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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 208
Don’t even think about touching that remote control! First up is The Barclays, which provides all 125 PGA Tour members who earned 454 or more FedEx Cup points with at least a hope of progressing to the second week. Of the four Playoff tournaments, it’s the one that feels most like a regular tour event. The field is only marginally smaller than most, there’s still a cut and the exact meaning of a good finish as it pertains to the Playoffs remains foggy even once the tournament is over. The Barclays – which dates back to 1967, making this the 50th edition – carries more history than many remember. Shifting the tournament into the Playoffs had a way of diluting its legacy to an extent. Long known as the Westchester Classic, it was the lead-up event to the US Open for many years and gave participants a tough layout with deep rough at New York’s Westchester Country Club. With the change in mode came a dedication to the broader New York City area, as The Barclays rotates between a selection of courses not far from the Big Apple. This year, it’s the turn of former US Open venue Bethpage State Park to start the Playoffs, just as it did in 2012. While not set up in full US Open fashion, the brutal Black course will still test players to the fullest (Nick Watney – remember him? – won at 10-under amid kind conditions four years ago). A .W. Tillinghast penned the layout in the 1930s before a restoration of the high-profile Long Island course ahead of the 2002 US Open captured the imagination of New York golfers, who now queue up in the middle of the night to play “The Black”. The course famously features a sign near the 1st tee reminding golfers that it is a place for highly skilled players only. There’ll be 121 of those in town this week (Sergio Garcia, Danny Willett, Shane Lowry and Anirban Lahiri are non-starters), including the most skilled of them all right now: defending champion Jason Day.
GA Express 207
GA Express 209