by Jeff Skinner
The weather wasn’t the only thing that changed at The Barclays on Friday. The leader board saw a lot of movement too. It turned cool and rainy at Liberty National as if the golfing gods were punishing all those players who had criticized the course all week. The course played about four strokes higher than it did in the first round and players found conditions as difficult as they have played all year. A sub-par round was to be cherished and PGA Tour rookie Webb Simpson was able to squeeze a three under par 68 that enabled him to take a two stroke lead into a warm, dry clubhouse. Simpson came into the Playoffs sitting at 85th in FedEx Cup points with the bulk of his earnings coming early in the season. He opened the season as the hottest rookie on tour with a T9 in Hawaii and a T5 at The Bob Hope. He has since cooled off but he appeared to be in control of his game at Liberty National and a win here could propel him into the lead for Rookie of the year. Check out our interview with Webb Simpson’s college coach Jerry Haas.
If you have watched any golf over the past few weeks you’ve seen plenty of Padraig Harrington, some of it good, some of it bad. Harrington had two meltdown holes at the Bridgestone and The PGA Championship that cost him any chance at winning and still had the grace to face the media afterward. Harrington answered all the questions candidly and showed that he is a standup guy. He has earned the reputation of giving sincere and intelligent responses to all the tough questions. Harrington isn’t without a sense of humor. When asked about the rain and cold at The Barclays the Irishman said, “When it rains like this at home, we stay indoors.”