Liberty National shrinks – but for how long?

JERSEY CITY, N.J. – One day after Sergio Garcia called Liberty National “the longest course I’ve played this year,” Tiger Woods suggested they call in the detectives to determine who has shrunk this monster.

“Geez, (the tees) are so far up there,” Woods said after a third-round 67 at The Barclays placed him in a share of seventh, five off the lead.

Woods thought it was a day to keep Liberty National playing long “because we have ball in hand, who cares?” he said, indicating the lift, clean, and place rule was in effect. But no, officials set it up 355 yards shorter and here were the big changes:

• The par-5 eighth went from 611 to 586

• The par-5 13th was reduced from 563 yards to 509

• The par-4 18th was 453, not 508

• The par-4 15th was 451, not 481

The result? The field average was 72.622, as opposed to 74.361 the day before. But in defense of PGA Tour officials, nasty weather was in the forecast all day long, so they took that into consideration. Turns out the weather broke earlier than expected and it was actually decent.

Told that Woods made reference to officials giving players “the ladies tees,” one competitor laughed. “Great, that’s his way of making sure they put them all the way back (Sunday).”

If that’s the case and Liberty National is restored to anywhere near its 7,419 yards, well, co-leader Paul Goydos shook his head. “That would change everything, playing the tips,” he said. “Wouldn’t need irons.”

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