Streelman surges to top at Barclays

By JOHN NICHOLSON
Associated Press

PARAMUS, N.J. — Steve Stricker shook his head and flashed a wry smile when he walked out of the scorer’s room Saturday at The Barclays.

If nothing else, the defending champion was glad he was finally off the sun-baked Ridgewood Country Club course after a humbling round that left Kevin Streelman atop the leaderboard and more than two dozen players in the title chase.

“I just stunk it up,” Stricker said. “I’ve got to try to regroup.”

He lost a ball and the lead on the par-4 12th.

After fading a drive into the rough, his aggressive approach shot from a tough angle skipped along the far side of the left rough and into a tangled mess of shoulder-high grass, bushes and weeds.

Despite TV replays and a large search party, the ball couldn’t be located and Stricker — four strokes ahead after 10 holes — took a penalty stroke and trudged back to the spot where he hit the costly shot.

The winner last year at Westchester Country Club, Stricker advanced the new ball 40 yards short of the green, hit his fifth shot 30 feet past the hole and two-putted for a triple-bogey 7 to drop to 7 under — a stroke behind Sergio Garcia.

“I got off to a good start, then I made two stupid plays in a row on 11 and 12,” Stricker said. “The one at 12 was one of the dumbest plays I ever made trying to do what I did out of the rough there. From that point on, it was a struggle to get in.”

By the time Stricker signed for a 6-over 77, he was four strokes back at 4 under in a 12-way tie for 11th. On Friday, he shot a 7-under 64 in perfect morning conditions to take a three-stroke lead over Hunter Mahan in the FedEx Cup playoff opener.

Stricker was 12 under through six holes, then dropped a stroke on No. 7 to end a 23-hole stretch without a bogey. He also bogeyed the 11th, made the triple on 12 and dropped three more strokes with bogeys on 14, 16 and 17.

“It’s tough,” Stricker said. “It got a little crusty and the wind picked up a little bit. But I didn’t do very well.”

Streelman, a 29-year-old Q-school graduate in his rookie season on the PGA Tour, took the lead at 8 under with a 25-foot birdie putt from the fringe on the par-4 16th and parred the final two holes for a 68 and an 8-under 205 total.

“It will be a fun day for me,” Streelman said. “I’m interested to see how I kind of react to it. That’s what I’ve been working for my whole life.”

Streelman made news this year at Torrey Pines, playing with Tiger Woods on the weekend in the Buick Invitational in January and sharing the first-round lead in the U.S. Open in June on the San Diego course.

“That day with Tiger was the greatest preparation I ever could have imagined,” Streelman said. “I know it will be crazy tomorrow, but I guarantee you it won’t be quite as big as that day in San Diego with Tiger.”

The former Duke star’s parents are from nearby Glen Rock and his grandparents are buried in a cemetery next to the course.

“My cousin came and watched me last week and told me,” said Streelman, 102nd in the FedEx Cup standings. “I was like, ‘Well, that’s kind of cool.’”

Vijay Singh, a three-time winner at Westchester, shot a 66 to join Garcia (69), Mike Weir (67) and Paul Casey (69) at 7 under. Garcia, a two-time champion at Westchester, had six birdies and four bogeys.

“It’s dried out quite a bit,” said Singh, the winner three weeks ago at Firestone. “The rough is less thicker. ... I think they stopped watering it, so you can actually play. It’s playable, and some places, you can get yourself in big trouble.

“But I think it’s playing really well. The greens have been drying out really fast, and depending where the pins are tomorrow, it’s going to be a tough day.”

Tricky, shifting wind made club selection difficult on the tree-lined A.W. Tillinghast layout — the first-time site after 41 seasons at Westchester — and further hardened the small, stressed greens that started to turn purple in spots.

“That little 10-mph wind, with the big trees, it has that Augusta feel where you think it’s going this way and it might go this way and that’s the difference between maybe having as 10-footer or a 30-footer,” said Weir, sporting a full “playoff” beard.

Kenny Perry, effectively the FedEx Cup leader with the top-ranked Woods sidelined by a knee injury, was 5 under after a 72.

Mahan, the first-round leader after a morning 62, also struggled in the final group, shooting a 74 to join Stricker in the large group at 4 under.

Phil Mickelson was 1 under after a 72. He double-hit a flop shot from the deep rough on the 271-yard, par-4 fifth en route to a double bogey.

“I tried to hit a little 64-degree wedge and it came out and I heard it ding my club on the follow through,” Mickelson said. “I didn’t really feel it.”

Divots: The top 120 in FedEx Cup standings will qualify for the Deutsche Bank Championship next week in Norton, Mass. The field will be cut to 70 for the BMW Championship in St. Louis and to 30 for the Tour Championship in Atlanta. ... After missing the cut Friday, British Open and PGA winner Padraig Harrington returned to the course Saturday for a lengthy practice session on the driving range.

Scores with relation to par from the third round of The Baclays, playedAug. 23 at the par-71, 7,304-yard Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus,N.J.:

  1. Kevin Streelman 67-70-68--205

    -8 2. Vijay Singh 70-70-66--206

    -7 2. Mike Weir 72-67-67--206

    -7 2. Paul Casey 66-71-69--206

    -7 2. Sergio Garcia 70-67-69--206

    -7 6. Jason Day 74-68-66--208

    -5 6. Robert Allenby 69-73-66--208

    -5 6. Kevin Sutherland 70-69-69--208

    -5 6. Kenny Perry 69-67-72--208

    -5 6. Angel Cabrera 69-67-72--208

    -5 11. Dean Wilson 72-70-67--209

    -4 11. Jim Furyk 70-71-68--209

    -4 11. Jeff Overton 74-67-68--209

    -4 11. Stuart Appleby 71-70-68--209

    -4 11. Briny Baird 69-71-69--209

    -4 11. Ben Curtis 71-68-70--209

    -4 11. Patrick Sheehan 69-70-70--209

    -4 11. Bubba Watson 68-70-71--209

    -4 11. Anthony Kim 70-67-72--209

    -4 11. Dudley Hart 67-69-73--209

    -4 11. Steve Stricker 68-64-77--209

    -4 11. Hunter Mahan 62-73-74--209

    -4 23. Ken Duke 72-71-67--210

    -3 23. Scott Verplank 73-70-67--210

    -3 23. Kevin Na 72-70-68--210

    -3 23. Mathew Goggin 67-74-69--210

    -3 23. John Merrick 69-71-70--210

    -3 23. Bill Haas 71-68-71--210

    -3 23. Ryan Palmer 69-69-72--210

    -3 30. Nicholas Thompson 75-68-68--211

    -2 30. K.J. Choi 74-69-68--211

    -2 30. Eric Axley 78-65-68--211

    -2 30. Glen Day 70-71-70--211

    -2 30. Bo Van Pelt 67-74-70--211

    -2 30. Justin Leonard 70-70-71--211

    -2 30. Brett Quigley 71-69-71--211

    -2 30. Martin Laird 70-69-72--211

    -2 30. George McNeill 68-70-73--211

    -2 39. Chad Campbell 71-72-69--212

    -1 39. John Mallinger 70-73-69--212

    -1 39. Tim Petrovic 71-72-69--212

    -1 39. Jay Williamson 74-68-70--212

    -1 39. Jesper Parnevik 68-72-72--212

    -1 39. Phil Mickelson 70-70-72--212

    -1 39. Lee Janzen 71-69-72--212

    -1 39. Rory Sabbatini 70-70-72--212

    -1 39. Tim Clark 70-69-73--212

    -1 39. Charley Hoffman 67-71-74--212

    -1 49. Brian Davis 69-74-70--213

    E 49. Stewart Cink 73-70-70--213

    E 49. Jerry Kelly 72-70-71--213

    E 49. Rich Beem 68-74-71--213

    E 49. Frank Lickliter II 71-71-71--213

    E 49. Mark Wilson 72-70-71--213

    E 49. Carl Pettersson 72-70-71--213

    E 49. Steve Elkington 71-71-71--213

    E 49. John Senden 71-70-72--213

    E 49. Billy Mayfair 70-70-73--213

    E 49. Tim Herron 69-71-73--213

    E 60. Justin Bolli 71-71-72--214
    + 1 61. Charlie Wi 72-71-72--215
    + 2 61. Brandt Snedeker 71-71-73--215
    + 2 61. Jonathan Byrd 72-70-73--215
    + 2 61. J.B. Holmes 71-71-73--215
    + 2 61. Nick Watney 71-69-75--215
    + 2 61. Michael Allen 73-67-75--215
    + 2 61. Lucas Glover 70-70-75--215
    + 2 68. J.J. Henry 70-72-74--216
    + 3 69. Richard S. Johnson 74-69-74--217
    + 4 69. Trevor Immelman 70-71-76--217
    + 4 69. Andres Romero 72-68-77--217
    + 4 72. Paul Goydos 70-72-77--219
    + 6 • • •



    Missed the cut



    73. Nathan Green 77-67--144
    + 2 73. Troy Matteson 75-69--144
    + 2 73. Tom Pernice, Jr. 73-71--144
    + 2 73. Camilo Villegas 72-72--144
    + 2 73. Aaron Baddeley 69-75--144
    + 2 73. Woody Austin 72-72--144
    + 2 73. Ernie Els 71-73--144
    + 2 73. Steve Flesch 72-72--144
    + 2 73. Matt Kuchar 74-70--144
    + 2 73. John Rollins 72-72--144
    + 2 73. Tom Lehman 71-73--144
    + 2 73. Dustin Johnson 75-69--144
    + 2 73. Cliff Kresge 70-74--144
    + 2 73. Sean O'Hair 73-71--144
    + 2 73. Jeff Quinney 74-70--144
    + 2 73. Heath Slocum 73-71--144
    + 2 73. Greg Kraft 76-68--144
    + 2 73. Jason Gore 74-70--144
    + 2 73. Jon Mills 70-74--144
    + 2 92. David Toms 74-71--145
    + 3 92. Brian Gay 73-72--145
    + 3 92. Daniel Chopra 72-73--145
    + 3 92. Boo Weekley 71-74--145
    + 3 92. Geoff Ogilvy 72-73--145
    + 3 92. Stephen Ames 74-71--145
    + 3 92. Padraig Harrington 72-73--145
    + 3 92. Ian Poulter 73-72--145
    + 3 92. Charles Howell III 72-73--145
    + 3 92. Corey Pavin 69-76--145
    + 3 92. Zach Johnson 72-73--145
    + 3 103. Retief Goosen 73-73--146
    + 4 103. Shane Bertsch 73-73--146
    + 4 103. Steve Marino 71-75--146
    + 4 103. Johnson Wagner 71-75--146
    + 4 107. James Driscoll 74-73--147
    + 5 107. Rod Pampling 71-76--147
    + 5 107. D.J. Trahan 76-71--147
    + 5 107. Joe Ogilvie 74-73--147
    + 5 107. Fred Couples 75-72--147
    + 5 107. Ben Crane 72-75--147
    + 5 107. Chez Reavie 75-72--147
    + 5 107. Rocco Mediate 70-77--147
    + 5 115. Brad Adamonis 76-72--148
    + 6 115. Steve Lowery 73-75--148
    + 6 115. Fredrik Jacobson 75-73--148
    + 6 115. Bart Bryant 72-76--148
    + 6 115. Peter Lonard 73-75--148
    + 6 115. Tommy Armour III 72-76--148
    + 6 115. Parker McLachlin 74-74--148
    + 6 115. Scott McCarron 73-75--148
    + 6 123. Matt Jones 77-72--149
    + 7 123. Nick O'Hern 72-77--149
    + 7 123. Pat Perez 78-71--149
    + 7 123. Mark Calcavecchia 75-74--149
    + 7 123. Vaughn Taylor 75-74--149
    + 7 123. Chris DiMarco 74-75--149
    + 7 129. Adam Scott 68-82--150
    + 8 129. Michael Letzig 77-73--150
    + 8 131. Charles Warren 72-79--151
    + 9 131. Ryuji Imada 76-75--151
    + 9 133. Tim Wilkinson 76-76--152
    + 10 133. Joe Durant 75-77--152
    + 10 135. Ryan Moore 76-78--154
    + 12
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