Next Day Delivery
The first event of the PGA Tour’s 4-event FedEx playoffs is the Barclays Championship.
The elite field of 125 players represented the Top 125 of the 39-event season-long FedEx Cup (the 2016 season begins again in October 2015 in the “wraparound” events). Those 125 players will be trimmed down to the Top 100 after this week going into the second playoff event.
The head scratcher of the early part of the tournament was when World #1 and the years’ dominant player, Jordan Spieth, put together his two worst rounds of the year and missed the cut at 7-over par. Rory McIlroy, who skipped this event, reclaims the #1 mantle after Spieth held it for just two weeks.
Entering Sunday’s final round, the two leaders were Sangmoon Bae and Jason Day who matched each other with 7-under par, 63’s to be tied at 11-under for the first 3 days.
29-year old Bae will have to report for his 2-year military obligation in the South Korean army next month. South Korean men between the ages of 18 and 35 years must complete two years of military service because the country technically remains at war with North Korea.
Bae had appealed the decision, but lost that appeal last month. This year’s Presidents Cup is going to be held in South Korea in October and a win at the Barclays would move Bae into 7th in the International players’ rankings and would assure a spot on the team in his home country. The only problem would be that he is supposed to have reported for his military service by then.
The $10 million that goes to the winner of the playoffs would be a windfall for Bae, but the five-year PGA Tour exemption that also comes with winning would be an even bigger reward when he finishes his time in the military. Bae will be taking a significant pay-cut as a private in the South Korean army with a monthly paycheck of @$150 US.
It was not to be on Sunday for Bae who struggled to shoot a 2-over par, 72 which left him tied for 6th.
There was however, some spectacular golf being played on Sunday. Brian Harman made two holes-in-one in his final round of 2-under par, 68 that saw him punch his ticket into next week. Harman’s two perfect shots on the par-3, 4th and 13th holes were only the third time in Tour history that a player had made two aces in the same round.
But the most spectacular of all came from 2015 PGA Championship winner, Day.
Day dominated and closed with a flawless 8-under par 62 that left him six shots clear of runner-up, Henrik Stenson, and 19-under par for the week. It was a virtuoso performance for the 27 year old Australian who can certainly stake his claim as the best player in the world.
We have always thought that when Day learned to win (he has had so many close calls in recent years) that he would do a great deal of it.
This is Day’s third win in his last four events and it follows his brilliant play two weeks ago when he triumphed in the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits. Day now leads the FedEx Cup standings with 3 events left to determine the 2015 winner.
Regardless of what may happen in the next three weeks, 2015 has been a breakthrough season for Day and a brilliant year for the game itself.