Barclays Golf 2013: Storylines to Watch on Day 3 at Liberty National

Alex BallentineFeatured ColumnistAugust 24, 2013

JERSEY CITY, NJ - AUGUST 23:  Matt Kuchar of the United States watches his tee shot on the second hole during the second round of The Barclays at Liberty National Golf Club on August 23, 2013 in Jersey City, New Jersey.  (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)
Alex Trautwig/Getty Images

Weather may have suspended play in Round 2 at the 2013 Barclays tournament, but that won't put a damper on the exciting weekend that lies ahead in New Jersey. 

The first two days have set up a dramatic finish as the leaderboard is packed with players who are posting scores well under par. With precious FedEx Cup points on the line, the stakes are only going to get higher as the tournament progresses.  

Here's a look at how the leaderboard looked after play was suspended in Round 2. A live, updated look at the leaderboard can be found at PGATour.com.

As Day 3's action kicks off, these are the top storylines you'll want to keep an eye on throughout the round. 

 

Can Rickie Fowler Secure Tour Championship Spot?

Few players enter the weekend needing a better tournament than Rickie Fowler. 

The 24-year-old finds himself at No. 42 on the official FedEx Cup standings. If the season were to end today and the 30-man Tour Championship field set, he would be on the outside looking in. 

He did a lot to change that on Friday, though. He fired a 64 to get to seven under for the tournament and right into the thick of things. Perhaps most importantly, if the tournament ended after Round 2, he projects to leap 25 spots up to No. 17. 

Fowler's breakthrough round came on the heels of a 71 on Day 1, so he's far from guaranteed to repeat the feat. How he plays in Round 3 could determine his FedEx Cup fate. 

 

Will Tiger Woods Make a Run?

One player who doesn't have to worry about FedEx Cup points is Tiger Woods. He's already on top of the standings with a 766-point lead over No. 2 Matt Kuchar. 

Even so, his five wins in 12 starts on the PGA Tour this year says he will be a contender regardless of what's at stake. Picking up his sixth win at New Jersey won't come without its challenges, though. 

Woods was one of the players whose round was suspended, and it couldn't have come at a better time. He had bogeyed two of the four holes on the back nine and was struggling with a back injury, per Kelly Tilghman of the Golf Channel.

Woods may struggle at majors, but he's still the No. 1 player in the world when healthy. How he handles his back issues going forward will be a major storyline. 

 

Can Matt Kuchar Seize the Lead?

Matt Kuchar ended Day 2 as the technical leader of the tournament, despite his unfinished round, but that's not even the lead that Kuchar is chasing this weekend. He has a real chance to surpass Woods as the FedEx Cup points leader with a win at Liberty National. 

Kuchar will have to finish out the last five holes of his second round before getting his third round underway, but his first 13 holes from Day 2 indicate he's ready to take the lead for good. He registered a bogey-free round that included five birdies. 

As Justin Ray of ESPN notes, a win at The Barclays would just be another impressive feat in an already strong season. 

With plenty of former major winners and golf's biggest stars populating the leaderboard, the competition is going to be tough. That makes Saturday's action all the more interesting as we approach the tournament's final day.