PARAMUS, N.J. -- Adam Scott certainly wasn't complaining. Not when he was tied for the lead with Cameron Tringale at the midway point of his title defense at The Barclays.
His round of 65 at Ridgewood Country Club on Friday could have been so much better, though, if his putter had just cooperated. Asked to hazard a guess as to just how much lower he might have gone, the Aussie said candidly perhaps six or seven strokes.
"I mean, I played the par 5s one over today," Scott said. "So I could find four there for you, and missed so many 10-footers it felt like. I could pick a lot of shots. I played pretty good tee to green today, especially out of the fairway. Hit it close. Proximity was where you want it to be."
It was hard to argue with his second-round statistics -- Scott hit 14 approach shots inside 15 feet on Friday, with eight of those settling inside 10 and the final one producing a 12-inch birdie. He's 64th amongst the field in strokes-gained putting, though, which shows the timing wasn't quite there.
"It just wasn't my day today on the greens," the 2012 Masters champ said matter-of-factly.
By almost anyone's standards, Scott has had a stellar season. He won the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial and didn't finish outside the top 10 in his next five starts until he tied for 15th at the PGA Championship two weeks ago.
Scott, though, had hoped for so much more after his breakthrough victory at Augusta National, where he beat Angel Cabrera in a playoff. Of course, Scott didn't figure on Martin Kaymer and Rory McIlroy, twice, lapping the field in the last three majors of the year.
After seeing those performances up close and personal, Scott told himself he needed to be more aggressive. He feels he's done that through the first two rounds at Ridgewood.
"I've hit a lot of drivers out here today and yesterday and taken some lines across corners that I probably normally wouldn't," Scott said. "But I'm playing well, so why not?
"It's been fun; I think letting the attitude relax a little bit is a way of having more fun out there."
Scott says he's also drawn motivation from McIlroy, who wrestled the No. 1 world ranking away from the smoothing-swinging Aussie earlier this summer. Interestingly, though, he leads the young Northern Irishman, who has won his last three starts, two of which were majors, by five strokes after two rounds at The Barclays.
Should Scott, who entered the Playoffs ranked No. 15, go on to win the FedExCup, his outlook on the season is sure to change.
"I need four really great weeks here, and I'd like to pick up the FedExCup," Scott said. "... Then I'll be satisfied with my year."
Adam Scott shares lead with Cameron Tringale at The Barclays
DRAMATIC TURNAROUND: Henrik Stenson couldn't remember the last time he played 18 holes without making a birdie.
But that's exactly what happened on Thursday at Ridgewood Country Club -- and to add insult to injury, Stenson finished the round off with a bogey at No. 18 to "make the dinner taste even worse," he said.
Golf, though, is a crazy game. Stenson went out on Friday, hit a 5-iron to the center of the 10th green and proceeded to make a 54-footer for birdie to jump start his round. Eight more birdies followed, and Stenson's 64 vaulted the reigning FedExCup champ to 6 under and two strokes off the lead.
"It was a totally different day," Stenson said, shaking his head. "I was happy with my long game both days. It was just my flat stick that was better today. It just goes to show you when you get on a good run you can pick up some birdies and when it's not really working out it's just hard work.
"Not very different between the two tee-to-green. Just made a truckload of birdies."
Stenson entered the Playoffs ranked 70th in the FedExCup, with work to do to become just the second FedExCup champ to make it to East Lake to defend. The Swede feels he's just now hitting his stride, though, after a draining 12 months that saw him play 31 events on both sides of the Atlantic and also win the European Tour's Race to Dubai.
But Stenson has only played in 13 PGA TOUR events this year so he's a little behind other players who might have started the 2013-14 wrap-around season last fall. With points quintupled in The Playoffs, though, he hopes to make a big move quickly.
After all, Stenson says it would be "sad" not to make it to East Lake for the final festivities at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
"I can still lift that trophy again if I have another 3-4 strong weeks," Stenson said, then he smiled. "They say its not a bad thing to do that twice."
Seung-Yul Noh assessed penalty for hitting off of wrong green at Barclays
ON THE REBOUND: Cameron Tringale certainly didn’t get off to the kind of start he had hoped on Friday. He lost three shots over his first three holes at Ridgewood after starting the second round of The Barclays one stroke off the lead.
Tringale stayed patient, though, and answered the double bogey at the 12th hole with a birdie at No. 13. He kept his card clean the rest of the way, too, making six birdies over his final 15 holes and a clutch par-saver from 7 feet on No. 9.
“With 51 more holes in the tournament, I figured, I've got time to get those shots back,” Tringale said. “It worked out. Didn't try and force it.”
As a result, Tringale finds himself in the final group on Saturday, paired with Adam Scott. The two are tied for the lead at 8 under, one stroke ahead of Kevin Chappell, Brendon Todd and Jim Furyk.
“I think my juices would be flowing regardless,” Tringale said. “I'm excited. He's been the No. 1 player in the world just till this last month. It's very exciting and very cool. I'm looking forward to the challenge and to a fun day.”
BY THE NUMBERS
Category Leaders Statistics DRIVING ACCURACY Cameron Tringale, Boo Weekley 13 of 14 (92.86 percent) DRIVING DISTANCE Rory McIlroy 305.5 LONGEST DRIVE Jason Day, Rory McIlroy 341 GREENS IN REGULATION Adam Scott, Gary Woodland 16 of 18 (88.89 percent) STROKES GAINED: PUTTING Stuart Appleby 4.82 TOTAL BIRDIES Henrik Stenson 8 LONGEST PUTT Danny Lee 57 feet BOGEY-FREE ROUNDS Kevin Chappell, Jason Day, Graham DeLaet, Rory McIlroy, Patrick Reed, Gary Woodland LOWEST SCORE: Jason Day, Henrik Stenson 64 COURSE STATS HARDEST HOLE: Par-4 No. 11 4.24 EASIEST HOLE: Par-5 No. 13 4.669
Phil Mickelson thrills fans with shot from hospitality area at Barclays
ODDS & ENDS:
Only the top 100 in the FedExCup standings when The Barclays is over on Sunday advance to next week's Deutsche Bank Championship. Here are how many players who have played their way into the second event in the Playoffs (note: the threshold was 120 in 2007-08): 2013 (5), 2012 (6), 2011 (8), 2010 (6), 2009 (4), 2008 (15) and 2007 (2). ...
Cameron Tringale is making his 133rd start on the PGA TOUR and he's still looking for his first win. His tie for third last year at the Valspar Championship is the Californian's best finish. ...
Jim Furyk's last victory was at the 2010 TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola -- which also gave him the FedExCup. Furyk has three runner-up finishes this year. ...
Ridgewood Country Club averaged 70.794 in the first round and 71.058 in the second. That means the cumulative average for 36 holes on the A.W. Tillinghast creation is just under par at 70.926.
BEST OF SOCIAL MEDIA
Rough 5 hole stretch in Rd 1 kept me out of the weekend this week. Now we wait and see if I will get to play next week #playoffs— Billy Hurley III (@BillyHurley3) August 23, 2014
Today a coyote followed our group off and on for two entire holes. No joke. It looked exactly like this one. pic.twitter.com/tzWgA9Jd1Y— Stewart Cink (@stewartcink) August 23, 2014
Playing the weekend at The Barclays. Trying to keep those Playoff hopes alive!!— Troy Merritt (@TROYMERRITT_PGA) August 22, 2014
That was more like it today! Need another 2 rounds like that over the weekend.. Also great to have @andy_murray out watching the action!— Rory Mcilroy (@McIlroyRory) August 22, 2014
THEY SAID IT
“I would like if they don't cut it. I'm not the straightest driver in the world, but I feel it keeps the scores down, or up. So I like it when really low scores win. Obviously double figures will win this week, but I like it the way it's going.” Two-time U.S. Open champion Ernie Els on the rough.
"Any time you're in the conversation of a Ryder Cup or Presidents Cup, I think it's a huge honor. I've tried to model my game after guys like Zach (Johnson), who I played with, (Matt) Kuchar, guys that are in the mix all the time. So I guess I'm doing that pretty well." Brendon Todd, who is tied at 7 under.
"It's a very bunched leaderboard. I'm still five shots behind but there's a lot of players between me and the leaders. Obviously a few quality guys at the top, Adam being one of them at 8 under par; and Jim Furyk has been playing great; Henrik Stenson; Ernie Els, there's a lot of quality players there on the leaderboard. So I'm going to have to shoot a couple of rounds similar to today to maybe win this thing." Rory McIlroy after shooting a 65 on Friday to get to 3 under.
"I really loved it. It was a unique feeling for sure. I tried to ham is up the best I could, and I felt proud walking to the golf course every time I did as No. 1. I enjoyed that whole experience of showing up at tournaments, No. 1 player. I guess it's inevitable that you'll lose it one day." Adam Scott on his reign as the top player in the world.
Click on the image below to see the best images from the second round of The Barclays at Ridgewood Country Club.
Fore! Wayward shots take the cake on Friday at the Barclays