JERSEY CITY , N.J. — The game within the game at The Barclays is following the names near the bottom of the points list, to see which players will advance to next week’s Deutsche Bank Championship.
Only the top 100 qualify for the second of four PGA Tour playoff events, held at TPC Boston. But there were 123 at Liberty National Golf Club for The Barclays, which means nearly two dozen will have their playoff run ended.
Aaron Baddeley is trying to be one of the few that jumps from outside the top 100 into the Deutsche Bank Championship. Baddeley, No. 119 at the start of The Barclays, is projected to be No. 74 after shooting a third-round 66, which pushed him into a tie for 13th. He still has one round to play — a poor day could erase all the projected points he’s earned through 54 holes — but the pressure has been off all week.
“I was pretty relaxed, you know. It was that sort of idea like I have nothing to lose, prepare as well as I can, and play golf,” said Baddeley, who was born in New Hampshire, lives in Arizona, but considers himself Australian, with the accent to prove it. “There’s so much movement in The Barclays. You can move up a lot with a really good finish, so I definitely thought that if I play well this week I can really move up.”
Four others were on pace after three rounds to join Baddeley and work their way from outside the top 100 and into the second event: Greg Chalmers (No. 122, projected 79), Camilo Villegas (110, projected 80), Martin Kaymer (103, projected 93), and John Senden (105, projected 96).
Pair of aces
Those fortunate enough to be watching the early-afternoon action at the par-3 14th hole saw not one but two holes-in-one, with K.J. Choi and Chalmers making aces in consecutive groups.
Playing 153 yards for the third round, Choi went first and smacked his shot into the hole. In the very next group, Chalmers knocked his shot in the jar, the highlight in a bogey-free 66.
Who needs sleep?
Charles Howell wasn’t all that unhappy with his third-round 73. He was happy it was over, so he could finally catch up on some sleep.
Howell has been fighting flu-like symptoms, but he made an unexpected run to the local emergency room Friday night, after getting sick while having dinner in his hotel room. He arrived at the hospital at 10 p.m., wasn’t seen until 11, and stayed there until 3 a.m., when tests assured him that he was OK. He was part of the 40-player group that had to finish their second rounds on Saturday at 7:30 a.m., so he got in roughly an hour of sleep before coming to the course.
He finished his second round Saturday morning with birdies on three of his final four holes, but was in one of the first groups out to begin the third round. Even a final-hole bogey couldn’t dampen Howell’s mood. It was time for a nap.
Woods hangs around
Despite signs of an ouchy back (he’s blamed it on his hotel bed), Tiger Woods played his last 11 holes in 4 under and shot a 69. At 8 under, Woods is tied for fourth, four shots behind Matt Kuchar and Gary Woodland. In three previous appearances, Woods’s best Barclays is a tie for second four years ago, also at Liberty National . . . Keegan Bradley was the latest to find out how hard it is to follow a low number with another. After setting the tournament course record on Friday with an 8-under 63, Bradley struggled to a 74, and is tied for 26th at 4 under. Kevin Stadler (64-73) had a similar dropback from the first round to the second. That puts the pressure on Kevin Chappell, the new course record-holder who had a Saturday 62 . . . There were nine other eagles in addition to the pair of aces. Seven came on par-5 holes (five at No. 6, two at the 13th), but Cameron Tringale eagled the par-4 first, and Bubba Watson made a 2 at the par-4 12th.