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The Barclays 2014 (The 1st of 4 events in the FedExCup Playoffs), Paramus, N.J. , August 21-24, 2014; FedExCup Points: 2,500; Purse: $8,000,000, The Ridgewood Country Club, Par/Yards: 35-36—71/7,319 - First-Round Notes – Thursday, August 21, 2014

Weather: Mostly cloudy, with a high of 82 degrees. Winds SSE 10 mph.

First-Round Leaderboard

Bo Van Pelt  65 (-6) (pictured by Getty Images)

Eight players 66 (-5)

FedExCup and The Barclays

  • The top 125 players on the final PGA TOUR Season FedExCup points list (following the Wyndham Championship) qualified for The Barclays.
  • The top 100 players on the FedExCup points list following The Barclays qualify for the Deutsche Bank Championship.
  • The top 70 players on the FedExCup points list after the Deutsche Bank Championship advance to the BMW Championship, contested at Conway Farms GC.
  • Each playoff event offers 2,500 FedExCup points to the winner.
  • The top 30 players following the BMW Championship will qualify for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. Prior to the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, a points reset will take place, giving all players in the field a mathematical opportunity to win the FedExCup title. The top five players control their own destiny and would claim the FedExCup with a victory at East Lake.
  • Any player in the field at The Barclays can mathematically move inside the top five in the points standings with a runner-up finish or victory.

Bo Van Pelt, No. 104 in the FedExCup, 6-under 65

Having made it through each of the first two events in the FedExCup Playoffs every year, Bo Van Pelt played his first three holes in three under (birdie-birdie-birdie), as he did on his final three holes (birdie-eagle-par). Van Pelt completed the first round without a bogey on his card.

Van Pelt is making his 13th start in The Barclays this week, with his lone top-10 finish (T4) coming at Westchester Country Club in 2004. His best finishes in the event in the FedExCup era are back-to-back T24s in 2011 and 2012.

The last two times The Barclays was contested at The Ridgewood Country Club, Van Pelt did not fare well. Following a 71st showing in 2008, he missed the cut in 2010.

Van Pelt’s lone top-10 finish in 23 starts this season on the PGA TOUR is a T7 at the John Deere Classic last month.

Following four rounds in the 60s, Van Pelt is coming off T14 honors at last week’s Wyndham Championship.

Van Pelt, who joined the PGA TOUR in 1999, is making his 364th career start on TOUR this week. His lone victory came at the 2009 U.S. Bank Championship in Milwaukee.

Van Pelt hit 10/14 fairways in regulation (71.4 percent) and missed just three of The Ridgewood Country Club’s 18 greens (83.3 percent).

Van Pelt takes the 18-hole lead/co-lead for the eighth time with today’s 65. Of his previous seven 18-hole leads/co-leads, his best result is solo-second at the 2012 Quicken Loans National.

First-Round Leader Statistics

In the 47-year history of The Barclays, the first-round leader/co-leader has gone on to win nine times.

A year ago at Liberty National, Kevin Stadler jumped out to the early lead by a stroke at a 7-under 64. He eventually finished T43.

At The Ridgewood Country Club in 2008, Hunter Mahan opened with a 9-under 62 and led by four strokes. In 2010, Tiger Woods and Vaughn Taylor shared the 18-hole lead at six under.

So far this year, a first-round leader/co-leader has parlayed that position into victory 10 times in 40 stroke-play events. The most recent to do so was Camilo Villegas at last week’s Wyndham Championship.

Jim Furyk, No. 5 in the FedExCup, 5-under 66  

Looking for his 13th top-10 finish in a FedExCup Playoffs event, and second-straight at The Barclays (T6), West Chester, Penn. native Jim Furyk offset a lone bogey at No. 9 with six birdies in round one.

Furyk, who has made 18 previous starts at The Barclays, missed the event in 2010 when it was last held at The Ridgewood Country Club, after being disqualified for missing his pro-am tee time. At The Ridgewood Country Club in 2008, Furyk finished T12.

Furyk’s opening round at The Barclays has proven to be his best. In 19 starts now, his lone over-par score in round one came with a 3-over 74 at Westchester Country Club in 1996. He has posted no fewer than three over-par scores in each other round.

Furyk, a 16-time winner on the PGA TOUR, is looking for his first win since winning the 2010 TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola, which also gave him top honors in the race for the FedExCup. At the BMW Championship in last year’s Playoffs, Furyk became the sixth player in TOUR history to post a 59 (R2/12-under/Conway Farms GC). Despite the historic score, Furyk finished third.

This season, Furyk has captured eight top-10 finishes in 17 starts. Among them were consecutive runner-up finishes at the Wells Fargo Championship and THE PLAYERS Championship, fourth-place honors at The Open Championship and T5 honors in his last start two weeks ago at the PGA Championship

Hunter Mahan, No. 62 in the FedExCup, 5-under 66

The only player to have never missed a start in the FedExCup Playoffs (29 overall), Hunter Mahan birdied four of his last six holes in round one to post his lowest score in the event since an opening-round, 9-under 62 at The Ridgewood Country Club in 2008.

Mahan is making his 10th start in the event this week, with a finish of T20 in 2009 being his best.

Mahan is making his 22nd start of the 2013-2014 PGA TOUR Season this week, having collected five top-10 finishes. He is in search of his sixth career PGA TOUR win and first win since the 2012 Shell Houston Open.

Mahan has amassed six top-10 finishes in the FedExCup Playoffs over the years, spanning the last three events.

In round one, Mahan found 11/14 fairways in regulation (78.6 percent) and missed just three of The Ridgewood Country Club’s 18 greens (83.3 percent).

Cameron Tringale, No. 61 in the FedExCup, 5-under 66

After making headlines for disqualifying himself from the PGA Championship for a putting infraction, Cameron Tringale birdied his last two holes in round one of his fourth consecutive start in The Barclays.

Tringale finished T32 in 2011 at The Barclays, missed the cut in 2012 and claimed a share of 58th place last year at Liberty National in Jersey City.

Tringale remains in search of his first career PGA TOUR win this week in his 133rd start. His career-best finish is third at the 2013 Valspar Championship (Tampa Bay).

Tringale’s career-low round of 63 came in round two of The Barclays in 2011.

Charles Howell III, No. 33 in the FedExCup, 5-under 66

Making his ninth consecutive start at The Barclays, Charles Howell III remains in search of his first top-15 finish in the event. His best is a T18 in 2011, when the tournament was shortened to 54 holes. Howell III missed the cut in both 2008 and 2010, when the event was previously held at The Ridgewood Country Club.

Today’s 5-under 66 marks just the second time Howell III has opened with a sub-par score at The Barclays. In 2011, he posted a 2-under 69 at Plainfield Country Club in Edison, N.J

In the FedExCup era, dating to 2007, Howell III has made it through The Barclays and Deutsche Bank Championship each year. He made it to the BMW Championship in 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013 and as far as the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola in 2007 and 2011. His lone top-10 finish in 20 Playoffs starts is a T6 at the 2011 TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.

Howell III, a two-time winner on the PGA TOUR, is in search of his first win since the 2007 Northern Trust Open.

Brendon de Jonge, No. 71 in the FedExCup, 5-under 66

Making his fifth consecutive start in the FedExCup Playoffs, and 14th overall

The 2014 Barclays marks de Jonge’s 208th career start on the PGA TOUR, where he remains in search of his first win.

De Jonge’s career-best finish is solo-second at the 2012 Shriners Hospitals for Children Open.

De Jonge has made 22/29 cuts this season and collected top-10 finishes at the Wells Fargo Championship (T6) and Quicken Loans National (T8).

De Jonge is coming off a missed cut at last week’s Wyndham Championship.

Last year marked de Jonge’s first time to ever make it through all four events in the FedExCup Playoffs. As a result, he ended the season ranked a career-best 26th in the standings.

Additional Player Notes

FedExCup points leader and World’s No. 1 Rory McIlroy got off to a rocky start in round one, posting a 3-over 74. The score ties his highest in the event from round two in 2010, the last time The Barclays was contested at The Ridgewood Country Club. McIlroy is making his fourth start at The Barclays this week; T19-2013, T24-2012 and T56-2010.

Through 13 events on the PGA TOUR this season, McIlroy’s first-round scoring average is 67.75, his best round by two strokes. Although it has improved, the round which continues to plague McIlroy is his second round (71.08).

In his bid to join Ernie Els as players to win in successive years (1996-1997), defending champion Adam Scott opened with a 2-under 69. After 18 holes last year, Scott was also at 2-under and five strokes back. Five players have captured The Barclays title more than once; Vijay Singh (4), Jack Nicklaus (2), Seve Ballesteros (2), Ernie Els (2), Sergio Garcia (2) are the others with multiple wins in the event.

In his 13th start at The Barclays, Phil Mickelson opened with an even-par 71. Mickelson claimed top-10 finishes in the event in 2007 (T7/Westchester CC) and 2013 (T6/Liberty National GC).

Mickelson begins this year’s FedexCup Playoffs with just one top-10 finish under his best (2nd/PGA Championship). He has previously never started the Playoffs with fewer than five.

Mickelson is the only player to finish inside the top 15 in the FedExCup standings in the first six seasons.

Camilo Villegas, winner of last week’s Wyndham Championship, opened with a 1-over 72. No stranger to FedExCup Playoffs success, Villegas has amassed 10 top-10 finishes in the Playoffs over the years (tied with Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson). Steve Stricker, who is not in this week’s field, leads with 13 top 10s. Jim Furyk has 12.

By virtue of his T14 finish at last week’s Wyndham Championship, Sang-Moon Bae moved from outside the top 125 in FedExCup standings (No. 126) to inside (No. 120). Bae opened with a 1-over 72. Interestingly, Bae recorded just two pars over the course of his first 14 holes.

Rookies in the FedExCup Playoffs

Best rookie performances in the FedExCup Playoffs

Year Rookie Finish
2013 Jordan Spieth 7th
*2012 John Huh 29th
*2011 Keegan Bradley 20th
2010 Rickie Fowler 32nd
*2009 Marc Leishman 20th
*2008 Andres Romero 28th
*2007 Brandt Snedeker 20th

*Rookies who reached the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola in the FedExCup era and were voted Rookie of the Year: Rickie Fowler won Rookie of the Year honors in 2010 but missed making it to East Lake with a 32nd place finish in the FedExCup.

Chesson Hadley (70th) and Brice Garnett (117th) are this year’s rookies who have a shot at joining that group. In round one, Hadley opened with a 3-over 74 to Garnett’s 72.

Miscellaneous Notes

Two players have won in their first appearance at The Barclays: Jack Renner (1979) and Vijay Singh (1993).

Eight players have made The Barclays their first PGA TOUR win: Andy North (1977), Jack Renner (1979), Wayne Grady (1989), Vijay Singh (1993), JP Hayes (1998), Dennis Paulson (2000), Chris Smith (2002) and Jonathan Kaye (2003).

Three players have made it to the TOUR Championship all six years of the FedExCup. Here’s their year-by-year FedExCup finish and how they stand through round one of The Barclays:

Name 2007  2008  2009  2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 FEC R1 Barclays
Steve Stricker 2nd 14th 3rd 7th 18th 20th 3rd 103rd Not playing
Phil Mickelson 3rd 7th 2nd 13th 15th 5th 9th 45th E (T56)
Hunter Mahan 15th 18th 27th 18th 7th 19th 20th 62nd -5 (T2)

In the history of the FedExCup, here’s a look at how many players have advanced to the Deutsche Bank Championship when starting from outside the cut line (top 120 in 2007-08; top 100 from 2009-present): 2013 (5), 2012 (6), 2011 (8), 2010 (6), 2009 (4), 2008 (15) and 2007 (2).

Past Barclays champions in this week’s field: Adam Scott/2013 (-2/T32), Nick Watney/2012 (+5/T115), Matt Kuchar/2011 (-3/T13), Vijay Singh/1993, 1995, 2006, 2008 (-2/T32), Sergio Garcia/2001, 2004, (E/T56), Ernie Els/1996, 1997 (-3/T13).

Bogey-free Rounds

R1: Bo Van Pelt (65), Paul Casey (66), Erik Compton (68), Keegan Bradley (68), David Toms (69), David Hearn (69), Jason Kokrak (70).

Scoring Averages at the par-71 Ridgewood Country Club:

                 Front 9   Back 9   Total       Cumulative

Thursday  35.066     35.729    70.794     —

2008 The Barclays scoring average: 71.406

2010 The Barclays scoring average: 70.977

The par-4 12th hole played the toughest on Thursday, yielding a 4.336 average. The easiest hole was the par-5 17th at 4.689.

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey is again driving home health and wellness to golf fans at The Barclays with a challenge to golf pro and Wyckoff native, Morgan Hoffmann, as he plays in this week’s tournament. For every 10,000 steps Hoffmann registers on a pedometer as he walks Ridgewood Country Club, Horizon BCBSNJ will add another $1,000 to a $5,000 donation it is also making to the New Jersey Golf Foundation.

Author

Graham J Gordon, The Editor and Owner, GolfblogspotUK

The GolfblogspotUK website is owned and run by former Walker Cup player and European Tour card holder, Graham J Gordon, from Scotland, the Home of Golf. The owner is a golf fanatic who had to retire early from competitive tour play due to a back injury that required surgery. Graham wishes to share his knowledge and own experiences of the game with the GolfblogspotUK community and to receive your feedback on all aspects of the sport. Graham has been playing the game for over 20 years and received a great deal of pleasure from the sport. He has met several friends and visited many different places around the world, thanks to playing the great game of golf. Time to put a little back into the game to help others.

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