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The Barclays. Scott Steals It From Jumpy Justin.

Adam Scott was able to steal The Barclays title away from a jumpy three putt Justin Rose at Liberty National Golf Course in Jersey City.

Grand opening

Adam Scott / Getty Images

Adam set the clubhouse target at -11 under par after his final round -5 under par 66, and said he could not believe it;

I can’t believe it, to be honest, I just played a good round today and I came in and really didn’t think it had a chance. But obviously, things went my way a lot out there. I’m pretty shocked, there were so many guys out there with a chance and I really didn’t think I had much of a chance. If you hang around the lead long enough, you’re going to win some, you’re going to lose some. And this one went my way. I guess it’s different playing an hour-and-a-half in front of the leaders, the guys who have been under pressure all day than when you’re out there. I know how they feel. When the pressure is on you to close out, it’s much harder, and the holes become much harder and shots are far more crucial. I feel like I’ve been given a bit of a gift, but I’ll take it.”

Justin Rose was one of those players who had a great chance to win, he missed a birdie putt on 17, and followed that up with a three putt on the last. He admitted he got too aggressive;

” I got too aggressive, I thought it was a putt to win the tournament. It’s tough to take.”

Justin finished tied in second place at -10 under par with; Tiger Woods, Graeme DeLaet, and Gary Woodland. Tiger has been suffering with a bad back, apparently from sleeping on too soft a mattress at the hotel. Tiger thought he had converted his final putt, which would have put him in a play-off;

“Thought I made it, I just got off and I’m not feeling my best right now”

The top 100 in the FedEx Cup Standings go on to the next round of the play-offs in the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston. Only the top 70 placed players will move on from there.

The Barclays. Gary and Kooch Tied At The Top

Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland are tied at the top of The Barclays leaderboard at the conclusion of the third round at Liberty National Golf Course.

Promising Sunday

Gary Woodland & Matt Kuchar / Getty Images

Gary said he had played beautifully for his -3 under par round of 68 sharing the -12 under par score with Matt;

“I’ve really let my game take over, I’m playing beautifully.”

Matt was impressed with Kevin Chappell shooting a -9 under par 62;

” Darned good golf, no matter how tough the conditions are, somebody finds a way to play good golf.”

Kevin had nine birdies and no bogey’s in his record breaking 62 third round, which gave him  third place on his own at – 11 under par. He said he did not think such a score was possible on the day because of the high winds;

” In the wind, if you would have told me someone was going to shoot 62 today, I would probably have laughed at you,”

Tiger Woods, a wounded soldier with a bad back,  for which he has received treatment for after every round this week, is four shots off the lead, at -8 under par. As they say, beware the wounded animal, Tiger is still thinking of winning;

” It starts off great every day, and then it progressively deteriorates as the day goes on, Hopefully Sunday it will be one of those days again and fight through it and see if I can win a tournament.”

Rickie Fowler, Justin Rose, Jim Furyk, Bubba Watson and Jordan Spieth are all within five strokes of the leaders, all at -7 under par for the tournament.

Rickie thinks the conditions will be tough tomorrow, for the final round;

” It’s definitely starting to play tougher out there. The back nine, there was a few spike marks and the greens were starting to get a little crusty. With the breeze drying them out, it could play pretty tough Sunday afternoon.”

Looks like everything is set up nicely for a real competitive joust, it will be a great days golf tomorrow.

The Barclays. Kooch Is Cruising in Suspended Second Round.

Matt Kuchar, Kooch, is cruising along in the now suspended second round of The Barclays at Liberty National Golf Course in New Jersey.

Kuchar to the top

Matt Kuchar / Getty Images

Matt was top of the leaderboard in The Barclays at -10 under par, just cruising through thirteen holes when bad light halted play. Matt is now projected to take over Number one spot in the FedEx Cup standings from Tiger Woods, who is -5 under par for the tournament. Tiger is currently -1 under par in his second round, through thirteen holes.

Webb Simpson currently in second position at -9 under par, and has completed his second round, shooting a -5 under par 66. He shares second place with Gary Woodland, who fired in a -7 under par 64, to move up the leaderboard.

Matt was happy to tell us he had played some good golf, but was also relieved play was suspended because of darkness;

I’ve been playing some good golf. It was dark, it was a good thing to be able to stop now and come out tomorrow morning and conditions will hopefully be really good in the morning.”

Webb was under no illusions when he finished at -9 under par, he was aware of Matt’s ascendancy;

“A lot of guys are playing good golf and my guess is at the end of two rounds I won’t be leading because there are a lot of birdie holes.  I think my bad shots are getting better, and I’ve been putting well now for a couple months. So it’s always nice when you are having a day when you’re struggling a little bit, get the ball in the hole and make some pars. But the best test for what you’re working on is getting in contention on the weekend on the PGA TOUR. I’m excited to be in contention. Like I said, there’s a lot of golf to play. We have half the tournament done, about halfway to go, and it’s just nice to kind of be in there and have a chance I think.”

Rickie Fowler, Keegan Bradley and Adam Scott have all completed their second rounds and are tied in fourth place at -7 under par.

Rickie said he was playing well, just needed more consistency;

” Every year I feel like I’ve been just kind of trying to hold on and finish off the year. This year, after missing the cut at The Open Championship, I kind of turned a corner, swinging really well. Just waiting for kind of getting some putts to drop and I was able to do that today which was nice. It’s all pretty simple, but making it a little more repeatable for myself. Been swinging really well. Hitting a lot of golf shots, and it’s kind of nice to see everything working properly. I just want to play well right now.”

Adam is keen to add the FedEx Cup to his Major win;

“I feel like I’ve played a lot of good golf and obviously winning at Augusta is huge. But I feel like I’d like to win again before the end of the season, and kind of validate all of my good play. I’m pretty happy with today’s effort, when we went out this morning, the wind was up, and the course played a lot tougher than the few holes I played yesterday. Playing 30 holes in a day is good, if you’re playing well.”

Justin Rose is also at -7 under par for the tournament, and still has four holes to in his second round.

Tiger was happy with the halt in play, it will allow him to get some treatment for his ailing back, he will need it to be in good shape to tackle tomorrows long day of play;

” I’m a little sore right now, yeah, tomorrow will be longer. With the early start and then the repairing, go back out, but I don’t think the wait will be too long tomorrow and we’ll get back out there and finish it up. I got off to a great start today and then lost it the middle part of the round and made too many mistakes. Didn’t hit any greens, consequently, made some bogeys.”

The Barclays. Kevin Stadler Leads Weather Delayed 1st Round

The Playoffs got off to a soggy start Thursday with two rain delays that lasted six hours

Opening statement

Kevin Stadler / Getty Images

Kevin Stadler opened The Barclays with a first round of -7 under par 64 on the par 71 Liberty National Golf Course, Jersey City, NJ. When asked if the delays interfered with his mental approach, Kevin replied;

“I’m never really mentally prepared. Same as usual. It was all good. I’ve had a pretty lousy summer, but really started hitting the ball a lot better a couple of weeks ago and was looking forward to playing some golf again here recently. Finally got something out of it today.”

Camilo Villegas made four straight birdies around the turn and was the only player to reach -8 under par, until back-to-back bogeys late in his round. He finished with -6 under par 65, and commented about how much food he had consumed during the day;

” Three breakfasts, three warm-ups, two lunches and a bunch of birdies, which is good,”

Only the top half of the draw finished the 1st round, the later starters played only two holes. Play will resume the 1st round Friday morning and then go straight to the second round. That left the top half facing extra holes on Saturday to get the tournament caught up.

The Open Championship winner Phil Mickelson and Masters champion Adam Scott were among those who did not finish their first rounds.

Henrik Stenson, -6 under par 65,  flew in from Europe and was jet-lagged;

” I came in from Europe on Monday night, so I’m a bit jet-lagged and I only saw the course once. I’m very pleased with the way I played out there and took advantage of some good shots. And it was a little bit of a shaky finish. Got some good practice of night golf, because that’s what we are going to have tomorrow night when we start our second round, I guess,”

Phil tries the Claw grip on his putter

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Phil Mickelson/Chris Chambers/Getty Images

During The Barclays tournament Phil Mickelson was spotted using the claw grip on his putter. Nick Faldo did not notice the change until Sunday, when he gasped in horror, on live TV.   Last year, after Keegan Bradley won the PGA with a long putter, Phil gave the belly putter a test drive for a few weeks.  You have to ask yourself, in Gods name Why !!  The belly putter trial did not work out, and neither will this new switch to the claw grip. True that Sergio had a good win using it, but as we saw on Sunday the magic did not last. Phil said of his belly putter trial;

“I feel that I’m probably putting better with that putter than I would be the short putter, so I’ll end up using it for the rest of the tournament I would anticipate. But I don’t know if it’s a short-term or a long-term thing, but it feels good.”

Of his latest switch, which happened on the third round of  The Barclays, Phil said;

“I had a chance to get a couple more, but for me I drove the ball well and I putted very well and I hit some good iron shots. For me it built some good momentum after a day, yesterday, where I had lost a little bit of confidence. I made some putts and that was a nice feeling.”

The people who usually change over to strange putter grips are the people who have always had putting problems, and most of them continued to have the same problems because fundamentally they have a poor set up, or inconsistent swing. Phil has neither of these problems, he has always been a good putter, his problems now are in his head, he has lost confidence in the routine he trusted. To get that confidence back it just requires plenty of  practice, with the tools that have always been good for him, and plenty of enthusiasm and support from the people around him. Those who are advising him.

Many people think this change will be a short-term fad for Mickelson, they are questioning whether he will be able to make more putts with the Claw grip than his traditional method. What will Phil do next?  I bet he will quickly return to the method and putter that has bought him success for all these years.

You notice that I have not recommended he try one of our putters, Phil will be best served to return to his traditional method and tools.

The Barclays, Nick Watney Wins

Nick Watney/Cox/Getty Images

Straight to the top

Nick Watney won The Barclays tournament at Bethpage Black course in Farmingdale New York in some style with a score of -10 under par for the event. He won by three shots from fellow American Brandt Snedeker, who had a -1 under par last round to finish with a score of -7 under par.

Nick commented after his win about the extra putting coaching he received, which stopped him from leaning back on his heels;

“I made more putts than I made all year, it paid off. With the way things were going, I don’t know if anybody would have expected this, this week. But you know, Bill Haas proved last year that if you make it to Atlanta, you have a chance. The way they have the FedExCup formatted, it’s pretty neat. You need to be in Atlanta. So I wanted to have a good week. And to be No. 1 now is amazing. It’s been not quite the year I would have wanted, but this really makes it all forgotten. I’m thinking about the Ryder Cup, much more now than I was coming in, because coming in here, I didn’t deserve to be in the conversation, because I had not played my way in. Someone told me that Davis said he wanted a hot player, and we still have a week to go, but I’d love to be on the team. But I’m not really concerned with it just because it’s out of my control.”

The biggest surprise of the day was the way Sergio Garcia went from a commanding leading position to scrambling to finish in a tie for third place. Sergio sunk like a soggy souffle on Sunday afternoon, with five bogeys on the back nine, not the type of performance we were all looking towards, especially European Ryder Cup Captain Jose Maria Olazabal. Equally concerning for American Ryder Cup captain, Davis Love 111, was the collapse of  Tiger Woods, who finished the tournament at +1 over par.

Sergio is a fan of both Nick and Brandt and thinks Davis should consider both players for the Ryder Cup;

” I’m not, obviously, the U.S. Ryder Cup captain, but I think both Nick and Brandt, they both played great. They have been playing very nicely. Obviously Nick has had a little bit of a slower year this year, but you know, as a player, I hope they make the team, and then we’ll see what happens there.”

Brandt is also thinking of the Ryder Cup;

“The golf course was the winner this week, it was so tough to play the last two days. The greens were just as firm as I can remember on the Tour, the fairways were as firm as I can remember on Tour. It was a great test of how mentally strong you could stay on the course over the last 36 holes, because you knew you were just going to get some bad breaks no, way around it. Nick obviously played great today, to shoot under par today. The Ryder Cup’s definitely on my mind. But I’m not letting it affect the way I play. I try to win every golf tournament. The Ryder Cup gives me more motivation, and if I do that, I know I will make the decision easy for them. Davis has an extremely difficult choice with a bunch of guys. You can’t go wrong with any of them.”

The Barclays, 3rd Round at Bethpage Black, Its Still Sergio in Front

Sergio Garcia still leads The Barclays after the third round at Bethpage Black course in Farmingdale New York. He leads by two shots from Nick Watney who could only manage a par round today, against Sergio’s -2 under par third round effort. Sergio spoke about today’s tough conditions;

Proving ground

Sergio Garcia/Cox/Getty Images

” The course is extremely firm, the greens, just probably some of the fastest greens I’ve ever played. Just one of those days where you knew it was going to be tough and you have to hold on very tight, and just kind of hope for the best. If you play well, you can shoot a decent score, but as the day goes on, the course just gets harder and harder. No doubt playing in the morning makes it a little bit easier. Even though the greens were still firm, they were probably not as firm and probably not quite as fast. It’s just we know what Bethpage Black is all about. We know it’s a tough golf course, and you’ve just got to realize that’s the way it’s going to be. This will tell you how fast it was, usually when you are putting on fast greens, you have an idea where the ball is going to stop, and today, you didn’t. You thought the ball was going to stop 2 feet behind the hole, and it went 6. It was pretty much as simple as that. Was it unfair? I wouldn’t say it was unfair, it was borderline. It was very close. It felt like the greens were very close to Shinnecock Hills at the U.S. Open.”

Nick backed up Sergio’s assessment of the tough conditions;

” The course just kind of beat you up. There’s firm and fast, and then there’s this, I mean, this is pretty extreme.”

The lowest round of the day went to Kevin Stadler, with a -6 under par 65, Kevin is  now just three shots off the lead. There is a large group at 4-under par that include Tiger Woods, Louis Oosthuizen, Lee Westwood, Phil Mickleson and Charl Schwartzel, an impressive collection of players who have either won a major or been No. 1 in the world. For the first time in a tournament Tiger Woods three putted four of the greens, the unexpected experience shocked him;

“I don’t remember blowing putts by 8 to 10 feet, so that was a bit of a shocker.”

 

The Barclays, Padraig leads after 1st round.

                                  

The Black oozes red

Padraig Harrington/Greenwood/Getty Images

The Barclays first round at Bethpage Black  in New York got off to a red number start as Padraig Harrington shot a -7 under par 64, to lead the field by just one stroke. Padraig made a mockery of the red warning sign on the first tee, which reads, ” “The Black Course is an Extremely Difficult Course Which We Recommend Only For Highly Skilled Golfers.” Padraig remarked that as soon as he forgot how difficult it was supposed to be he started to think Birdie;

“The most interesting thing was it’s very hard to go out and play this course without thinking you’re playing a U.S. Open. The best I’ve struck my putts, the best I’ve rolled the ball for a long period of time. You’re going to need to be 12-under par at the end of the week, or, who knows? But it ain’t going to be level par.”

Padraig knows that he needs to win this tournament to have any chance of being called into the Ryder Cup team, he and European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal  do not get on, and the three-time Major Champion knows he will have to force his way onto the team. Personally speaking I think Padraig should be there, his experience of playing in America is invaluable. Padraig admitted his chances were slim;

 “I’m sure if I went and had a look at the odds, I would be a long-shot to make the team.”

Close behind at -6 under par are Nick Watney and Brian Harman who both cruised round with 65′s. Fifty one of 123 players managed to break par on the infamous Bethpage Black lay-out, not exactly the result everybody was predicting. There is only six shots separating 1st and 51st on the leaderboard, a real log jam, and tomorrows round looks to be exceptionally important.

Rory McIlroy, who relished the side-by-side with Woods, is looking forward to tomorrow;

” It was good, I thought I played really solid, especially starting off, three under through six. Got a little quiet around the middle of the round, and my short game let me down a couple of times. It definitely could have been a few shots better, but I’m happy with how I played. I felt like I had a lot of chances out there, and I had enough chances to shoot a low one. I don’t think I need to change the strategy at all of hitting a lot of drivers and trying to be aggressive, so we’ll just continue to do the same thing.”

Tiger, who finished one shot better than Rory was not best pleased with todays performance;

“I didn’t quite hit the ball as well as I would like. I’m going to do some work this afternoon and work on a couple things that I know I need to shore up for tomorrow. But I’m very pleased with the way I putted. I putted great today.”

The guys who really struggled today were, Boo Weekly and Jason Bohn at +7, Andres Romero at +8 and dead last all on his own is South Korea’s Sang-Moon Bai, who sunk to a +10 over par round.

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