By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- After the second round of The Barclays ended Saturday morning, Aaron Baddeley was still on the outside looking in.
The Aussie had started the week ranked 119th in the FedExCup standings, and he was still projected below the magic 100 number that determines the players who get to advance to next week's second Playoffs event.
A third-round 66, though, has not only given Baddeley a shot at a spot at the Deutsche Bank Championship field, he also has a chance to win his fourth PGA TOUR event here at Liberty National. Baddeley will start the final round at 6 under and six strokes off the lead held by Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland.
Baddeley, who has only missed the Deutsche Bank Championship once in the first six years of the FedExCup Playoffs, is currently projected at 74th in the standings, a jump of 45 spots. He's one of five players projected to move into the top 100 right now.
"This event is one of the most important events because of position in the FedExCup because there's so much movement," Baddeley said. "Like last year I was having a decent year and missed the cut at Barclays and I dropped like 25 spots or something. You can do it. You can move up a lot (like) Kevin Streelman and Martin Laird a few years ago. They went up into the top 10."
Baddeley found himself in this predicament after a sub-par year in which he posted just two top-10s and, at one stretch, missed 11 cuts in a row. But he says his practice sessions the first three days of this week have been "as good as it's been all year" and he looked forward to playing Liberty National and seeing what happened.
"It's been a challenging season, it really has," Baddeley said. "Setting a record for most missed cuts in a row for me. Just changing my swing a little bit. The last couple of years seeing my statistics, I haven't been very good with my ball-striking. Just want to find that. My putting stroke is as good as it's been. I'm just not hitting the ball."
Baddeley really got untracked on Saturday, making six birdies and an eagle while dropping three strokes to par. Look for the 32-year-old to be watching those big LED scoreboards during the final round so he can see what he needs to do.
"Hopefully the leaders don't get too far away," Baddeley said. "I like (scoreboard updates). Especially when you're coming down the stretch. There were a couple of years coming down the stretch where I knew I had to make a birdie or I needed to make a par to move on to Boston or wherever it is."
Here are some of the key movers during the second round:
BUBBLE BOY: For the second straight day, it's William McGirt. He started the week ranked 92nd but missed the cut so now he must wait until play has concluded tomorrow to see whether he gets to advance.
MOVING IN: Martin Kaymer, who is making his FedExCup Playoffs debut, projects to moveup 10 spots to No. 93. He likely can't afford another 75 like the one he shot Saturday that left him tied for 48th ... Camilo Villegas, who won the final two Playoffs events in 2008, is projected at No. 80, which is a jump of 30 spots. He opened with a 65 this week but has slipped back to 3 under with rounds of 73 and 72. ... Greg Chalmers rode his second ace of the season to a round of 66 on Saturday that moved him into a tie for 19th. He's looking to jump 43 spots in the FedExCup from No. 122 and will be looking to keep going in that direction. ... John Senden started the week ranked 105th and has projects to move up 11 spots after three straight rounds of 71. He doesn't have much breathing room for the final 18 holes. ... Aaron Baddeley matched his countryman Chalmers' round of 66 and is projected to have made the third largest jump to Kevin Chappell's 46 spots and Gary Woodland's 59.
MOVING OUT: Three of the five players who have moved out of the top 100 projections -- Ted Potter Jr., J.J. Henry and James Driscoll -- missed the cut. So they will have to wait and see how everything shakes out Sunday afternoon. ... Jeff Overton, who came in on the bubble, dropped two spots when he shot his second straight 74 on Saturday to finish 54 holes at 3 over. ... Geoff Ogilvy was one spot higher than Overton entering the Playoffs. But he's now projected at No. 107 after shooting 77 in the third round to drop back to 6 over.
ELIMINATED: The players who were eliminated when they missed the cut are James Hahn, who came in ranked No. 101, Mark Wilson (102), Charlie Beljan (104), Jason Bohn (106), Jeff Maggert (108), Morgan Hoffman (111), Chez Reavie (112), D.H. Lee (114), Andres Romero (115), Johnson Wagner (116), Charlie Wi (118) and Steven Bowditch (120). Ben Crane, who came to Liberty National ranked No. 125; Lucas Glover (107) and Justin Hicks (109) withdrew on Friday and also will not advance.