The Barclays. Bubba Bowling Along, Jordan Spieth Slumps.

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Bubba Watson is still bowling along at the top of The Barclays leaderboard, but Jordan Spieth slumps.

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Bubba Watson / Getty Images

Bubba shot a second round of -2 under par 68, for a -7 under par total, which could have been better except for the intervention of an over zealous rules official, warning him for taking too long over just one shot. Bubba had watched as Jordan’s approach shot to the 16th green  rolled back some 100 feet off the green. He naturally decided to take some extra care, but the official hurried him with a warning, and he rushed the shot, leading to a bogey. How crazy has golf become, warning a golfer over one shot in a complete round.

He spoke to reporters afterwards, and mentioned he would be looking forward to the next crazy ruling;

“I told them, `I’m not mad at anybody about the bad time.’ I went over the time, which is the right ruling.”

“It’s just on a hole like that, one of the toughest holes we’ve ever played besides 2011 when we played the same pin placement, it’s very difficult.”

“But yeah, I’m very happy about my round.”

“I’m excited where I’m at. I made the cut and I’m in the last group. Hopefully, I’m here talking to y’all tomorrow about something else crazy that happened.”

There are four players tied in second place at -6 under par, Tony Finau, Henrik Stenson, Zach Johnson and Jason Dufner.

Jordan Spieth missed the cut, and lost out on a chance to play the weekend here, he was penalised a shot for stepping on his ball while searching for it. The decision did not make a lot of difference, finishing at +7 over par, he missed the cut by five shots. And that means Rory McIlroy, who isn’t playing this week, returns to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking;

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Dejected Jordan Spieth / Getty Images

“I’ve reached that peak already and I know it’s going to be close enough to where if I just get the job done next week, I’ll be back in that ranking.”

“But again, that ranking, it’s great once you reach it but it’s not something that I’m going to live or die on each week.”

“I’m definitely searching for answers.”

 

The Barclays. Four-Way Tie at the Top.

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There is a four-way tie at the top of The Barclays, after the first round at Plainfield Country Club. Bubba Watson, Spencer Levin, Camillo Villegas and Tony Finau all shot 65.

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Bubba Watson / Getty Images

Bubba had a driver strategy approach to playing this course, his only real problem was the par three 6th;

“PING makes a good driver, so we were going to try to hit driver as much as we can.”

 “The rough is so thick that I would rather miss my driver in the rough than an iron off the tee or something like that.”

“It looked like that club could go over, really just in my mind playing tricks. So I didn’t commit to it. That’s really the only shot I wish I could redo.”

“I’m going to think tomorrow, how am I going to sleep 12 hours, what Caleb wants to do in the morning.”

“The house we rented has a little playground behind it, so he’ll be wanting to play back there. That’s what I’ll be doing.” 

Bubba also mentioned Jason Day, who had a -2 under par 68 today;

“Jason Day is one of my favorite golfers of all time because his son has the best hair I’ve ever seen.”

“And by the way, he was at my house yesterday eating up all my macaroni and cheese. So you owe me for that.”

Tony started the day with three birdies, and then followed it with the same number of bogey’s;

“Fortunately for me it was really early.”

 “Through six holes, I looked at it as I’m still even par, although I did get off to a great start. Plenty of holes I feel like I can take advantage of with the wind direction today.”

“So I just tried to stay as patient as I could.”

“I pick and choose my spots, for sure, if I feel like it’s a hard fairway for me to hit with even a 2-iron or 3-wood in my hand. I’ll go ahead and hit the driver and put it up there whether I’m in the fairway or not.”

“At least I’m closer to the green. That’s the strategy on some of the holes and it worked today.” 

Spencer carded  a final-round 63 at the Wyndham, and took that momentum into this tournament;

“I felt since I had a good last round, I was able for me to take it into this week.”

“I wasn’t really expecting to shoot what I shot last Sunday. It was kind of a bonus.”

This is a nice stress to have, it’s a lot better than having to go back to Q-School.”

“I’m really happy. The last few days have been good, since Sunday. There’s up-and-downs in this game.”

“I’m happy with where I am right now and who knows, maybe I can keep it going. That would be nice.” 

Six players are at -4 under par, they are, Danny Lee, Jason Dufner, Cameron Tringale, Russell Knox, Paul Casey and Bryce Molder.

Jordan Spieth, in his first tournament as World number one had a poor day at the office, +4 over par 74, his worst round for three months;

”Just lost a little bit of focus.”

”All in all, I’m just going to take today as a fluke round. I still believe I’m playing well. It just happened to be an off day on a day where it counted.”

 

The Barclays. Heroic Hunter Wins It.

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An heroic last round wins The Barclays for Hunter Mahan at Ridgewood Country Club.

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Hunter and Family / Getty Images

Hunter put together a final round -6 under par 65 to taste sweet victory in The Barclays with a winning total of  -14 under par, a two shot margin over the chasers.

The family turned up unexpectedly to share in the celebrations, which was a great occasion, and Hunter hopes Tom Watson was taking note;

“To get a win in an event like this and the timing, it feels unbelievable, so I’m extremely proud of myself. I felt great the last few weeks, my game was starting to come around. I knew this was around the corner, but to do it, and to do it today with a 65, feels great.”

“I have no idea what he’s thinking or if he has any sort of strategy, but I think a win is a good step in the right direction. I just felt good about how I was playing going into this week, I just stayed calm in my head.”

“This means a lot and this is kind of the biggest win in the sense of what comes with it, having a chance to win the FedEx Cup, a lot has changed from Saturday and Sunday, that’s for sure.”

“I think every player dreams about that, when you have a child, for them to come out on the green. It wasn’t the last group or anything but felt good to see them. They always make everything special.” 

Hunter’s wife Kandi and daughter Zoe just knew they had to be there;

“It’s just great to be together no matter what, and if Hunter did win, we’d definitely wanted to be there. So we decided we wanted to go. Me and Zoe decided we wanted to go.”

Three players tied for second position at -12 under par for the tournament, Cameron Tringale, Jason Day and Stuart Appleby. Stuart also carded a -6 under par 65 to elevate himself up the leaderboard and post the leading score in the clubhouse when he finished.

Jason, who is recovering from a thumb injury is in fine form at the moment;

“I definitely had a shot today, it’s so close. Like it’s just in my fingertips and I can touch it. But Hunter played that much better than all of us and he deserves to win. When you play great on the back nine on a Sunday in a Playoff event, you’re doing something right.” 

“You’ve just got to take your hat off to him because he played well to win the tournament. I didn’t lose it, which was a good thing. I played well, tried my best and wasn’t good enough.”

“I really want to give it a shot at winning the FedExCup. That’s the ultimate goal, and you can’t do that without winning tournaments.”

Cameron celebrated his 27th birthday in style, with a final round -5 under par 66, which should have been better, a bogey on the last cost him second place on his own;

“I just played with a peace that surpassed understanding today, I didn’t feel nervous out there. I felt comfortable and I felt like I was in control of what was going on. I’ve just got so much to be grateful for; no matter how this day turned out, it was going to be awesome.”

Lets not go into the Jim Furyk saga.

The Barclays. Furyk in the Frame, with Digger Day for Company.

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Jim Furyk has put himself in the frame to win The Barclays, with Aussie Digger Day for company.

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Jim Furyk /Getty Images

Jim Furyk and Jason Day lead The Barclays at the 54 hole stage with a tournament total of -9 under par. Jim had a third round -2 under par 69, while Jason went one better a -3 under par effort.

Jim is not thinking about the six previous times he had failed to convert;

” It’s part of my; I don’t want to say my golf history, but it’s part of my golf game and what’s going on. I don’t really block anything out. It’s done. It’s over.”

 “I’ve thought about those situations and how I could handle them better. Just put it behind me and try to use it to my advantage in the future.”

“I don’t need any motivation. Sitting tied for the lead in a big of golf tournament on a golf course that I really enjoy playing and have a lot of respect for. I think it’s a great golf course. No extra motivation needed. I’m just happy to be in a good spot and looking forward to tomorrow.”

Jason had a wild ride during this third round of -3 under 68, which included a double-bogey on the par five 13th, and a bogey on the par five 17th. It was a case of what could have been;

“Oh, it feels great, obviously the hard work that I’ve put in since the WGC, just to be able to get the all‑clear to go out there and not let the thumb injury kind of hinder what you’re trying to do in practice. At the end of the day when you have an injury and it’s slowly not going away, you kind of play little games in your head.” 

“You’re thinking, ‘OK, when will I be back fully healthy? When can I practice again? Will I ever play the game again?” 

“Since it’s been a stop-start year, to be able to work hard and get yourself into contention, maybe to even win the FedEx Cup at the end of the playoffs would obviously cap off a great year. This is only my 12th start of the year. There’s still a lot of good golf ahead of me this year.”

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Jason Digger Day / Getty Images

Hunter Mahan is alone in third place, a third round -3 under par 68 giving him a -8 under par tournament total. He said his round was relatively stress free, and hopes this result will improve his chances of a Ryder Cup pick;

“I just felt like I had good looks and if I didn’t make them, then they were tap‑ins. I was hitting fairways and greens and I was putting for birdie all day. I don’t want to say an easy round, but it wasn’t too stressful, I guess.”

“I know a win would definitely improve my chances. So you know, right now, it’s just with the FedEx Cup playoffs and everything, a win means a lot from a points perspective and everything else. Got to be aggressive and go out and try to win.”

The final round of this opening FedEx Cup playoff event is shaping up as a shootout, there are 15 players who are separated by three shots.

The Barclays. Two at the Top, Rory Recovers.

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There are two players tied at the top of  The Barclays leaderboard, Adam Scott and Cameron Tringale riding high, while Rory McIlroy recovers to comfortably make the make cut.

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Adam Scott / Getty Images

Adam followed his first-round 69 with a second round -6  under par 65 for a -8 under par total, which he said could, and should have been better;

“I played the par fives in one over today, so I could find four there for you, and missed so many 10‑footers it felt like. It felt like it could have been a whole lot better. I hit it so close to the hole all day and it felt like I missed most of my putts. I’ve got to take the positives but hopefully a few more go in over the weekend.”

 Cameron made a slow start and was 3 over par on his first three holes Friday, but made six birdies and no bogeys to complete the round to post a total -8 under par;

” I kind of got behind the 8‑ball early and just kind of kept my head up and kept playing. I knew I was swinging well and if I gave myself some chances, I could make birdies. That’s pretty much what I did. “

Three players are sharing third spot, all on -7  under par for the competition, Kevin Chappell, Brendon Todd and the evergreen Jim Furyk.

Jim explained that he thinks it is just experience which helps him to keep contesting tournaments;

“There’s an argument, probably experience and pacing yourself probably comes into play.”

 ” I just keep seeing the light at the end of the tunnel that, hey, I’ve got all this time off coming up and I’ve been playing well, let’s try to keep it going, and I’ll be cooking breakfast and taking the kids to school here for a couple months.”

“I look forward to that and it makes it easy for me to play these last four events, because I want to play well, it’s an exciting time of the year and I know that you’re going to have a bunch of time off come the fall.”

Rory shot a -6 under par 65 today, to move to -3 under par for the tournament, and is now only five shots off the leaders. He reported that it was just practice that got him comfortable with his swing again;

“I went to the range yesterday afternoon, worked on a couple of things and just got comfortable with my swing again.”

“After not really touching a club before this week I felt a little bit rusty out there yesterday. It didn’t take long, maybe an hour on the range to sort of get things back on track, and I’m glad I did it because i played really well today.

“I’m going to have to get off to a fast start tomorrow to try and catch those guys before they go out on the golf course.” 

Phil Mickelson was one of twelve players who made the cut at +1 over par, on a strange day where he missed a very short putt, and played a shot from the hospitality area, which unfortunately led to a bogey;

“My drop was going to be in hay, I had a clear lie on nice ground there and played it. It wasn’t hard to make contact, it was hard to hit it on that skinny little green and get it to stop. That was it.”

Phil Mickelson thrills fans with shot from hospitality area at Barclays

 

The Barclays. Bo Bounces to the Top, McIlroy Makes a Mess.

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Bo Van Pelt bounces to the top of The Barclays leaderboard, while Rory McIlroy makes a mess of his first round.

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Bo Van Pelt / Getty Images

 

Bo opened The Barclays tournament with a -6 under par 65, which included an Eagle at the 594 yard par five 17th, the easiest hole on the course. He actually reported that he got off to a bad start to the year;

“Got off to a horrible start to the year but my game got better as the year went on.”

In a tightly compacted leaderboard there are eight players tied in second place, all carded first round scores of -5 under par 66. One of those guys, Englishman, Paul Casey, did his chances of a captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup a power of good.

Rory made the understatement of the day after his +3 over par 73 first round at Ridgewood Country Club;

“I just wasn’t very good. It’s very important here, if you are going to miss greens, miss it in the right spots, because I missed it in the wrong spot a couple of times today and it’s really tough to get it up-and-down.”

“I think it’s more to do with just not putting the adequate time into my game over the past week for obvious reasons. Fatigue isn’t playing a part, it’s I think just not putting the time in that I probably should have over the past week and I think I allowed myself that and deserved that. But this is the sort of consequence of it and I need to work hard on it this afternoon and go out Friday and shoot a good number.”

“A score like this would be tougher to take if I had not just come off the weeks that I had. But at the same time, I want to play well and I want to give myself chances to win tournaments. There are chances on this golf course to make birdies.  I feel like I can do that.”

Phil Mickelson also struggled during the opening round, shooting an even par 71;

“The golf course is just in great shape but the rough is very thick, and I missed a few too many fairways today, but had an okay start. Even par isn’t what I wanted but it was still a nice day on the golf course. I can’t get over what great shape the greens are in. They are just spectacular.”

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.