Tour Report: Featured groups in first two rounds

Mike McAllister
August 21, 2012

By Mike McAllister, PGATOUR.COM

FARMINGDALE, N.Y. – Tee times have been released for the first two rounds of The Barclays. Players are grouped in accordance of their FedExCup points ranking. Here’s a look at some of the featured groups at Bethpage State Park Black Course (FedExCup ranking in parentheses).

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Tiger Woods (1), Rory McIlroy (3), Zach Johnson (4) — The top-seeded FedExCup group (No. 2 Jason Dufner is not playing) has accounted for seven PGA TOUR wins this year, including McIlroy’s PGA Championship romp two weeks ago.

Bubba Watson (5), Hunter Mahan (6), Carl Pettersson (7) — If you’re going strictly on recent form, Pettersson might be the best bet in this group.

Keegan Bradley (8), Matt Kuchar (9), Steve Stricker (10) — Bradley, who went to St. John’s University, will have plenty of local support; Kuchar is a past Barclays champ; Stricker is, well, Mr. September.

Ernie Els (11), Justin Rose (12), Webb Simpson (13) — The British (Els) and U.S. (Simpson) champions in the same group, just like they were for the first two rounds of the PGA Championship.

Phil Mickelson (14), Scott Piercy (15), Luke Donald (16) — Mickelson usually draws energy from the New York crowd, while Donald is quietly lurking to make a big Playoffs splash.

Jim Furyk (17), Rickie Fowler (18), Brandt Snedeker (19) — Furyk won the FedExCup two years ago despite missing The Barclays when his cellphone alarm clock failed on him.

Johnson Wagner (20), Bill Haas (21), Kyle Stanley (22) — No defending FedExCup champ has ever advanced to the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. Haas begins his quest this week.

Dustin Johnson (26), Graeme McDowell (27), Marc Leishman (28) — Johnson has won events in each of the last two Playoffs and you know G-Mac will make his presence known.

Adam Scott (32), Sergio Garcia (33), Louis Oosthuizen (34) — Looking for players ranked outside the top 30 to make an impact during the Playoffs? You’d be hard-pressed to find a better trio than this. Sergio obviously comes in with momentum thanks to his Wyndham Championship win on Monday.

Boo Weekley (123), Heath Slocum (124), Jason Bohn (125) — Meet the Bubble Group. Only the top 100 advance to the Deutsche Bank Championship, which means these three have lots of work to do.