Pádraig Harrington turns to Plan B in attempt to rediscover some form
Strong Irish contingent set for Johnnie Walker championship at Gleneagles
Although he failed to make the top-125 on the FedEx Cup list, Harrington retains a full tour card for the 2014 season (which starts in Ocotber) because he managed to remain inside the top-125 on the money list.
Harrington’s mind and body might be back in Europe for the moment, but both McIlroy and McDowell are very much focused on the US Tour and competing in The Barclays which this year returns to the Liberty National course.
The course is much changed from the one that played host to the Barclays in 2009. Fifteen of the course’s 18 holes have undergone remedial work for one reason or another, ranging from the moving of greens to the relocating of several creeks. A suggestion from Phil Mickelson that the heavy rough be taken out has also been taken on board. In all, 74 changes have been made on 15 of the holes.
McIlroy and McDowell actually paid a reconnaissance visit to the revamped course after the US Open in June.
Although 125 players qualified for play in the Barclays, the field will comprise just 123 players with Steve Stricker (playing a limited schedule) and Zach Johnson (attending his brother’s wedding) absent.
Field to be cut
The number of players moving on to the Deutsche Bank will be cut to the top-100 and then to 70 for the BMW. Finally, 30 players will make it to the Tour Championship, where Brandt Snedeker scooped both the season’s final tournament and the FedEx Cup jackpot a year ago at the expense of McIlroy.
After a hiatus of regular events stretching back to the Russian Open, the PGA European Tour resumes with this week’s Johnnie Walker championship at Gleneagles. Shane Lowry, who showed decent form in the PGA at Oak Hill, leads an Irish contingent that also features Russian Open winner Michael Hoey, Simon Thornton, Peter Lawrie, Damien McGrane, Paul McGinley, Gareth Maybin, David Higgins and Gareth Shaw, who has been given a sponsor’s invite.