to kind of get things better on track and kind of get to playing the golf that I've been playing in my career and that I expect from myself.”
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Since the Wyndham Championship moved to Sedgefield County Club in 2008, the third round leader has gone on to win the tournament all but once.
That was in 2009, and the man who set the pace entering the final round was none other than Sergio Garcia. He ended up one shot out of the three-man playoff won by Ryan Moore.
Well, the Spaniard got another chance this year and Garcia has left nothing to chance – reeling off three straight birdies starting at the 15th hole to take a four-stroke advantage to the final hole.
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Sergio Garcia, who is bidding to lock up his spot on the European Ryder Cup team and end a four-year victory drought, has just taken a three-stroke lead with two holes remaining in the Wyndham Championship.
The 32-year-old Spaniard is now 18 under after getting up-and-down from a greenside bunker at the par-5 15th hole and nearly holing his tee shot at No.16, tapping in from 22 inches.
Garcia now controls his own destiny as he tries to win for the first time on the PGA TOUR since the 2008 PLAYERS Championship. His closest competitors are Tim Clark and Bud Cauley at 15 under.
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- It wasn't easy but Heath Slocum has played his way into the FedExCup Playoffs with a tie for 32nd at the Wyndham Championship.
Slocum moved from 128th to 124th, displacing Jhonattan Vegas. He is the only player who started the week outside the top 125 to punch his ticket for The Barclays, which begins its 72-hole run at Bethpage Black on Thursday.
Slocum was projected No. 120 when he came back to the 14th tee at Sedgefield on Monday morning to resume his final round. He came up short on the 475-yard par 4 in two, chipped up and three-putted from six feet for an inauspicious double bogey. He dropped to 123rd in the projections, as a result, and stayed there when he bogeyed the 16th hole.
Slocum came up short again at the 18th hole, chipped on and missed a 6-footer to save par. Even so, he only dropped one spot to No. 124 to solidify his spot in the Playoffs.
"I really thought I probably need a par at the last and then when I missed that, I was like, I mean -- obviously they're all important," Slocum said. "I'm trying to make them not only to improve my standings to maybe get in The Playoffs but every little point helps, every little dollar helps. As soon as I saw you guys start inching around, I knew it was getting close."
In 2009 Slocum missed the cut at the Wyndham Championship and had to wait anxiously on Sunday to see if he remained in the top 125. He did -- by two points -- and ended up winning The Barclays. He went on to finish eighth in the FedExCup that year.
"I think I've been playing a little better lately," Slocum said.
"I'm going to take that away as encouraging. Kind of just take the
finish and just put it aside. I have life next week. I've been
there before. It's a course I've played before.
"And, like I said, my game really does feel like it's kind of rounding out, getting a little more consistent. The putter is starting to feel better. I didn't make anything today. Kind of dreadful. Again, I'm just happy to move on at this point."
GREENSBORO, N.C. – A 15-inch birdie putt at the 13th hole has give Sergio Garcia sole possession of the lead again with a little more than an hour of golf remaining to be played at the Wyndham Championship.
Garcia is now 16 under and one stroke ahead of Chad Campbelll and Tim Clark. Bud Cauley is alone in fourth at 14 under.
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Three straight birdies from Chad Campbell have created a three-way tie for the lead at the Wyndham Championship.
Campbell, who has one hole remaining, two-putted from 27 feet at the par-5 15th hole for his first birdie. He added putts of 16 and 25 feet on the next two holes to pull into a tie at 15 under with Tim Clark and Sergio Garcia.
Clark has completed 13 holes while Garcia is through 12. All three are seeking to end lengthy victory droughts – Campbell’s last win came in 2007, Garcia’s in 2008 and Clark’s in 2010.
GREENSBORO, N.C. – Sergio Garcia now has company at the top of the leaderboard.
Tim Clark just made a 16-footer at the par-4 eighth hole to move to 15 under. It’s his third birdie of the round against one bogey.
The two own a two-stroke lead over Nicolas Colsaerts, Chad Campbell and Harris English. Colsaerts has just birdied the 13th and 14th holes while Campbell is through 13 holes and English has just made the turn.