Heath Slocum came through a tense battle with Tiger Woods, Ernie Els and Padraig Harrington to become the surprise winner of The Barclays at Liberty National Golf Club in New Jersey.
Slocum made it into this event by the slimmest of margins, qualifying as the 124th man out of 125. Few would have predicted he would have come out on top in a contest against many of the game’s heavyweights. But it was the man from Louisiana who held his nerve best down the stretch and holed a 20-foot putt on the final green to win the first event of the FedEx Cup playoffs.
With the victory Slocum moved from 124th to 3rd on the FedEx Cup standings. He now has a realistic shot at landing the $10 million winner’s prize next month.
“It was an incredible day, incredible experience,” Slocum said. “I was just kind of lucky to come out on top.”
It was another poor week on the greens for Tiger Woods. The World Number 1 struggled to get to grips with the putting surfaces at Liberty National GC and missed an uncharacteristic number of short putts through the final round. He horse-shoed from three feet for a par early in his round and routinely failed to convert makeable birdie chances.
“Not too many golf courses that you misread putts that badly. This golf course is one.” Woods said.
Ernie Els played an excellent final round of 66 but came up one short of Slocum’s total. He recorded no bogeys on Sunday and was pleased with his showing.
“From where I’ve come from, where my game has been, where my confidence has been, this is moving in the right direction,” he said.
Harrington made four birdies in the last seven holes including one at the 18th to join Woods, Els and Steve Stricker in a tie for second. Stricker made a bogey at the closing hole to drop out of a tie for the lead with Slocum.
The FedEx Cup playoffs continue next week with the Deutsche Bank Championship.
Liberty National Golf Club, New Jersey
Aug 27-30, purse $7,500,000, par 71
1 Heath Slocum (USA) 66 72 70 67 275 $1,350,000
T2 Ernie Els (RSA) 72 68 70 66 276 $495,000
T2 Padraig Harrington (Ire) 67 75 67 67 276 $495,000
T2 Steve Stricker (USA) 69 70 68 69 276 $495,000
T2 Tiger Woods (USA) 70 72 67 67 276 $495,000
T6 Nick Watney (USA) 68 73 69 67 277 $260,625
T6 Fredrik Jacobson (Swe) 66 72 68 71 277 $260,625
8 Webb Simpson (USA) 66 68 72 72 278 $232,500
T9 Paul Goydos (USA) 65 71 68 75 279 $202,500
T9 Ian Poulter (Eng) 67 72 70 70 279 $202,500
T9 Scott Verplank (USA) 73 70 68 68 279 $202,500
Player scores listed in bold signifies Titleist ball usage only
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