Edison - Defending champion Matt Kuchar might have already won The Barclays
just by leading the $7.5 million US PGA event after 36 holes, but the
American has some work to do Saturday anyway.
Kuchar fired a
bogey-free six-under par 65 on Friday to stand on 14-under 128 with a
one-stroke lead after what was originally scheduled to be the mid-point
of the opening event of the season-ending US PGA playoffs.
Irene, however, has literally been a game-changer this weekend as it
approaches the New York metropolitan area after causing widespread
damage and destruction in the Caribbean islands.
US PGA officials
decided Friday to reduce the event from 72 holes to 54 due to the
potential threat of Irene, in part because tournament volunteers wanted
to make certain there was time to safeguard their families and homes.
were set to begin the third round Saturday morning in hopes of having
everyone finish 54 holes before the storm struck the area.
But if the third round is not completed, scores will revert to how they stood after 36 holes.
That would give Kuchar the victory by a stroke over countryman Dustin Johnson and Fiji's Vijay Singh.
definitely made the right decision with 54 holes," Kuchar said. "The
forecast just looks terrible. I think all of us are going to be excited
to wrap this thing up and get out of here as quickly and safely as we
"It has the potential to be pretty scary."
In terms of
advancing the top 100 players into next week's playoff event near
Boston, full points will be awarded to determine the qualifiers for the
second round of the season-ending playoffs.
Kuchar finished his
first round on Friday morning after a storm halted play on Thursday for
three hours, making a par on 17 and a birdie on the 18th hole to finish a
63 before starting his second round.
Kuchar birdied the par-3
third, par-5 fifth and par-4 seventh and began a run of three birdies in
four holes at the par-5 12th to maintain his lead heading into what
suddenly has become the final round, provided it's completed.
last-group playing partners Johnson and Singh on his heels and eight
others within five shots, Saturday could be a battle before the storm.
going to turn into a bit of a shootout," Kuchar said. "I knew that was
the potential, to cut to 54 holes, and needed to make as many birdies as
I could. Felt that I left a couple out there."
Shutting down the
event after 54 holes could help Kuchar, who ranks third in scoring in
the third rounds this season but only 46th in US PGA final rounds.
fired a bogey-free 63 in the second round, opening and closing the
front nine with back-to-back birdies plus two more on the back nine and
two more back-to-back on the fourth and fifth holes.
Singh opened a
round of 64 with back-to-back birides, followed a birdie at the 12th
with his lone bogey on 13 but responded with birdies on the next three
holes and another on the 18th to put himself in the hunt for his first
title since the 2008 Deutsche Bank Championship, a week after he won the
"I'm pretty happy with my position," Singh said. "I
would have loved to be in the lead in case we don't play, but I'm quite
happy starting one shot off going into the last day.
to be a pretty tough day because everybody is going to be trying to
shoot low, so I'm just going to go out there and just see if I can
repeat what I did today(Friday)."
Scores on Friday after the second round of the $7.5 million US PGA Barclays (USA unless noted, par 71):
128 - Matt Kuchar 63-65
129 - Dustin Johnson 66-63, Vijay Singh (FIJ) 65-64
131 - Jonathan Byrd 65-66
132 - Justin Rose (GBR) 67-65, Padraig Harrington (IRL) 65-67, Charley Hoffman 66-66, Aaron Baddeley (AUS) 66-66
133 - William McGirt 64-69, Harrison Frazar 64-69, Adam Scott (AUS) 66-67
- Chris Stroud 65-69, Chad Campbell 67-67, Sergio Garcia (ESP) 68-66,
Kyle Stanley 68-66, Rory Sabbatini (RSA) 68-66, Camilo Villegas (COL)
135 - Brian Davis (GBR) 69-66, Robert Allenby
(AUS) 67-68, Carl Pettersson (SWE) 69-66, Fredrik Jacobson (SWE) 67-68,
Jason Day (AUS) 67-68
136 - YE Yang (KOR) 70-66 (KOR), Robert
Karlsson (SWE) 68-68, Brendon de Jonge (ZIM) 68-68, Luke Donald (GBR)
70-66, David Hearn (CAN) 67-69, Charlie Wi (KOR) 69-67, Jhonattan Vegas
(VEN) 70-66, Retief Goosen (RSA) 68-68
137 - Phil Mickelson 67-70,
Graeme McDowell (NIR) 72-65, Trevor Immelman (RSA) 67-70, Ernie Els
(RSA) 68-69, Ryuji Imada (JPN) 70-67, KJ Choi (KOR) 70-67, Marc Leishman
138 - Martin Laird (GBR) 71-67, Ian Poulter (GBR)
71-67, Arjun Atwal (IND) 67-71, Andres Romero (ARG) 72-66, Greg Chalmers
Failed to qualify
139 - John Senden (AUS) 72-67
140 - Geoff Ogilvy (AUS) 69-71
141 - Rod Pampling (AUS) 71-70
142 - Nick O'Hern (AUS) 72-70
143 - Steven Bowditch (AUS) 75-68
WD - Stuart Appleby (AUS) 81