Hunter Mahan fired a final-round six under par 65 on Sunday afternoon at The Ridgewood Country Club to win The Barclays and completely changed the landscape of the FedEx Cup playoffs. The 32 year-old Mahan picked up his first win since the 2012 Shell Houston Open, vaulted up 61 spots in the points standings, and sent a message to 2014 Ryder Cup Captain, Tom Watson, “now you have to use one of your three Captain’s picks on me!”
The victory on Sunday afternoon gave Hunter Mahan a 776 point lead in the standings over Rory McIlroy, who assumed the number one position after his three consecutive wins. With 2500 points to the winners during the playoffs, we should see more changes before this thing is over.
Only the top 100 players will move on to TPC Boston for The Deutsche Bank this week. Some of the notable players who will not have tee times in Boston on Thursday include Lee Westwood, Nick Watney and Jonas Blixt.
Both Westwood, and Watney had Ryder Cup hopes for the 2014 season, and look to be done for the season. Westwood was looking for a nod from Paul McGinley, and Watney was in the conversation last week around the PGA as one of Tom Watson’s picks.
I’m not sure the Westwood conversation is over, he still remains as one of Team Europe’s better match-play options, but Nick Watney is like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on the golf course. With only three picks, I don’t see Nick Watney as an option for Team USA.
Speaking of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, by missing the cut at The Barclays, 2012 FedEx Cup champ, Brandt Snedeker has put himself squarely on the bubble at TPC Boston.
Snedeker was one of my picks to make the Ryder Cup, but he will need to make the cut at The Deutsche Bank if he wants to move on to the BMW, and in my eyes, become a legitimate Captain’s pick for team USA.
Other big names who struggled with the small quirky greens at Ridgewood Country Club, and are in danger of being out of the playoffs after the Deutsche Bank are Jason Dufner, Luke Donald, and Paul Casey.
Those who are inside the 70-player bubble in Boston, but need to play well are 2013 Champ, Henrik Stenson, Scott Brown, and K.J. Choi.
Stenson shot a seven under par 64 on Friday, and looked to be among the contenders on Saturday morning, but a six over par disaster left the big Swede with a big hill to climb on Sunday. He fired a three under par 68 in the finale’ and finished in a tie for 38th place.
Had he not moved up on Sunday, he would have not had a tee-time at TPC Boston this week.
The world’s number one, Rory McIlroy just couldn’t figure out the greens this week. He continued to drive the ball well, but couldn’t make a putt that counted.
McIlroy’s six under par 65 on Friday kept him from missing the 36-hole cut, but a total of two under par on the weekend will not win many tournaments on the PGA Tour. He leaves New Jersey in second place, and well within grasp of winning it all at East Lake. All he needs is to get some putts to fall at TPC Boston, or Cherry Hills.