The PGA Tour FedEx Cup playoffs began yesterday with the opening of The Barclays tournament at Plainfield Country Club in Edison, New Jersey. Among the field of the top 125 golfers are Abbotsford pros Adam Hadwin and Nick Taylor.
Hadwin told The News he wasn’t working on anything in particular in the lead-up to this tournament. The Abbotsford golfer flew into New Jersey on Monday and got in a full 18 holes of practice the following day.
“The greens are fairly receptive, they’re fairly quick,” he said, “I have to try and hit precise targets.”
“There are a lot of tee boxes where you can’t see the pin,” Hadwin added. “There are a lot of blind shots so you have to trust where you’re shooting.”
Hadwin entered the tournament seeded 95th with 584 FedEx Cup points and is coming off a decent outing following his 51st-place finish at the Wyndham Championships.
“I didn’t play horrible, but disappointed,” he said of his performance last week. “I played pretty well for the first three days, kept the ball in play. [But] Sunday I had a few bad tee shots … and putts.”
While Hadwin said he hasn’t been working on any areas of his game in particular, he mentioned focus on the fundamentals of his swing, his short game and putting will be important for success at Plainfield.
In order to qualify for the next tournament, the Deutsche Bank Championship, PGATour.com writer Chris Dunham estimated a 59th-place finish or better is required.
For Taylor, the road is a little more difficult.
Dunham’s estimation is the Abbotsford native must finish 50th or better to advance to the next stage.
Taylor entered The Barclays as the 102nd seed, and over 3,500 points back from FedEx Cup points-leader, world No. 1 Jordan Spieth.
The Donald Ross-designed course at Plainfield Country Club is a par-72 with a total yardage of 7,091. This is the second time The Barclays is being hosted at the New Jersey course. Golf fans may recall the first time in 2011 when the tournament was waylaid by Hurricane Irene which swept through the area, forcing a midday Saturday finish leading to Dustin Johnson being crowned the victor.
This year the weather is supposed to be much more cooperative. Sunny skies are slated for the round today with a 10 per cent chance of rain for Saturday and Sunday and temperatures expected to climb into the upper-20s, according to the PGA Tour’s Travelers Weather Hub.
Notably absent are ninth-seed, Rory McIlroy and Sergio Garcia, who is ranked No. 31 in the world. Joining them on the absentee list are Francesco Molinari (94th seed), Retief Goosen (108th), Will MacKenzie (116th) and Scott Stallings (120th). This reduced the field to 119, the smallest turnout since the FedEx Cup era began in 2007.
The total purse for The Barclays is $8.25 million with the winner’s share being $1.485 million and 2,000 FedEx Cup points.
The BMW Championship (70 players) follows Deutsche Bank (100 players), before a reset takes place to seed the top 30 golfers for the season-concluding Tour Championship by Coca-Cola in late September.