The Sports Xchange's PGA Tour rankings are selected by TSX Golf Staff, based on play in the 2011 and 2012 seasons, with more emphasis on recent results.
1. Rory McIlroy, Northern Ireland -- Even though McIlroy finished better than the other two players, Tiger Woods and Zach Johnson, in the featured group the first two rounds of the Barclays, that didn't mean much. The PGA champion could manage only a tie for 24th in the opener of the PGA Tour playoffs and dropped one spot to fourth in the FedEx Cup standings. ... This is only Rory's second venture into the playoffs, and so he is in the field for the Deutsche Bank Championship for the second time, having finished in a tie for 37th in 2010. He torched TPC Boston for a 7-under-par 64 in the first round and was only one shot behind leader Jason Day. However, despite the cheers of the many Irish fans in the area, he struggled to a 76 the following day, and his 69-71 on the weekend wasn't nearly enough to get him back in the running ... McIlroy shot 2-under-par 69s in the first and third rounds at Bethpage Black but also shot 73 in the second round and 72 in the last. Slow starts cost him in both of those so-so rounds -- he carded four bogeys in the first eight holes on Friday and three in the first five on Sunday. Rory gave himself a chance for a high finish by carding four birdies in a flawless stretch of nine holes through No. 15 on Sunday but stumbled home with two bogeys down the stretch. He hit in the neighborhood of 70 percent of the fairways and greens but averaged 31.0 putts per round, taking at least 30 each day.
2. Tiger Woods, United States -- It was the same story we've seen too often from Woods this season: He started quickly before fading on the weekend and plummeted to a tie for 38th in the Barclays. That cost him his lead in the FedEx Cup standings -- he fell to third -- and he seemed lost again as he played the back nine at Bethpage Black on Sunday in 5-over-par 40. ... Woods has played in the Deutsche Bank Championship seven times previously and has finished lower than 11th at TPC Boston only when he tied for 40th in 2005, when he opened with a 6-under-par 65 but could not break 70 the rest of the way. He won the tournament in 2006, the year before the PGA Tour playoffs were instituted, opening with a 66 and closing with a 63 to beat Vijay Singh by two strokes. He also tied for second twice, in 2007, following an opening 72 with 64-67-67 to finish two shots behind Phil Mickelson, and in 2002, when he posted four rounds in the 60s but wound up three strokes behind Singh. ... Tiger opened with 68-69 last week at Bethpage Black, where he captured the 2002 U.S. Open, but played the weekend in 72-76, falling out of the top 10 late Sunday after being there from the start. He was frustrated by the greens in round three, when he ended a streak of no three-putt greens through 38 holes with four in a span of 12 holes, the first time he's had that many in a round in his career. By late in the final round, he didn't have a thing -- carded a double-bogey 6 on No. 12 and following with three bogeys in the next four holes.
3. Luke Donald, England -- Donald posted his seventh top-10 of the season on the PGA Tour last week in the Barclays, shooting 69-70 on the weekend to wind up in a tie for 10th. It was his third top-10 in his last four outings; he missed only when he tied for 32nd in the PGA Championship. He moved up two positions in the FedEx Cup standings to 14th heading to the second round. ... Donald has been close to winning the Deutsche Bank Championship each of the last two years and has to be considered one of the favorites to finally break through in his sixth appearance this week at TPC Boston. Two years ago, he opened with a 6-under-par 65 and added three more rounds in the 60s but tied for second when Charlie Hoffman closed with a 62 to win by five strokes. Last year, Luke opened with a 66 and shot 68-67 on the weekend to tie for third, two shots out of the playoff in which Webb Simpson beat Chez Reavie. ... Donald opened with a 3-under-par 68 last week at Bethpage Black, carding all four of his birdies in a span of seven holes while finishing on the front nine. He basically lost his chance to win the tournament by shooting 74 the next day, when he recorded four bogeys in a span of five holes through No. 5 and added a double-bogey 5 at the 17th hole. Carding seven bogeys while shooting 69-70 on the weekend merely gave him a respectable finish. He hit only a little more than half the fairways and greens but averaged 28.0 putts per round.
4. Jason Dufner, United States -- Duf's decision to skip the Barclays, opener of the PGA Tour playoffs, was not unprecedented -- Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson also have missed playoff events in the past. Also, Jim Furyk was disqualified from the Barclays for missing his tee time in the pro-am and still captured the FedEx Cup two years ago. Woods passed on the Barclays in 2007 and still captured the FedEx Cup, while Mickelson missed the BMW Championship in 2007 and wound up third in the standings. ... Dufner, who slipped from second to sixth in the standings while he was idle last week, will play in the Deutsche Bank Championship for the fifth time and nearly won the tournament in 2009. He posted four rounds in the 60s and capped his closing round of 6-under-par 65 with a two-putt birdie on the 72nd hole to take a one-stroke lead. However, Steve Stricker leap-frogged him with birdies on the last two holes and claimed a one-stroke victory. Last year, he started with 68-67 at TPC Boston but shot 74-70 on the weekend and wound up in a tie for 31st. ... Dufner said he needed a break last week after playing in three consecutive tournaments, especially since the playoffs and the Ryder Cup would have meant playing six times in a span of seven weeks. He said he felt a little fatigued a week earlier at the Wyndham Championship, where he had a chance to claim his third victory of the year but was unable to make a charge in the final round and tied for seventh.
5. Bubba Watson, United States -- Playing solid but not spectacular golf throughout the Barclays, Bubba could not break 70 in any of his four rounds but holed a 32-foot foot birdie putt on the final hole that left him in a tie for 10th. He recorded his sixth top-10 finish of the season but still dropped two spots to seventh in the FedEx Cup standings, well within striking distance with three rounds remaining. ... The Masters champion will tee it up this week in the Deutsche Bank Championship for the seventh time. The best he has done at TPC Boston was a tie for 12th in 2006, the first time he played the event and a year before the start of the PGA Tour playoffs. After failing to crack the top 30 in his next four appearances in the tournament, he tied for 16th last year, opening with 68-64-70 to take a one-stroke lead into the final round before falling back by shooting 3-over-par 74. It would have been his first victory in the playoffs. ... Watson started with three consecutive rounds of 70 last week at Bethpage Black, carding bogeys on the final hole in the first and third rounds to fail to get in the 60s. He had at least three birdies in each round and had a total of 14, in addition to an eagle on the fourth hole of the first round, but nullified much of that good work with 13 bogeys. What he needed was to hole a few more putts -- he averaged 30.3 over the first three rounds before taking only 28 when it was too late to make a real move on Sunday.
6. Zach Johnson, United States -- Playing alongside Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy in the first two rounds of the Barclays, Johnson managed to make the cut right on the number at 68-75--143 when he holed a seven-foot birdie putt on the 18th hole in round two. However, he shot 72-70 on the weekend and wound up in a tie for 38th at Bethpage Black, slipping one spot to fifth in the FedEx Cup standings. ... Zach will make his seventh appearance in the Deutsche Bank Championship this week. He posted his best finish at TPC Boston when he tied for 13th on the strength of bookend 3-under-par 68s in 2004. He broke into the top 20 only once in the next four tries, with a tie for 19th in 2009, when he again posted bookend 68s. Last year, he rolled out three consecutive scores in the 60s before settling for a 70 in the final round and tied for 16th. ... Johnson played well in round one at Bethpage Black, making only a single bogey as he matched Woods' 68 and finished one shot better than McIlroy. His best stretch of the week came when he carded three birdies in a span of four holes through No. 7 while finishing on the front nine in round one. He got off on the wrong foot Saturday, recording bogeys on the first two holes, and never recovered. The worst came when he hit his tee shot at No. 8 into a tree and it apparently never came down, leading to a triple-bogey 6. His best shot of the week came when he holed his second shot for an eagle from 166 yards on the 15th hole while closing with a 70.
7. Hunter Mahan, United States -- Still looking for the form that took him to victories in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship and the Shell Houston Open earlier this season, Mahan shot 73-74--147 and missed the cut by four strokes last week in the Barclays. It was his second consecutive missed cut and third of the season, the others coming in the PGA Championship and the Players Championship. He slipped from sixth to 12th in the FedEx Cup standings and certainly didn't do anything to improve his chances of being one of Davis Love III's four Captain's Picks for the Ryder Cup. ... Last year, Hunter recorded his best finish in nine appearances at the Deutsche Bank Championship, breaking the par of 71 three times en route to a tie for eighth. He missed the cut in three of his first five tries at TPC Boston before tying for 15th in 2008, when he shot 64 in the second round. That was only his second score in the 60s in his first 16 rounds at TPC Boston, but he finally seems to be getting the hang of the course and has broken 70 eight times since. ... Mahan got off to a poor start with birdies on three of six holes in round one after teeing off on No. 10 last week in Bethpage Black, and he never recovered. He carded only three birdies in his 36 holes, only one when he needed a Friday rally. Mahan hit barely 60 percent of the fairways and greens while averaging 32.5 putts per round, including 34 in the second round.
8. Phil Mickelson, United States -- Mickelson was another player who went away disappointed after so looking forward to Bethpage Black, where he twice finished second in U.S. Opens -- he closed with a 5-over-par 76 that left him in a tie for 38th in the Barclays. That dropped him three positions to 17th in the FedEx Cup standings and looking for his first top-25 finish since a tie for seventh in the HP Byron Nelson Championship in May, seven events back. ... Lefty has two victories during the PGA Tour playoffs and the first came in the 2007 Deutsche Bank Championship, when he opened with a 1-under-par 70 and then ran off scores of 64-68-66 to win by two strokes over Tiger Woods, Brett Wetterich and Arron Oberholser. He had another chance to win in 2010 when he put up rounds of 69-65-67, but he closed with a 76 and skidded to a tie for 25th. Mickelson recorded his best finish in the tournament since his victory when he shot 63-69 on the weekend last year to tie for 10th. ... Mickelson opened with a 68 last week at Bethpage Black and also shot 67 in the third round. He seemed headed for another strong finish on Friday despite his only double bogey of the week on the fifth hole, but he closed with three consecutive bogeys to shoot 74. The final round was a disaster as he recorded seven bogeys from the sixth hole to the 18th, equaling his total from the first three rounds combined. Mickelson has been so frustrated with his putting that he went to the "Saw" grip with mixed results: He took 28 putts in the first and third rounds and 30 on each of the other two days.
9. Webb Simpson, United States -- The U.S. Open champion didn't have the start he was expecting in the PGA Tour playoffs, shooting 71-73--144 to miss the cut by one stroke in the Barclays. It was his fourth missed cut of the season and second in the last three events -- he also missed the weekend in the PGA Championship earlier this month. Simpson, who finished second in the FedEx Cup race to Bill Haas last season, slid seven spots to 20th in the standings. ... Two weeks after claiming the first victory of his PGA Tour career last year in the Wyndham Championship, Simpson doubled down when he holed an eight-foot birdie putt on the second playoff hole to turn back Chez Reavie in the Deutsche Bank Championship. After missing the cut in his first two appearances at TPC Boston, Webb posted four rounds in the 60s, punctuating his 6-under-par 65 in the final round. He holed a 30-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to force the playoff and also sank an 18-foot birdie putt on the first extra hole to stay alive. ... Simpson came to his final hole of the second round, No. 9 at Bethpage Black, last week needing a birdie to play on the weekend. He hit the green in two but ran his 28-foot putt past the hole and settled for a par. However, what really cost him was a triple-bogey 7 at the fifth hole, where he pulled his drive well left, had to play out sideways and took five shots to reach the green. Simpson hit more than 75 percent of the fairways and greens but averaged 31 putts.
10. Keegan Bradley, United States -- Despite playing before a big gallery at Bethpage Black, which he played often while attending St. John's, Bradley posted a 71-73--144 and missed the cut by one stroke in the PGA Tour playoff opener, the Barclays. It was his fourth missed cut of the season in 22 events and the first since the Memorial in June, and it dropped him from eighth to 13th in the FedEx Cup standings heading to another "home game" in the Deutsche Bank Championship. ... Last year, a few days after throwing out the first pitch before the Red Sox played the Yankees at Fenway Park, Bradley shot 68-76--144 and disappointed the home crowd when he missed the cut by a single stroke in his rookie appearance in the Deutsche Bank at TPC Boston. The New England native put himself right inside the cut-line with his only birdie of the second round at No. 17 but hit his second shot on the final hole into a bunker and made a bogey that left him on the outside looking in. ... Bradley gave himself a chance to play on the weekend last week in the Barclays by hitting his tee shot on the 17th hole to within three feet of the hole to set up a birdie that left him one shot off the cut-line. Needing a birdie on the last hole to play on the weekend, he gave himself a good chance by hitting his approach to within 15 feet but ran his putt past the hole and missed the cut in the Barclays for the second consecutive year. After taking 28 putts with his belly putter on Thursday, he needed 33 the next day.
11. Ernie Els, South Africa -- The Big Easy opened with a 3-under-par 68 last week in the Barclays but could not equal the par of 71 the rest of the way and finished in a tie for 54th in the opener of the PGA Tour playoffs. That dropped him seven spots to 18th to in the FedEx Cup standings. ... Els finished in a tie for 16th in the Deutsche Bank Championship last year, which was barely enough to put him in the 70-man field for the next event of the PGA Tour playoffs, the BMW Championship, at 68th in the FedEx Cup standings. He has played four times at TPC Boston, and his best result was a tie for third in 2008, when he opened with three rounds in the 60s before his 1-under-par 70 in the final round left him eight shots behind winner Vijay Singh, who ran off with the title by shooting 63. ... Ernie played a four-hole stretch in 5-under early in the opening round last week at Bethpage Black but never had anything close to that the rest of the way. After he carded eight birdies and an eagle over the first two rounds, he had only one more birdie while shooting 72-75 on the weekend, none in the final round. To make matters worse, he committed a cardinal sin for long hitters by carding two double bogeys on par-5 holes, No. 4 in the second round and No. 13 in the last. He hit a little more than 60 percent of the fairways and greens, and after taking 27 putts with his belly putter on Thursday, he averaged 31.3 over the last three rounds.
12. Justin Rose, England -- Rose struggled through the middle rounds last week at Bethpage Black, shooting 72-79, and wound up in a tie for 46th in the Barclays. That was his worst finish since a tie for 51st in the Players Championship in May, and he slipped three positions to 15th in the FedEx Cup standings heading to the second round of the PGA Tour playoffs. ... The Englishman finished solo third the first time he played in the Deutsche Bank Championship in 2003 and tied for fourth in 2006, but he has not fared nearly as well since the PGA Tour playoffs were first played in 2007 and the tournament became the second event of the postseason. His best result in four tries since was a tie for 54th in 2008, and he has missed the cut twice. He tied for 68th last year. Rose shot 8-under-par 63 in the first competitive round he played at TPC Boston but has not come closer to that than 66s, in 2005 and 2009, since. ... Last week, Rose started with a bogey-free 4-under-par 67 at Bethpage Black and finished with a 68, carding four birdies in each round. However, in between, he simply was not very good, especially on Saturday. He collected seven bogeys, a double on No. 8 and only a single birdie, at No. 12, in recording his second 79 of the season, the other coming in round two of the PGA Championship. He rallied to tie for third at Kiawah Island but could not do it this time. Rose had a total of 54 putts in the first and last rounds and 65 in the other two, including 35 on Saturday.
13. Matt Kuchar, United States -- Another player who could manage only one good round in the Barclays, a 3-under-par 68 in the second round, Kuchar finished in a tie for 38th. Coming off his missed cut in the PGA Championship, he has no momentum at the moment and slid from ninth to 11th in the FedEx Cup standings. ... Kooch never has finished in the top 10 in eight appearances in the Deutsche Bank Championship but hopes to change that this week at TPC Boston. His best result in round two of the playoffs was a tie for 11th in 2010, when he was one shot out of the lead after starting with 66-65 but then shot 72-71 in the last two rounds. He has posted two other finishes in the top 20, a tie for 17th in 2004 and a tie for 15th in 2009, and last year he shot 69 three times en route to a tie for 25th. ... Kuchar made only one bogey in his second round but carded 10 over the other 54 holes at Bethpage Black. He seemed headed for a solid round on Saturday but made bogeys on each of the last three holes and wound up with a 73. He lost the touch with his long putter on the weekend, taking 65 putts in the last two rounds after needing only 56 on the first two days. That spoiled some good ball-striking; he ranked among the leaders by hitting in the neighborhood of 70 percent of the fairways and greens. The highlight of Kuchar's week came when he hit a 302-yard drive, a 248-yard second shot and holed a 25-foot eagle putt on the seventh hole in round two.
14. Dustin Johnson, United States -- Johnson did more than most of the players trying to persuade Davis Love III that he deserves one of four Captain's picks for the U.S. Ryder Cup team, rallying with a 3-under-par 68 in the final round to tie for third in the Barclays. His sixth top-10 finish of the season lifted him 18 spots to eighth in the FedEx Cup standings and should guarantee that he will make the top 30 to qualify for the Tour Championship after a year in which he has been slowed by injuries. ... DJ will be playing for the fourth time in the Deutsche Bank Championship, but after tying for fourth in his first appearance at TPC Boston in 2009, he has not fared so well the last two years. In 2010, he tied for 57th despite shooting 68-69 in the middle rounds -- he was brought down by bookend rounds of 1-over-par 73. Last year, Johnson started with 68-71-67, but a closing 75 left him in a tie for 42nd. In 2009, he opened with 68-65 and closed with a 66 to finish two strokes behind champion Ernie Els. ... Johnson opened with a 67 last week at Bethpage Black and hung around despite shooting 71-72 in the middle rounds before making his charge to within three strokes of the lead at one stage on Sunday. He also played well most of the way in round three, making four birdies in a span of seven holes through No. 13, but double-bogey 6s on the sixth and 18th holes kept him from really challenging the leaders in the final round.
15. Brandt Snedeker, United States -- Shooting the par of 71 or better every day, Snedeker got off to a great start in the PGA Tour playoffs, finishing solo second, three strokes behind champion Nick Watney in the Barclays. By recording his fifth top-10 finish of the season, including a victory in the Farmers Insurance Open, he rose 17 positions to second in the FedEx Cup standings and improved his Ryder Cup chances. ... Snedeker probably can't wait to get to TPC Boston this week after the way he played there the last two years in the BMW Championships. In 2009, he reeled off rounds of 66-64-67 and was one stroke out of the lead but closed with an even-par 71 and tied for fifth. Last year, Sneds also recorded three rounds in the 60s, including a 7-under-par 64 in round two, but a 72 the next day helped lead to a tie for third, two strokes out of the playoff in which Webb Simpson defeated Chez Reavie. In his three previous appearances, he couldn't crack the top 25. ... Snedeker capped his week at the Barclays by holing a 16-foot birdie putt on the final hole to sneak ahead of fading Sergio Garcia and Dustin Johnson for second place. He posted bookend rounds of 70 and played the middle rounds in 69-68 thanks to some stellar play on the front nine. While finishing round two on the front, he carded three birdies in a span of five holes, and the next day he started with four birdies in the first seven. In fact, Snedeker played the front nine in 9-under for the week and was 2-over on the back.
16. Steve Stricker, United States -- Getting off to his worst start in the six-year history of the PGA Tour playoffs, Stricker could break 70 only when he opened with 2-under-par 69 and struggled to a tie for 54th in the Barclays. His worst previous finish since the event became the playoff opener in 2007 was a tie for 24th last year, and he slipped from 10th to 16th in the FedEx Cup standings. It also was his worst result of the year other than his only missed cut, in the Players Championship. ... Strick missed the cut in the first of his nine appearances in the Deutsche Bank Championship but has warmed to the course in the ensuing years with four top-10 finishes, including a victory in 2009. He opened with an 8-under-par 63 that year, and after shooting 72 the next day, he played the weekend in 65-67 to win by one stroke over Jason Dufner and Scott Verplank. Stricker was one shot behind before holing a 15-foot birdie putt on No. 17 and chipped to within tap-in range on the final hole to claim his second victory in the playoffs, the other coming in the 2007 Barclays. ... Stricker was 4-under for the tournament through 25 holes last week at Bethpage Black before losing his touch and playing the last 47 holes in 7-over. After a second-round 71, he finished with 73-74 despite starting with three birdies in the first seven holes on Saturday. Then came four bogeys in five holes and a double-bogey 6 at No. 15. After taking 27 putts on Thursday he averaged 31.7 the rest of the way, including 34 on Sunday, when had only one birdie.
17. Nick Watney, United States -- A year ago, Watney led the FedEx Cup standings after the regular season, but after a mediocre 2012 season it took a three-stroke victory last week in the Barclays to vault him back to the top of the heap from 49th place. He did it by outplaying Sergio Garcia, who captured the Wyndham Championship a week earlier, head-to-head in the final two rounds and gave Davis Love III something else to think about when it comes to his four Captain's Picks. ... Nick will try to protect his lead this week in the Deutsche Bank Championship, but he has not played well at TPC Boston. He missed the cut in his first five appearances before tying for 46th in 2009, tying for 33rd in 2010 and tying for 61st last year, when he closed with a 9-over-par 80. ... Watney turned a two-stroke deficit into a three-stroke lead by carding three birdies in a four-hole span through No. 10 to win at Bethpage Black with a 69 as Garcia faded with a 75 after starting the final round with a two-stroke lead. It was the fifth PGA Tour victory for the Fresno State graduate, who built his FedEx Cup lead last year by winning the WGC-Cadillac Championship and the Memorial Tournament. His opening round of 65 at Bethpage Black was marred only by a double-bogey 5 at No. 14 but was his only big number of the week. He carded eight birdies that day and led the field for the week with 23, punctuating his victory with a 10-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole. It was his fourth finish in the top 10 and 10th in the top 25 in what had been a disappointing year until now.
18. Lee Westwood, England -- By sinking an eight-foot birdie putt on the final hole of the Barclays, Westwood finished in a tie for fifth, his best result on the PGA Tour since he recorded four finishes in the top five early in the season. That lifted him 24 positions to 27th in the FedEx Cup standings in his first foray into the playoffs as his switch to new short-game coach Tony Johnstone seemed to pay some immediate dividends after he dropped swing coach Pete Cowen. ... This is Westwood's initial appearance in the playoffs, and he will play in the Deutsche Bank Championship this week at TPC Boston for the first time. In fact, the only time he played competitively in New England came in the 1999 Ryder Cup at the Country Club in Brookline, Mass., where he posted a 3-2 record, including a 3-and-2 loss to Tom Lehman in Sunday singles when the United States rallied for an improbable 14 1/2-13 1/2 victory. ... Coming off his missed cut in the PGA Championship, Westwood broke par in three of four rounds at Bethpage Black, missing only when he carded three late bogeys in a round of 1-over 72 on Friday. He opened with a 69, recording three birdies in a span of four holes through No. 14 after starting on the back nine, and shot 68 in the third round, when he made four birdies in the first eight holes and closed with 10 consecutive pars. After taking a total of 67 putts the first two days, he solved the greens and had 55 on the weekend.
19. Adam Scott, Australia -- Still looking for the form he displayed before his collapse late in the Open Championship, Scott could break 70 only when he shot 2-under-par 69 last week on his way to solo 62nd in the Barclays. He dropped two spots to 34th in the FedEx Cup standings and must play well in the next two weeks to make the top 30 and qualify for the Tour Championship. ... Scott will be looking to make a move in the standings this week, as he did each of the last two years in the Deutsche Bank Championship. In 2010, he posted four rounds in the 60s, including 65-67 on the weekend, to tie for fifth, six strokes behind winner Charley Hoffman. Last year, he opened with 69-63 to share the lead but came home in 71-71 and wound up in a tie for eighth. Before the tournament at TPC Boston became part of the playoffs in 2007, Scott claimed his first PGA Tour title in the event, shooting 9-under-par 62 in round two en route to a four-stroke victory over Rocco Mediate in 2003. In his title defense, he closed with a 65 and tied for second, three shots behind Vijay Singh. ... After carding only four bogeys while starting 70-69 last week at Bethpage Black, Scott recorded 11 bogeys and a double bogey while shooting 74-75 on the weekend. He had problems with his long putter, averaging 30.5 putts per round, including an ugly three-putt from nine feet on the eighth hole in the final round, when he took 31 putts.
T20. Rickie Fowler, United States -- Rickie started fast with a 4-under-par 67 in the Barclays but could not break 70 in any of the last three rounds of the Barclays to wind up in a tie for 24th. Not only did he slip one spot to 19th in the FedEx Cup standings, he did little that might convince Davis Love III that he deserves one of four Captain's Picks for the U.S. Ryder Cup team. ... Fowler needs to make a move this week in the Deutsche Bank Championship, and his two previous appearances at TPC Boston began with promise before one bad round cost him each time. In 2010, he started with 67-70 before shooting 3-over-par 74 in round three, and a closing 70 left him in a tie for 41st. Last year, he was three strokes out of the lead after rounds of 68-67-70 but made his only birdie of the final day on the seventh hole in a round of 77 that dropped him to a tie for 51st. ... Fowler reeled off four consecutive birdies through No. 16 near the end of his first round last week at Bethpage Black and then added three more in the first seven holes the next day before running out of steam. He had only a single bogey over his first 26 holes but carded 11 bogeys and two double bogeys over his last 46 holes. The worst came when he was at 1-under through 11 holes in the second round but recorded three consecutive bogeys and had a double bogey-bogey finish to shoot 75. On Sunday, he was 3-under through 10 holes before his second double led to only a 71.
T20. Bill Haas, United States -- The first round of the PGA Tour playoffs did not go well for the defending FedEx Cup champion as Haas shot 71-75--146 and missed the cut by three strokes in the Barclays. He missed the cut for the fifth time in 21 events and dropped eight spots to 29th in the points standings, and he needs some good results in the next few weeks ensure a spot in the top 30 so he can defend his title in the Tour Championship. ... You wouldn't have given Haas much of a chance to win the FedEx Cup with a victory in the Tour Championship a few weeks later the way he played last year in the Deutsche Bank Championship. He could not break 70 in any of his four rounds at TPC Boston and finished in a tie for 61st. His best result in six appearances in the tournament was a tie for ninth in 2004, three years before it became the second event of the PGA Tour playoffs. His best finish in Boston since the playoffs began came in 2009, when he posted three rounds in the 70s, but a 1-over-par 72 in round three led to a tie for 15th. ... After carding one bogey and one birdie in an opening 71 last week at Bethpage Black, Haas made bogeys on his first two holes on Friday after starting at No. 10, and he never got back on track. His only birdie of the day came at No. 14, and he also started the front nine with consecutive bogeys. He hit barely half the fairways and greens in addition to taking 30 putts each day.
Others receiving consideration: Charl Schwartzel, South Africa; Sergio Garcia, Spain; Graeme McDowell, Northern Ireland; Louis Oosthuizen, South Africa; Johnson Wagner, United States; Kyle Stanley, United States; Robert Garrigus, United States; Jim Furyk, United States; Kevin Na, United States; Carl Pettersson, Sweden; Ben Curtis, United States; John Huh, United States; Marc Leishman, Australia; Bo Van Pelt, United States; Scott Piercy, United States.