1. Tiger Woods, United States -- Battling back spasms that brought him to his knees on one shot, Woods struggled to a tie for second in the Barclays, finishing one stroke behind Adam Scott when his 24-foot birdie putt from the fringe on the final hole stopped inches short. He posted four rounds in the 60s at Liberty National, and despite not winning, retained his lead in the FedEx Cup standings heading to the second event of the playoffs. ... If he can make it to the first tee on Thursday, Tiger will be playing in the Deutsche Bank for the ninth time. He took home the title in 2006, a year before the PGA Tour playoffs were introduced. He came from behind in the final round with an 8-under-par 63, sinking eagle putts of 10 feet on the second hole and 15 feet after driving the green on the par-4 third, before holing a 25-foot birdie putt two holes later en route to beating Vijay Singh by two strokes. That gave him victories in five consecutive PGA Tour events. He has had great success at TPC Boston, also tying for second in 2004 and again in 2007, en route to winning the inaugural FedEx Cup, finishing solo third last year and tying for seventh in 2004. ... Woods missed a 12-foot birdie putt to tie for the lead on the 12th hole in the final round of the Barclays, but on the next hole dropped to his knees in pain after hitting his second shot, which went into the water and led to a bogey 6. He added another bogey at No. 15 but got back into the picture with birdies on Nos. 16 and 17. He started with a 4-under-par 67 and then put up three consecutive 69s in a bid for his sixth victory of the season.
2. Adam Scott, Australia -- When Scott missed an 18-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole of the Barclays, he thought the best he could do was a playoff after his second 5-under-par 66 of the tournament. But when Justin Rose, Gary Woodland and Tiger Woods were unable to equal his score of 11-under-par 273, he had his first victory since the Masters and climbed nine spots to second in the FedEx Cup standings behind Woods. He claimed his 10th victory on the PGA Tour and 22nd of his career around the globe. ... This will be Scotty's ninth appearance in the Deutsche Bank Championship. He won the tournament in 2003, four years before the PGA Tour playoffs were introduced. He posted four rounds in the 60s at TPC Boston that year, highlighted by a 9-under-par 62, on his way to a four-stroke victory over Rocco Mediate. Scott tied for second in his title defense, closing with a 65 that left him three shots behind Vijay Singh. The Aussie also has finished in the top 10 in the second event of the playoffs in each of the last three years, tying for fifth in 2010, tying for eighth in 2011 and tying for seventh last year. He was tied for the lead after opening with 69-63 two years ago, but he played the weekend in 71-71. ... Scott, who put himself into the PGA Tour Player of the Year conversation by winning the Barclays, struggled at Liberty National only when he shot 72 in the third round, the worst coming when he drove into a fairway bunker on the 10th hole and then three-putted from 69 feet for a double-bogey 6. He started with rounds of 69-66 and came from six strokes behind in the final round with his bogey-free 66.
3. Phil Mickelson, United States -- Saving his best for last in the Barclays, Mickelson posted seven birdies in a stretch of eight holes through No. 15 in the final round on his way to a 6-under-par 65. However, he missed a couple other chances and carded his only bogey of the day on the final hole to finish in a tie for sixth, two strokes behind winner Adam Scott. He moved up one spot to third in the FedEx Cup standings and is very much in the hunt if he can continue to play the way he did Sunday. ... Lefty claimed one of his two playoff victories in the 2007 Deutsche Bank Championship en route to finishing second in the FedEx Cup standings, and this week he will be playing for the seventh consecutive year at TPC Boston. After starting with a 1-under-par 70 six years ago, he reeled off scores of 64-68-66 to win by two strokes over Brett Wetterich, Arron Oberholser and Tiger Woods. Mickelson carded four birdies on the front nine to take the lead and held on with two more, on the 16th and 18th holes. He has two other top-10 finishes in the tournament, tying for 10th two years ago on the strength of a 63 in round three, and posting four scores in the 60s last year to tie for fourth. ... Mickelson was on the edge of contention last week at Liberty National after rounds of 71-69-70, starting the final round in a tie for 30th, before making his move after starting with five consecutive pars. He hit his first shot of the tournament into the water and made bogey to start a 71, but his biggest hiccup was hitting his tee shot into a greenside bunker on the par-3 11th hole in round three and three-putting from six feet for a double-bogey 5 in a round of 70.
4. Justin Rose, England -- Rose had a 25-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to win the Barclays last week, but he blew it five feet past the hole and missed the comebacker that would have put him in a playoff with his buddy, Adam Scott. The U.S. Open champion closed out his third score of 3-under-par 68 with his only bogey of the day and tied for second to climb two spots to fifth in the FedEx Cup standings. ... Rose has missed the cut in three of his five appearances in the Deutsche Bank Championship since it became part of the PGA Tour playoffs in 2007, including last year, when he posted a score of 75-70--145 to miss by one stroke. He also missed the weekend in 2007 at 71-76--147 and in 2010 at 70-73--143. His best finishes at TPC Boston came before the playoff system was initiated in 2007. Rose finished solo third in 2003, talking the lead with an 8-under-par 63 in the first round but shooting 71 in round two before playing the weekend in 68-67 to finish five shots behind winner Adam Scott. He also tied for fourth in 2006, ranking with the leaders by posting three scores in the 60s before closing with a 72 to wind up nine strokes behind champion Tiger Woods, who closed with a 63. ... Rose probably regrets several other miscues last week in the Barclays. He did not make a bogey in his opening 68 at Liberty National, but he hit his approach shot on No. 13 into the water and took a double-bogey 6. The next day, he had his only bogeys on two of the last four holes in another 68, and in round three he had three bogeys on the back nine to shoot 70.
5. Matt Kuchar, United States -- Looking for his third victory of the season, Kooch was tied for the lead heading to the final round of the Barclays, but he closed with an ugly 7-over-par 78 and plummeted to a tie for 19th. That dropped him two spots to fourth in the FedEx Cup standings, but he remains very much in the running with three events left in the playoffs, thanks to his fine play all year. ... Kuchar will tee it up in the Deutsche Bank Championship for the 10th time this week, but has never finished in the top 10 at TPC Boston. His best result in the second event of the PGA Tour playoffs was a tie for 11th three years ago, when he was among the leaders after opening with 66-65 but slid down the leaderboard by playing the weekend in 72-71. Matt also tied for 15th in 2009, when he posted three scores in the 60s, but an even-par 71 in the second round kept him from a top-10 finish. Last year, he played the weekend in 68-68, but that followed a 74 in the second round, and he tied for 35th. ... Kuchar posted rounds of 66-65-70 and was tied with Gary Woodland entering the final round last week at Liberty National, where he didn't make his only birdie on Sunday until sinking a 21-foot putt on the final hole. He was hanging in with seven consecutive pars after making a bogey on the first hole, but he hit his tee shot into the water on the ninth hole, needed five strokes to reach the green and took a triple-bogey 7 that virtually knocked him out of contention. He had only six bogeys in the first three rounds, but he had five on Sunday, plus the triple.
6. Brandt Snedeker, United States -- Playing alongside Tiger Woods in the first two rounds, Snedeker also was hit with back problems, but he could not nurse himself into the weekend, shooting 72-71--143 to miss the cut by one stroke. It was his second consecutive missed cut, as he also fell short at the Wyndham Championship. He has missed six cuts this season, with two of them coming after he was out for six weeks because of an intercostal strain early in the year. ... Sneds, who slid three positions to sixth in the FedEx Cup standings, will be playing in the Deutsche Bank Championship for the seventh time, and he seems to have figured out TPC Boston by finishing in the top 10 in each of the last three years. After failing to crack the top 25 in any of his first three appearances, he tied for fifth in 2010, tied for third the following year and finished solo third last year. Three years ago, he was in second place, one stroke behind leader Jason Day after posting scores of 66-64-67, but he fell back with an even-par 71 in the final round. In 2011, he shot 64 in round two and closed with a 66, but he wound up two strokes out of the playoff in which Webb Simpson beat Chez Reavie. ... Snedeker rallied with birdies on the 16th and 17th holes when round two continued on Saturday morning in the rain-delayed Barclays, but he needed one more. He hit his approach shot on the final hole into a greenside bunker, and even though he holed his six-foot putt, it was only good for a par. Sneds hit only 18 of 36 greens. He saved his first round by taking only 25 putts, but he needed 30 in round two.
7. Rory McIlroy, Northern Ireland -- McIlroy played his best golf only when he posted a 6-under-par 65 in the second round en route to a tie for 19th last week in the Barclays. Still, that lifted him from 49th to 36th in the FedEx Cup standings, and he needs at least one more good finish in the next two events to climb into the top 30 and qualify for the Tour Championship. ... Rory will defend the first of his titles in the PGA Tour playoffs this week at the Deutsche Bank Championship, where he led much of the way by posting rounds of 65-66-67-67, finishing one stroke ahead of Louis Oosthuizen. He took command by carding five birdies in the first eight holes in the final round at TPC Boston and then held on by holing a five-foot putt for par on the 17th hole before making a routine par at No. 18. In his only other appearance in the tournament, McIlroy opened with a 7-under-par 64 in 2010 but followed with a 76 the next day and eventually tied for 37th. He also will defend his title in two weeks at the BMW Championship. ... The Irishman's 65, which equaled his best score on the PGA Tour this season, way back in the WGC-Cadillac Championship in March, included eight birdies and a pair of bogeys. He turned in an interesting scorecard in round one, carding four birdies, an eagle and no bogeys, but he had three double bogeys to finish at 71. McIlroy had a chance to finish with another round in the 60s on Sunday, but he hit his tee shot into the water on the 16th hole and recorded his fourth double bogey of the tournament while closing with a 72.
8. Jason Dufner, United States -- Playing for the first time as a major champion, Dufner failed to break 70 in any of his four rounds and wound up in a tie for 37th in the Barclays. He dropped from 15th to 19th in the FedEx Cup standings and only needs to remain solid in the next two events to guarantee his spot in the 30-man field at the Tour Championship. ... Duf is making his sixth start in the Deutsche Bank Championship this week, and he posted his best finish in the second event of the PGA Tour playoffs when he tied for second in 2009. He carded four rounds in the 60s, including a 5-under-par 65 in the final round, only to finish one stroke behind Steve Stricker. Dufner and Scott Verplank held the clubhouse lead after making birdies on the 18th hole, but Stricker leap-frogged them by carding birdies on the last two holes. Last year, Dufner was right with the leaders after opening with 67-66, but he played the weekend in 70-74 and skidded to a tie for 18th, equaling his second-best finish at TPC Boston, achieved in 2010. ... The PGA champion saved some of his best golf for the final round at Liberty National, when he carded three birdies in a five-hole stretch through No. 16 and was on the verge of breaking 70 for the first time all week. Then he made bogeys on the last two holes and had to settle for his second even-par 70. Duf seemed to be on his way to a low score in round two when he birdied three consecutive holes through No. 7 and added three more on the back nine, but he three-putted for a double-bogey 6 on the 15th hole and also finished at 70.
9. Dustin Johnson, United States -- Hoping for a good start in the PGA Tour playoffs to move into the top 10 in the FedEx Cup standings, Johnson instead shot 71-72--143 and missed the cut by one stroke in the Barclays. It was his fourth missed cut of the season in 18 stroke-play events on the circuit, and he slipped six spots to 22nd in the point standings. It was the first time he missed the weekend in the playoff opener since 2008 at Ridgewood Country Club, where he was making his debut in the postseason event. ... DJ had his best chance to win the Deutsche Bank Championship in four appearances last year, when he opened with rounds of 67-68-65 and was in third place, but he finished with a 1-under-par 70 and slipped to a tie for fourth. That equaled his best previous finish at TPC Boston, achieved in 2009, when he posted three rounds in the 60s and a 70 in the third round while finishing two strokes behind winner Steve Stricker. He had a chance for another top-10 finish in 2011 but closed with a 75 and wound up in a tie for 42nd. ... Johnson came to his last hole of the second round at Liberty National needing a birdie to make the cut and hit the green with his approach, but he didn't give himself much of a chance. He ran his 42-foot putt past the hole, settled for par and was gone. DJ rallied with three birdies in four holes through No. 16 after starting on the back nine to put himself right on the cut line. However, he could not record another birdie, and he missed an 11-foot putt for par on the third hole before finishing with six consecutive pars.
10. Luke Donald, England -- Continuing his run of sub-par play, Donald opened with a 4-under-par 67 in the first round of the Barclays, but he could not break par the rest of the way and finished in a tie for 41st. It was better than the three missed cuts in his previous four outings, including the Open Championship and the PGA Championship, but he actually gained one spot to 54th in the FedEx Cup standings. He needs something special in the next two events to make the 30-man field at the Tour Championship. ... Luke will be making his seventh start in the Deutsche Bank Championship this week, and he challenged for the title at TPC Boston in 2010 and 2011. Three years ago, he posted four scores in the 60s and tied for second, five strokes behind Charley Hoffman, who ran away from the field by shooting 9-under-par 62 in the final round. In 2011, Donald recorded three rounds in the 60s but shot 70 in the second round and finished two shots out of the playoff in which Webb Simpson defeated Chez Reavie. Last year, he started with a 67 but could not break 70 the rest of the way and wound up in a tie for 26th. ... Donald was at even par through 11 holes of the first round at Liberty National, but then he reeled off four birdies in the next five holes to shoot his 67. However, he finished with three consecutive 71s, making only one birdie in the second round, carding bogeys on the last two holes in round three and recording three bogeys on the back nine on Sunday after a promising start in which he birdied the first two holes.
11. Bill Haas, United States -- Haas was at his best last week only when he shot a brilliant, bogey-free 5-under-par 66 in the second round of the Barclays. He wound up in a tie for 25th in the playoff opener. However, he has played so well this season after missing the Tour Championship a year ago that he slid only from fifth to eighth in the FedEx Cup standings heading to round two of the postseason schedule. ... The 2011 FedEx Cup champion will be making his eighth appearance in the Deutsche Bank Championship, and his only top-10 finish was a tie for ninth in 2004, three years before the playoff system was installed. He was second, two strokes behind eventual champion Vijay Singh, after starting with 69-64, but he played the weekend in 71-73. His best finish at TPC Boston during the playoffs was a tie for 15th in 2009, when he shot 5-under-par 66 in the second and final rounds but cost himself a top-10 result by posting a 72 in the third round. In his Cup-winning year, he could not break 70 and tied for 61st. Last year, he rallied after a slow start to shoot 68-69 on the weekend, but all it got him was a tie for 35th. ... Haas needed a sub-70 score in round two to make the cut last week at Liberty National after opening with a 73, and he reeled off three birdies in five holes through No. 17 after starting on the back nine before adding two on the front to make sure. However, he played the weekend in 71-70, spoiling his third round with his only bogeys of the day on Nos. 15 and 16. He made only two birdies on Sunday.
12. Webb Simpson, United States -- After a promising start of 66-67 that put him among the leaders in the Barclays, Simpson fell back with a 3-over-par 74 in the third round and eventually finished in a tie for 15th. He slipped one spot to 18th in the FedEx Cup standings, and he needs to play solid golf in the next two events of the playoffs in order to climb into the top 10 and give himself a chance to win the whole thing at the Tour Championship. ... Webb is playing in the Deutsche Bank Championship for the fifth time, and he claimed his only victory in the playoffs there in 2011 en route to finishing second to Bill Haas in the FedEx Cup standings. He got better every day, recording scores of 69-68-67-65, and then sank a 15-foot birdie putt to stay alive on the first hole of a playoff against Chez Reavie before winning with an eight-foot birdie putt on the next hole. It was his second victory on the PGA Tour and came two weeks after he broke through at the Wyndham Championship. Last year, the best he could do was shoot 5-under-par 66 in the third round on the way to a tie for 18th in his title defense at TPC Boston. ... Simpson recorded only three bogeys in the first 36 holes last week at Liberty National, but he put up a total of nine on the weekend, including five in his final round of 71. He got off to a promising start in round three by holing a six-foot birdie putt on the first hole, but that was the only one he would get all day. Simpson made only one bogey in the first round, at No. 15, but his best stretch of the week came when he reeled off six birdies in the first eight holes of the front nine in round two.
13. Steve Stricker, United States -- By staying at home in Wisconsin and missing an event in the PGA Tour playoffs for the first time since they started in 2007, Stricker slid eight positions to 28th in the FedEx Cup standings. More important, since he has said that he is playing in the postseason series only to improve his chance to make the Presidents Cup team on his own merit, he is 11th in those standings and at this point would have to rely on a captain's pick from Fred Couples to make the United States team for the matches in October at Muirfield Village. ... Stricker is playing this week in the Deutsche Bank Championship for the 11th time, and he claimed one of his two victories during the playoffs in 2009 at TPC Boston. He took the lead by shooting 8-under-par 63 in round one and played the weekend in 65-67 to hold off Scott Verplank and Jason Dufner by one stroke. Stricker actually was one stroke back when Verplank and Dufner made birdies ahead of him on the 18th hole, but he sank a 15-foot birdie putt on the 17th and then chipped to within tap-in range for a winning birdie on the final hole. Strick also tied for seventh at TPC Boston in 2006, tied for ninth in 2007 and finished solo ninth in 2009. ... Despite cutting back his schedule to 10 events so far this season, Stricker has played well, making every cut and finishing in the top 25 in eight of those tournaments, including five finishes in the top 10. He came in second in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and the WGC-Cadillac Championship, but he needs a victory in order to extend his streak of winning in each of the last four seasons.
14. Lee Westwood, England -- Hoping to move into the top 30 in the FedEx Cup standings with a big performance at the Barclays, Westwood was inconsistent in the playoff opener but basically didn't lose much ground by closing with his 3-under-par 68 to tie for 25th. He slipped four spots to 35th in the standings and has two more events in which to guarantee his spot in the field at the Tour Championship. ... Westy is making only his second appearance in the PGA Tour playoffs. Last year in his initial outing in the Deutsche Bank Championship, he finished in a tie for 13th. He recorded three rounds in the 60s at TPC Boston, including bookend 3-under-par 68s, but a 71 in the second round kept him from breaking into the top 10. Still, it was part of a strong postseason run, as Westwood tied for fifth in the Barclays and tied for second in the BMW Championship. He would like to add this Deutsche Bank title to the two he claimed in the Deutsche Bank-SAP Open-TPC of Europe in 1998 and 2002 at Gut Kaden Country Club in Alveslohe, Germany. ... Westwood was playing catch-up last week at Liberty National after he opened with a 2-over-par 73 that included a miserable start, with double-bogey 6s on the third and fifth holes while he played the front nine in 5-over 41. However, he carded three birdies in a span of five holes through No. 17 to save his round and his week. His 68s in the second and final rounds were very similar, as he carded six birdies and three bogeys each day, finishing strong with birdies on the 16th and 18th holes on Sunday.
15. Keegan Bradley, United States -- Bradley set a course record of 8-under-par 63, which lasted only one day at Liberty National before Kevin Chappell broke it by one stroke, but Keegan could not even equal par in any of his other three rounds in the Barclays. He finished in a tie for 33rd, and he slipped from 10th to 11th in the FedEx Cup standings heading to the second event of the PGA Tour playoffs. ... For the second consecutive week, the New England native and graduate of St. John's in New York will be a gallery favorite as he plays in the Deutsche Bank Championship for the third time. After shooting 68-76--144 to miss the cut by one stroke in 2011, the first event he played at TPC Boston, he bounced back to finish in a tie for 13th last year. After starting with 71-73 to make the cut right on the number, Bradley climbed the leaderboard by playing the weekend in 63-69. He carded seven birdies and an eagle in the third round, and he finished strong with three birdies on the last five holes in the final round. That was a far cry from the first two rounds, as he recorded five bogeys in seven holes through No. 7 the first day, and he made double-bogey 6s in the 13th and 15th holes the next day. ... Bradley sprinkled eight birdies across his scorecard in a bogey-free second round in the Barclays, but he had a total of only nine in the other three rounds. He needed a par on the 18th hole in the first round to shoot 70, but he hit his tee shot into an unplayable lie and took a penalty stroke. It took him five shots to reach the green, and he had to sink a five-foot putt for a double-bogey 6 to finish at 72.
16. Hunter Mahan, United States -- After a promising start with 69-68 in the first two rounds of the Barclays, Mahan played the weekend in 72-71 and wound up in a tie for 25th. He was hoping to solidify his spot in the top 30 of the FedEx Cup standings and guarantee his spot in the Tour Championship, but he remained 21st in the point standings and must play well in the next two playoff events. ... Hunter will be playing in the Deutsche Bank Championship for the 11th consecutive year, but he has only one top-10 finish to show for it, a tie for eighth two years ago. He posted three rounds in the 60s, but an even-par 71 in the second round left him five strokes out of the playoff in which Webb Simpson beat Chez Reavie. Mahan opened with a 64 in 2010, but he could not break 70 the rest of the way and finished in a tie for 33rd. He posted another 64 in the second round in 2008, and he closed with a 69 to wind up in a tie for 15th, his second-best finish at TPC Boston. ... Mahan carded only three bogeys in the first two rounds last week at Liberty National, but he posted seven more and a double bogey while falling back on the weekend. After a slow start with bogeys on the fourth and fifth holes in round three, he seemed to get back on track when he birdied three consecutive holes through No. 8. Then he hit his tee shot on the next hole into an unplayable lie, had to take a penalty stroke and needed five shots to reach the green en route to a double-bogey 6.
17. Ernie Els, South Africa -- Needing to make a move at the start of the PGA Tour playoffs to guarantee his spot in the first three events, Els instead shot 73-74--147 and missed the cut by five strokes in the Barclays. He missed the weekend for the fourth time this season on the PGA Tour, the second time in his last three outings, and he slid nine positions to 91st in the FedEx Cup standings. The top 100 will play this week in the Deutsche Bank Championship, but Els needs a strong performance to climb into the top 70 to make the field for the BMW Championship. ... This will be the Big Easy's sixth start in the Deutsche Bank Championship, or every one since the start of the PGA Tour playoffs in 2007, and he has been unable to match the tie for third he recorded at TPC Boston in that first year. In 2007, he reeled off rounds of 66-65-69 at TPC Boston before closing with a 1-under-par 69 and finished eight strokes behind runaway winner Vijay Singh. Els shot 65 in the second round two years ago, but he could not break 70 in any of this other three rounds and finished in a tie for 15th. After opening with 69-69 a year ago to sit in a tie for 19th with a chance to make a run up the leaderboard on the weekend, he instead played the last two rounds in 71-70 to tie for 26th. ... Els got to the back nine on Friday at Liberty National needing a rally to make the cut, but he hit his approach at No. 10 into a miserable spot in a greenside bunker and needed three shots to escape while carding a triple-bogey 7. He carded three birdies down the stretch, but it was too late.
18. Graeme McDowell, Northern Ireland -- G-Mac's strange season continued when he shot 71-72--143 and missed the cut in the Barclays by one stroke. He has claimed three victories around the world since April, but he also has failed to make it to the weekend six times on both major tours during that stretch. He fell from 28th to 44th in the FedEx Cup standings and needs good performance in the next two rounds of the playoffs to regain a spot in the top 30 in order to reach the Tour Championship. ... McDowell has played in the Deutsche Bank Championship, and the PGA Tour playoffs, only in the last two years and has yet to figure out TPC Boston. The only time he broke 70 in the tournament came when he shot 3-under-par 68 in 2011 on his way to a tie for 37th that left him out of the top 70 in the FedEx Cup standings, so he missed the last two playoff tournaments. Last year, he started with 74-70 to make the cut right on the number in the second event of the playoffs, but it got worse on the weekend, which he played in 75-72 and wound up in a tie for 74th. ... G-Mac came to his final hole in the second round, No. 9, needing a birdie to play on the weekend, and gave himself a chance, but he missed a 10-foot putt and had to settle for par. He was one stroke inside the cut line before hitting his drive into the water on No. 6 and missing a 10-foot putt for par. But his biggest problem came at No. 18, where he hit two bunkers, needed four shots to reach the green and missed a nine-foot putt to card a double-bogey 6.
19. Zach Johnson, United States -- While skipping the Barclays, opener of the PGA Tour playoffs, to be the best man at his brother's wedding, Johnson slid seven spots to 25th in the FedEx Cup standings. If he can pick up where he left off at the end of the regular season, when he posted five consecutive finishes in the top 10, he should be able to make up that ground quickly, perhaps this week in the Deutsche Bank Championship. ... Zach will be making his eighth start at TPC Boston, and his best result was a tie for 13th in 2004, three years before the advent of the playoffs, when he posted bookend 3-under-pat 68s. He has two other top-20 finishes in the Deutsche Bank, a tie for 16th in 2011 and a tie for 19th in 2009, recording three rounds in the 60s each time. In 2010, he opened with a 9-under-par 63 to tie for the lead but could not break par the rest of the way and wound up in a tie for 30th. ... Coming off a season in which he won the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial and the John Deere Classic, Johnson did not have a top-10 finish until he was solo third in his title defense at Colonial, in his 13th start. However, in his last five starts, he lost to rookie Jordan Spieth in his title defense at the John Deere, tied for sixth in the Open Championship, tied for fourth in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational, tied for eighth in the PGA Championship and tied for fifth in the Wyndham Championship. The way he is playing, his 10th PGA Tour victory might not be far away.
20. Bubba Watson, United States -- Playing some of best golf of the season until faltering on the final holes, Watson finished in a tie for 13th in the Barclays, when it appeared he would surpass his previous best finish in the event, a tie for 10th last year. He climbed 11 spots in the FedEx Cup standings to 27th, and with solid performances in the next two events, he would remain in the top 30 and qualify for the Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta. ... Bubba will tee it up this week in the Deutsche Bank Championship for the eighth consecutive year, and he has yet to crack the top 10 at TPC Boston. His best result was a tie for 12th in 2006, in his first appearance in the tournament and the year before the PGA Tour went to its playoff format. Two years ago, Bubba held a one-stroke lead through 54 holes after putting up scores of 68-64-70, but he struggled home with a 2-over-par 74 and wound up in a tie for 16th. Last year, he posted a score of 75-72--147 and missed the cut for the second time at TPC Boston by three strokes. His other missed cut came in 2007, when his score of 78-69--147 fell four shots short. ... Watson posted scores of 3-under-par 68 in the first and third rounds last week at Liberty National and appeared to be on his way to equaling or surpassing that when he was 3 under through 14 holes on Sunday. Then he carded a bogey on the 15th hole and drove into an unplayable lie on the final hole en route to a double-bogey 6 to finish off a 71 that dropped him out of the top 10.
Others receiving consideration: Ian Poulter, England; Jordan Spieth, United States; Henrik Stenson, Sweden; Patrick Reed, United States; Charl Schwartzel, South Africa; Sergio Garcia, Spain; Jason Day, Australia; Charles Howell III, United States; Martin Laird, Scotland; Angel Cabrera, Argentina; Kevin Streelman, United States; D.A. Points, United States; Billy Horschel, United States; John Merrick, United States; Russell Henley, United States; David Lingmerth, Sweden; Sang-Moon Bae, South Korea; Boo Weekley, United States; Harris English, United States; Jonas Blixt, Sweden.