Barclays Golf 2012: Top Names Who Will Stay in Hunt for Trophy
After one round at the 2012 Barclays, we have crowded field, with 24 golfers within four strokes of leader Padraig Harrington.
Harrington (seven-under-par 64) has started out at Bethpage Black red-hot, but there are some familiar faces nipping at his heels.
Here's a look at some top names who figure to be eyeing the trophy come Sunday.
Sergio Garcia (-5, Tied for 4th)
Sergio Garcia is all of a sudden playing sold golf after plenty of frustration this year. After missing the cut at the PGA Championship, he won the Wyndham Championship and shot a five-under-par 66 on Thursday at the Barclays.
Garcia's been spectacular in every area so far, including driving accuracy (78.57 percent), greens in regulation (83.33 percent) and putts per GIR (1.6), via PGATour.com.
Whatever Garcia has found, he better hold on to it.
Dustin Johnson (-4, Tied for 8th)
Last year's Barclays champion, Dustin Johnson has gotten off to a good start this year. And with five top-10 finishes and a victory (FedEx St. Jude Classic) on the year, he's shown he can be in the thick of things.
Johnson's driving accuracy was off on Thursday (50 percent), but he made up for it with a solid GIR (77.78 percent) and some nice putting per GIR (1.714), via PGATour.com.
Don't underestimate a guy who has a win at the Barclays.
Justin Rose (-4, Tied for 8th)
Justin Rose was one of my favorites coming into the tournament, given his consistency this year (seven top-10 finishes, one victory) and his fifth-place finish at the Bridgestone Invitational and third-place finish at the PGA Championship.
Rose putted well on Thursday (1.636 putts per GIR) and his driving accuracy was impressive (78.57 percent), via PGATour.com.
While Rose ranked 23rd on tour in driving accuracy leading up to the tournament, the fact that he struggled in GIR and he's still among the leaders shows he could rise even more in the next three rounds (he ranked first in GIR coming into the Barclays).
Tiger Woods (-3, Tied for 14th)
I said it before the tournament: Anytime Tiger isn't playing in a major championship these days, he has a shot at a victory.
Tiger has three victories on the year, including six top-10 finishes, and he's had his best year by far since 2008.
Tiger continues to show improved driving accuracy and his GIR (72.22 percent) was eye-opening on Thursday. He also putted well on the day (1.692 putts per GIR), via PGATour.com.
Luke Donald (-3, Tied for 14th)
Who has the best chance of winning the 2012 Barclays?
Luke Donald isn't ranked No. 2 in the world for nothing. He owns six top-10 finishes on the year, including a victory at the Transitions Championship.
Donald finished fifth and eighth at the British Open and the Bridgestone Invitational, respectively, before hitting a speed bump at the PGA Championship.
So far, Donald has been able to overcome poor driving accuracy (42.86 percent) at the Barclays with a strong GIR (66.67 percent) and good putting per GIR (1.667), via PGATour.com.
Given Donald is ranked 15th in driving accuracy on tour—expect him to improve in that area down the stretch.
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