By Ron Patey
Jason Day once again put on a power golf clinic to win The Barclays and claim top spot in the FedExCup standings. The Aussie drove an average of nearly 328 yards off the tee and combined his massive length with consistently tight-to-the-pin shots as he pulverized the field by six strokes.
While most of the field struggled to work the angles on Plainfield Country Club’s distinct up-and-down fairways and severely sloped putting surfaces, Day solved the topography mysteries. He posted weekend totals of 63 and 62, settling into a tie for the 54-hole lead and slamming the door shut on Sunday. The Barclays triumph is Day’s fourth victory this season (the others are the Farmers Insurance Open, RBC Canadian Open and PGA Championship), which ties him with Jordan Spieth for the most in the 2014-2015 wraparound season. This is also Day’s third win in his last four starts.
Spieth, meanwhile, turned in an unlikely dud of a performance, falling victim to golf’s math and Day’s hot steak. By missing the cut after posting rounds of 74 and 73 on the curvy par 70 track, Spieth dropped to second in the FedExCup standings and gave back the first-place position in the world rankings to Rory McIlroy. The hit to his stats ended his reign atop professional golf’s leaderboard after only two weeks. McIlroy passed on playing The Barclays to rehab his ankle, but will be in the field for this week’s Deutsche Bank Championship.
While Day was strolling to victory, Brian Harman also had a day to remember. Harman astonishingly aced both the third and the fourteenth holes. He’s the first to record a pair of hole in ones in a tournament since Yusaku Miyazato stroked two stick digits on his card at the 2006 Reno Tahoe Open.
Next On The Tee: Deutsche Bank Championship
The band of FedExCup favorites gets back together this week in a shoot-for-top-spot showdown at TPC Boston. Rory McIlroy’s return to action at the Deutsche Bank Championship gives the New England event a huge boost of competitive juice as he looks to close the gap from the 15th position on Day and Spieth, this year’s one-two players.
Lurking closely behind the trio are Bubba Watson (third), Henrik Stenson (fourth) and Open Championship winner Zach Johnson (fifth). Watson has shot up in the standings after playing superbly in recent tournaments. His previous four starts include a pair of solo seconds and a solo third at The Barclays. Stenson appears to have finally ditched the illness that sapped his strength earlier in 2015. His second place in The Barclays bumped the Swede up 37 places in the standings. Johnson has put together many outstanding efforts since the end of June. His only blemish was a missed cut at the PGA Championship while in a group with Spieth and McIlroy.
TPC Boston plays 7,242 yards and is a par 71.
Favorites: Jason Day, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Zach Johnson, Bubba Watson
Players To Watch: Henrik Stenson, Sang-moon Bae, Hideki Matsuyama, Jim Furyk, Justin Rose
Ron Patey covered the golf industry for 21 years as a special sections editor with Sun Media. During the past five years, Patey has been a golf writer for Examiner.com.