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August 16 2013

6:42 PM

First Look: The Barclays

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Liberty National offers some spectacular views with the New York City skyline in the background.

FEDEXCUP PLAYOFFS: Projected points

By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM Correspondent

COURSE: Liberty National Golf Club, 7,346 yards, par 70. Opened in 2006 on the site of a former Hudson River landfill, the Tom Kite/Bob Cupp design mixes spectacular views of the New York City skyline and Statue of Liberty with tricky crosswinds and demanding greens. The club cost a reported $250 million to build, with amenities that include a heliport, yacht services and cart paths of stone imported from Belgium. Liberty National first attracted the PGA TOUR in 2009, becoming the second course in The Barclays rotation after the event left Westchester Country Club.

FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 2,500 points.

CHARITY: Some two dozen nonprofits receive support from proceeds raised by The Barclays, including the American Red Cross, the New Jersey Alliance of YMCAs, Rising Tide Capital and the First Tee of Metropolitan New York.

FIELD WATCH: FedExCup points leader Tiger Woods and No. 2 Matt Kuchar head a lineup expected to stand at 123 for the first stop of the 2013 FedExCup Playoffs. Though the top 125 in points qualify for the field, Steve Stricker (family time) and Zach Johnson (brother’s wedding) already have announced they won’t play. For Stricker, who has drastically scaled back his schedule this year, it marks the first time he won’t tee it up at a FedExCup Playoff event. Jordan Spieth, 20, a non-member until winning the John Deere Classic, headlines the list of first-timers in the FedExCup Playoffs.

72-HOLE RECORD: 261, Bob Gilder (1982 at Westchester CC). Liberty National record: 275, Heath Slocum (2009).

18-HOLE RECORD: 61, Brandt Snedeker (3rd round, 2011 at Plainfield CC). Liberty National record: 64, Dustin Johnson (4th round, 2009).

LAST YEAR: Nick Watney, his season a disappointment to that point, gave his fortunes a boost with a three-shot victory at Bethpage Black despite a bumpy stretch run. After grabbing the lead from Sergio Garcia with 10 holes to play, Watney survived a trio of three-putt bogeys, a drive into the woods at No. 13 and a buried bunker lie three holes later. Even so, he closed with a 2-under 69 to claim his fifth career PGA TOUR victory. Snedeker finished second, with Garcia and Dustin Johnson another shot back. Garcia was looking to go back-to-back after winning the Wyndham Championship, but stumbled to a closing 75.

STORYLINES: Woods takes a 766-point lead into the FedExCup’s first Playoff event, but could find himself out of the top spot by the finish as Playoff results are worth five times the points. In the current system’s previous four years, just once has the PGA TOUR season's leader maintained the top spot – Woods in 2009 when Heath Slocum won at Liberty National. … The objective at the bottom focuses on cracking the top 100 for passage to the Deutsche Bank Championship. On average, about six men each year have played their way from outside the top 100 to a Deutsche Bank berth. … Liberty National has tweaked 14 holes since the PGA TOUR’s last visit, easing the severity of several greens.

SHORT CHIPS: With Stricker’s absence, Hunter Mahan becomes the only man to tee it up at every FedExCup Playoff stop since the yearlong points race was launched in 2007. This marks the 25th Playoff event in series history. … Mahan, Stricker and Phil Mickelson are the only men to qualify for the TOUR Championship in all six previous years. … For the second straight year, all four major champions are competing in the FedExCup Playoffs. Before that, you had to go back to 2009 (Angel Cabrera, Lucas Glover, Stewart Cink, Y.E. Yang).

LIVE STREAM: PGATOUR.COM to carry LIVE@ coverage on Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m.-6 p.m.

TELEVISION: Thursday-Friday, 3-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel). Saturday, 1-2:30 p.m. (GC), 3-6 p.m. (CBS). Sunday, noon-1:30 p.m. (GC), 2-6 p.m. (CBS).

RADIO: Thursday-Sunday, noon-6 p.m. ET (PGATOUR.com and SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio).

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