Preview of The Barclays
August 21, 2015
By Jeff Shain, PGATOUR.COM
- August 21, 2015
- Jordan Spieth and Jason Day will try to keep the momentum going next week at The Barclays. (Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
• COURSE: Plainfield Country Club, 7,012 yards, par 70. Founded as the Hillside Tennis Club in 1890, the club was renamed in 1904 and commissioned Donald Ross to construct a golf course a decade later. The resulting product has withstood the test of time, still ranked among the nation’s top 50 on many lists. Plainfield was the site of the 1978 U.S. Amateur captured by John Cook, later hosting the 1987 U.S. Women’s Open where 23-year-old Laura Davies burst upon the scene. The PGA TOUR made its first visit in 2011, when Dustin Johnson won a 54-hole shootout shortened by the approaching Hurricane Irene.
• FEDEXCUP: Winner receives 2,000 points.
• CHARITY: More than 100 nonprofits receive support from proceeds raised by The Barclays, a list headed by the American Red Cross, the New Jersey Alliance of YMCAs, The First Tee of Essex County and The First Tee of Metropolitan New York.
• FIELD WATCH: FedExCup points leader Jordan Spieth, freshly ascended to No.1 in the world rankings, and new PGA Championship titleholder Jason Day head a roster currently slated to be 119 for the opening playoff stop. … Rory McIlroy, opting to give his left ankle another week of recovery, and Sergio Garcia are among six qualifiers sitting out the playoff opener. … Chris Kirk, out since the U.S. Open with a broken hand, is set to make his return at The Barclays. … Justin Thomas, who came to Greensboro with seven top-10s this season, and Sanderson Farms champion Nick Taylor top a list of nine rookies who will crack the 2015 playoff lineup.
• 72-HOLE RECORD: 261, Bob Gilder (1982 at Westchester CC).
• 18-HOLE RECORD: 61, Brandt Snedeker (3rd round, 2011 at Plainfield CC).
• LAST YEAR: Hunter Mahan ended a two-year winless drought, using three late birdies to prevail on a day in which six players held at least a share of the lead at Ridgewood CC. Mahan carded a 6-under-par 65, taking the outright lead with a 10-foot birdie at No.15 and following with two more birdies. Jason Day (68), Stuart Appleby (65) and Cameron Tringale (66) were two shots back. Mahan notched his sixth career win and first since the 2012 Shell Houston Open. The drought also includes the 2013 Canadian Open, when the Dallas pro walked away from the 36-hole lead to fly home and attend the birth of his first child.
• STORYLINES: Day and Spieth, who finished 1-2 at Whistling Straits, will try to keep the momentum going as the FedExCup points race moves to center stage. They also are only two men to win at least three times during the regular season. … Day has won two of his past three starts, sandwiching PGA Championship and Canadian Open victories around a tie for 12th at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. … Even with FedExCup points quadrupled in the playoffs, Spieth’s commanding lead means just two players – Day and Bubba Watson – could dislodge him from the top spot at Plainfield. … Five of Spieth’s past six starts have resulted in top-4 finishes, including his U.S. Open win at Chambers Bay. The exception came at WGC-Bridgestone, where he tied for 10th. … At the far end of the points list, players set their sights on cracking the top 100 for a spot in the Deutsche Bank Championship. Typically, a half-dozen play their way into the second playoff stop from outside the top 100.
• SHORT CHIPS: Mahan now stands as the only man to reach the TOUR Championship in all eight previous FedExCup seasons. Phil Mickelson and Steve Stricker had shared the honor, but fell short last year. … Mahan also holds the only perfect playoff attendance record since the points race began in 2007. This marks the 33rd playoff event in series history. … Just one defending FedExCup champion has managed to make it all the way back to East Lake a year later. Snedeker did it in 2013.
• TELEVISION: Thursday-Friday, 2-6 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).
• PGA TOUR LIVE: Click here to sign up.
Thursday-Friday: Featured Groups 8-3 p.m. ET, Featured Holes (free) 3-6 p.m.
Saturday: Featured Holes (free) 10-3 p.m. Featured Group 3-6 p.m.
Sunday: Featured Holes (free) 10-2 p.m. Featured Group 2-6 p.m.
• RADIO: Thursday-Friday, noon-6 p.m.; Saturday-Sunday, 1-6 p.m. (PGA TOUR Radio on SiriusXM and PGATOUR.com).