Notebook: The Barclays, Round 4

August 29, 2010
John Bush, PGA TOUR Staff

PARAMUS, N.J. -- Matt Kuchar stormed back on Sunday with a 5-under 66 to finish The Barclays tied with third-round leader Martin Laird at 12-under-par. Kuchar then birdied the first extra hole to win his third PGA TOUR title, and second in as many years in a playoff (victory over Vaughn Taylor at the 2009 Turning Stone Resort Championship). It was the 15th playoff in the 44-year history of The Barclays.

• The win moves Kuchar from No. 9 to No. 1 on the points list following the first event in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup. It guarantees the former Georgia Tech All-American a spot in THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola for the first time in his career, held at East Lake GC in Atlanta, Ga.

• Kuchar entered the final round five strokes behind Martin Laird, equaling the largest come-from-behind win at The Barclays (five strokes by Bobby Nichols/1973 and Vijay Singh/1993).

• The victory is the 10th top-10 finish of the season for Kuchar -- tops on TOUR. He has now finished inside the top 10 in six of his last eight starts: T8, the Memorial; T6, U.S. Open; T27, British Open; T4 RBC, Canadian Open; T21, Greenbrier Classic; T9, WGC-Bridgestone Invitational; T10, PGA Championship; 1st, The Barclays.

• Kuchar's win comes in his seventh start at The Barclays (MC-2002, T43-2003, MC-2004, T35-2007, MC-2008, T28-2009, 1-2010).

• Laird, Moves from No. 95 to No. 3 in FedExCup points

• Laird three-putted the final hole of regulation for a bogey, falling into a playoff with Kuchar. Kuchar won the playoff on the first extra hole, dropping Laird to 1-1 in playoff appearances (he won the 2009 Justin Timberlake Shriners Hospitals for Children Open).

• The silver lining for Laird is he moves to No. 3 in the FedExCup standings, with 1,977 points. It took 1,532 points to advance to THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola in 2009 (John Senden). By making the final Playoffs event, he will be eligible for the 2011 Masters, U.S. Open, British Open, World Golf Championship-CA Championship and several additional Invitationals (if not otherwise eligible).

• This isn't the first time Laird has made a large jump in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup. He was one of 15 players who played their way into the Deutsche Bank Championship from outside the cut line in 2008, thanks to a T7 finish at The Barclays.

• Both of Laird's starts at The Barclays came at Ridgewood CC, finishing T7 in 2008 and second this season.

• Laird finished T4 at the season-opening SBS Championship, but had just one additional top-10 finish (T10 at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial) prior to Sunday's runner-up effort. He has made the cut in 14 of 22 starts.

• The runner-up finish is the second of Laird's career (2009 Reno-Tahoe Open).

Player Finish/Barclays Current FEC Rank Prior FEC Rank
Kevin Streelman T3 No. 18 No. 102
Ryuji Imada T27 No. 73 No. 107
J.P. Hayes T27 No. 76 No. 108
Tiger Woods T12 No. 65 No. 112
Troy Matteson T36 No. 88 No. 114
Andres Romero T52 No. 100 No. 115

• Six players entered the week ranked Nos. 101-125 in the FedExCup standings and played their way into next week's Deutsche Bank Championship:

Player Finish/Barclays Current FEC Rank Prior FEC Rank
Kevin Sutherland MC No. 101 No. 89
Jerry Kelly MC No. 102 No. 90
Alex Cejka MC No. 103 No. 91
Derek Lamely MC No. 104 No. 92
Matt Bettencourt MC No. 106 No. 97
Jeff Maggert WD No. 108 No. 100

• The following players entered the week ranked inside the top 100 but were eliminated from the Playoffs:

• Here's a historical look at players who have played their way into the Deutsche Bank Championship (top 100 in 2009 and top 120 in 2007 and 2008) as a result of their play at The Barclay:

2009: Fredrik Jacobson, Richard S. Johnson, Heath Slocum and Troy Matteson

2008: Richard S. Johnson, Tim Petrovic, Jason Day, Martin Laird, Angel Cabrera, Ryan Palmer, Tim Herron, Michael Allen, J.J. Henry, Frank Lickliter II, Jesper Parnevik, Justin Bolli, Jeff Overton, Glen Day and Lee Janzen

2007: Doug LaBelle II, Rich Beem

• Steve Stricker, who is the only player to have played in all 52 rounds in the four-year history of the PGA TOUR Playoffs, finished T3 this week for his eighth top-10 finish in Playoff events.

Player Top-10s in Playoffs
Steve Stricker 8
Camilo Villegas 7
Jim Furyk, Sergio Garcia, Tiger Woods 6

• Most Top-10s in PGA TOUR Playoff events:

Most Rounds in the 60s in PGA TOUR Playoff events
Player Number of rounds in 60s
Steve Stricker 33
Jim Furyk 26
Sergio Garcia 25
Camilo Villegas 24
Tiger Woods 24

• Stricker posted a 5-under 66 on Sunday, his 33rd round in the 60s in the PGA TOUR Playoffs.

• Heath Slocum finished T9 in his attempt to become just the second player to successfully defend a title at The Barclays (Ernie Els, 1996-97).

• The Greater New York Chapter of Crohn's and Colitis Foundation is one of the TICKETS Fore CHARITY participants at The Barclays, and for every birdie Heath Slocum made at The Barclays, the tournament will donate $150 in his name to the Greater New York Chapter of Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America in honor of the estimated 150,000 children in the United States who are affected by Crohn's and Colitis. Slocum, who suffers from ulcerative colitis, had 13 birdies this week (R1 -- 4, R2 -- 3, R3 -- 3, R4 -- 3).

• Rory Sabbatini carded a final-round 7-under 64 to finish T5. It is his best round on TOUR since a final-round 63 led to a season-best runner-up finish at the season-opening SBS Championship.

• Sabbatini made his 10th career start at The Barclays this week, with top-5 finishes in 2004 (T2), 2007 (3rd) and 2010 (T5). He advances to the Deutsche Bank Championship, where he finished T6 in 2007 but has missed the cut the past two seasons.

• Luke Donald (T15) birdied the first six holes on Sunday, equaling the best birdie streak of the season. It is the longest birdie streak to start a round since Joe Durant opened with seven in a row to open the final round of the 2005 Honda Classic.

• Donald posted a 7-under 28 on the front nine at Ridgewood CC, equaling the low-nine hole score of the season (set on seven occasions, most recently by Ryan Palmer during Thursday's opening round). He struggled on the back, however, carding a 4-over 40 to finish with a 3-under 68.

• Tiger Woods (T12) posted a final-round 4-under 67 to jump from No. 112 to No. 65 in the FedExCup standings. As a result, he'll advance to next week's 100-player Deutsche Bank Championship, an event he won in 2006 and finished runner-up in 2004 and 2007.

• Sunday's 67 is just the second final-round in the 60s for Woods this season (69, Masters Tournament).

• Woods led the field this week in Fairways Hit (44 of 56/79 percent). Here's a look at how he stacked up in his previous two events: PGA Championship 71st (out of 71) and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational 79th(out of 80).

• This week was Woods' sixth-career start at The Barclays. He missed the cut as an amateur in 1994, followed by T43 (1997), T16 (2001), T13 (2003), T2 (2009) and T12 (2010) finishes.

• The Barclays is one of only three PGA TOUR events in which Woods has made at least three starts yet failed to record a victory (Northern Trust Open -- 11 starts, Waste Management Phoenix Open -- 3 starts). It is also the only PGA TOUR Playoffs event that he hasn't won.

• This week represents the 10th start for Woods in 2010. In 1998, he won the BellSouth Classic in his ninth start -- his longest stretch to start a season before winning. Here's a breakdown of his career:

1996 -- won in eighth start (three amateur and five professional) starts

1997 -- won in first start

1998 -- won in ninth start (longest to start a season before winning)

1999 -- won in fourth start

2000 -- won in first start

2001 -- won in sixth start

2002 -- won in sixth start

2003 -- won in first start

2004 -- won in fourth start

2005 -- won in second start

2006 -- won in first start

2007 -- won in first start

2008 -- won in first start

2009 -- won in fourth start

2010 -- 10 starts without a win

• Andres Romero birdied four of his last five holes -- highlighted by a 42-foot birdie putt on the final hole -- to move from No. 115 to No. 100 in the FedExCup standings, earning the last spot in next week's Deutsche Bank Championship. His five-hole charge came immediately after double bogeys on Nos. 12 and 13.

• Ernie Els finished 71st this week to fall out of the top spot in the FedExCup standings, a perch he has held for the past 22 weeks. He'll enter next week's Deutsche Bank Championship ranked No. 5

• Paul Casey finished T12 in his 100thcareer start on the PGA TOUR.

• D.J. Trahan (T21) made his 100th career cut on the PGA TOUR this week (177 starts).

• Ian Poulter (T15) has four top-15 finishes in five starts at The Barclays, with one missed cut (2008 at Ridgewood CC), three T9 finishes (2006, 2007, 2009) and this week's T15.

• With Martin Laird failing to win, the third-round leader/co-leader has won 15 of 37 times in stroke-play events in 2010, with the most recent being Arjun Atwal at the Wyndham Championship.

• The third-round leader/co-leader has gone on to win 24 of 43 times at The Barclays (72-hole events only), most recently Steve Stricker in 2007.

• Bogey-free rounds:

R1: 67 -- Camilo Villegas, Jason Day, Heath Slocum, Jonathan Byrd, Stewart Cink; 68 -- Rory McIlroy

R2: 67 -- Robert Allenby

R3: 64 -- Dustin Johnson; 65 -- Justin Rose, Martin Laird; 66 -- Ian Poulter; 70 -- Ryuji Imada

R4: 64 -- Rory Sabbatini; 66 -- Matt Kuchar, Steve Stricker; 67 -- Tim Petrovic; 68 -- Heath Slocum, Davis Love III; 70 -- Zach Johnson

• The par-4 18th hole played the toughest this week with a 4.236 average.

• Known as the 'Five and Dime,' the par-4 fifth hole played as the easiest hole of the week with a 3.696 average. Playing only 291 yards from the back tees, the hole has the distinction as the PGA TOUR's shortest par-4 hole. Nine players eagled the hole this week, including Angel Cabrera and Bryce Molder on Sunday.

Scoring Averages at the par-71 Ridgewood Country Club
Front 9 Back 9 Total Cumulative
Thursday 34.595 36.074 70.669 ---
Friday 34.733 36.825 71.558 71.112
Saturday 34.681 35.986 70.667 71.010
Sunday 34.903 35.931 70.833 70.977

• This week's Kodak Challenge hole was the 594-yard, par-5 17th. For the week, the hole played to an average of 4.810. Perhaps the highlight of the week was Kodak Challenge leader Rickie Fowler making an eagle on the hole during the third round to increase his lead in the standings. At 14-under, he holds a two-stroke advantage over Troy Merritt in the season-long competition with a $1 million payout at season's end.