Adam Scott said he received “a bit of a gift” after erasing a six-shot final-round deficit and holding on for a one-stroke win at golf’s Barclays, the first of the U.S. PGA Tour’s four playoff events.
The Masters champion shot a 5-under-par 66 during yesterday’s final round at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, New Jersey, and finished with a four-round total of 11-under 273. Tiger Woods, Graham DeLaet of Canada, Gary Woodland and U.S. Open winner Justin Rose of England tied for second at 10 under, with Woods, Woodland and Rose all missing putts with a chance to force a tie on the last hole.
Scott started his final round about 90 minutes before the leaders teed off and his rally was the largest in tournament history, surpassing five-stroke comebacks by Bobby Nichols in 1973, Vijay Singh in 1993 and Matt Kuchar in 2010.
“I played a good round of golf but I didn’t think it was good enough,” said the 33-year-old Scott, who made the last of his five final-round birdies with a 15-foot putt at the 16th hole. “The closing holes threw up a challenge on these guys and luck was definitely on my side.”
Woods, who led the FedEx Cup playoff standings entering the tournament, rebounded from three bogeys in a six-hole stretch with birdies on the 16th and 17th holes to get within one of Scott. Woods’s second shot bounced over the green at the 18th hole, which has views of the New York City skyline and the Statue of Liberty, and his 25-foot (7.6 meter) birdie putt from a collection area stopped about an inch short of the cup.
“I had a chance,” said Woods, who was bothered by occasional back spasms after the 12th hole. “I hit a good putt and thought I made it. I was in a perfect spot, unfortunately just couldn’t finish off the rest of the way.”
Woodland missed a 9 1/2-foot birdie putt with a chance to tie for the lead at the 17th hole and then had a 10-foot birdie try trickle left of the cup at the 18th. Woodland shot a 73 yesterday after entering the final round tied for the lead with Kuchar, who closed with a 78.
Rose had a chance to take the lead at the 18th hole when he sent his 30-foot uphill birdie try about five feet past the hole. He then dropped out of a share for the lead when he missed the par attempt coming back.
“I knew where I stood in the tournament,” Rose said. “I felt like it was a putt I could make. I was surprised to see it go five feet by. It’s a disappointing way to finish.”
Kevin Chappell, who was playing alongside Woods, had been 13-under par before shooting 7 over for the final eight holes, including double-bogeys on the 11th and 17th holes. He closed with a 76 to tie for 15th place at 6-under par.
Scott received $1.44 million for his 10th career PGA Tour title and joined Woods (5), Kuchar (2), Brandt Snedeker (2) and Phil Mickelson (2) as multiple winners on the tour this year.
“I was shocked that that was good enough to hold up,” Scott said. “When the pressure is on you to close out, the holes become much harder and shots are far more crucial.”
Phil Mickelson, the British Open champion, also made a final-round push, shooting a 65 to finish in a tie for sixth with Jim Furyk and D.A. Points at 9-under par. Mickelson was 10 under and had run off seven birdies in a 10-hole span before just missing birdie putts at the 16th and 17th holes. He then made his lone bogey of the round at the par-4 18th.
The top 125 players in the season-long FedEx Cup point standings qualified for the Barclays.
The top 100 players on the list now qualify for the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston from Aug. 30 to Sept. 2. Camilo Villegas shot scores of 73, 72 and 76 after his first-round 65, yet his 54th-place finish was good enough to lift him into the field as the final qualifier for this week’s second playoff event.
Woods said yesterday he didn’t know if he’d play in the Deutsche Bank Championship. Woods dropped to his knees in pain from a back spasm after hooking his second shot on the par-5 13th hole into a nearby stream. He made bogey on the hole and followed with another two holes later before making back-to-back birdies at the 16th and 17th holes, after which he bent over gingerly to take the ball out of the cup.
“I’m not feeling my best right now,” Woods said in a televised interview after the round.
After this week, the top 70 in the standings move on to the BMW Championship outside Chicago from Sept. 12 to 15. The top 30 then compete for the FedEx Cup title and the $10 million bonus at the Tour Championship in Atlanta from Sept. 19 to 22.