Contributed by GlobalGolfPost
So much was going on at The Barclays that you needed the pause button on your remote to keep up with it all.
For one, if Nick Watney didn’t come out of nowhere to win the first event in this year’s PGA Tour playoffs for the FedEx Cup, he was certainly in the shadows. Watney won his fifth Tour title by three shots to salvage what had been a lackluster year.
After winning twice in 2011, big things were expected for Watney but he only had three top-10 finishes in 2012 prior to The Barclays, including an eighth at the Wells Fargo when he led after 36 holes.
Watney wiped out a two-shot advantage held by Sergio Garcia at the start of Sunday’s final round at the Black Course at Bethpage State Park on Long Island and went on to shoot a 2-under 69 in the final round for a 72-hole total of 274, 10-under par.
He now vaults to the top of the FedEx Cup points standings going into this week’s Deutsche Bank Championship in suburban Boston, which starts on Friday and finishes on Labor Day.
Then, there’s Garcia, who was trying to win for the second consecutive week, having taken the Wyndham Championship title the week before in Greensboro, N.C. After holding the 36- and 54-hole lead, he stumbled to a 5-over 76 on Sunday and finished tied for third.
And, there are the Ryder Cup captain’s picks, now muddied up by the performances of Brandt Snedeker and Dustin Johnson. Snedeker, one of the Tour’s best putters, shot a 1-under 70 in the final round to finish second at 7 under. Johnson, who like Snedeker lies just outside the top 12 in Ryder Cup points, carded a 3-under 68 to tie for third with Garcia.
You can’t count out the course, either. The Black Course at Bethpage has hosted two U.S. Opens, in both of which Garcia finished in the top 10. And it played like an Open venue. Firm, fast greens and high rough gave the players problems all week.
Canadians Graham DeLaet and David Hearn were among a handful of players to play their way into the top 100 that will start the Deutsche Bank this week. DeLaet shot a 6-under 65 on Sunday to finish at 5 under, tied for fifth with Louis Oosthuizen, Lee Westwood and Brian Harman.
More importantly, he went from 106th in points to 44th, the biggest jump of the week. Hearn went from 108th to 67th with a top-10 finish. Bob Estes went from 103rd to 62nd, Tommy Gainey played his way in from 102nd to 91st and Jonas Blixt went from 101st to 97th.
On the other end, John Mallinger, Will Claxton, Chad Campbell, Fredrik Jacobson, Andres Romero and Chris Stroud all played their way out of the top 100.
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