Barclays Golf: Previewing the First Leg of the Fed Ex Cup Playoffs

Ron FurlongAnalyst IIAugust 25, 2010

MUNICH, GERMANY - JUNE 24:  Ernie Els of South Africa plays his second shot on the 11th hole during the first round of The BMW International Open at The Munich North Eichenried Golf Club on June 24, 2010, in Munich, Germany.  (Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)
Warren Little/Getty Images

The first leg of the PGA playoffs in the race for the Fed Ex Cup takes place this week with The Barclays, being played at the Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, New Jersey.

Ridgewood's current 27 hole layout is an A.W. Tillinghast design which opened in 1929, although the course was founded back in 1890.

The famous course hosted this event in 2008, and they did it in a unique way. They created a new layout among the three nine hole courses (the center, west, and east courses), using the best 18 holes to make a new course, which has been named The Tillinghast Championship Course.

That same layout will again be used this week. It will play to a par 71 and play 7,319 yards.

Heading into the first leg of the Fed Ex Cup playoffs Ernie Els sits atop the standings with 1,846 points. Steve Stricker is second with 1,697 points, and Jim Furyk third at 1,691.

Furyk has a slight problem, however. He has been disqualified for the Barclays because he overslept on Wednesday and missed his pro-am tee time. The DQ does not eliminate Furyk, and he will be able to play in the second leg of the playoffs next week.

Rounding out the top 10 in the standings are Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose, Jeff Overton, Hunter Mahan, Bubba Watson, Matt Kuchar, and Tim Clark.

Vijay Singh, currently 65th in points, won this event two years ago when it was played on this course. He beat Sergio Garcia in a playoff. The defending champion of the event is Heath Slocum, who comes in 50th on the points list.

The players will be grouped in threesomes for the first two rounds, and they are grouped according to the Fed Ex Cup point standings. Thus, the top three players are grouped together—Els, Sticker, and Furyk (before he was disqualified)—and so forth on down through the 125 man field.

Some of the more interesting groupings include the four, five, and six ranked players—Phil Mickelson, Justin Rose and Jeff Overton—and the seven though nine group, Hunter Mahan, Bubba Watson, and Matt Kuchar.

Tiger Woods, ranked 112th, will play the first two rounds with Troy Matteson, and Cameron Beckman.

The top 100 ranked players from this tournament will advance to the second round next week at The Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston.

This means for Tiger Woods, he must move up in the standings from his current spot of 112, or he will not advance.

Woods played okay in his last event at the PGA Championship, finishing 28th. He will need to repeat that performance to advance.

In addition to the Fed Ex Cup race, several of the American players are trying to play well and impress American Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin. Pavin must make his four captain's picks by September 7th, thus making this week and next week vitally important for several players.

Among the players in that group trying to impress are Woods, Zach Johnson, Lucas Glover, Stewart Cink, Anthony Kim, Bo Van Pelt, Sean O'Hair, and David Toms.