Aug
28
2009
Wait, Are We in Scotland?
By Stephanie Wei under General

It was a rainy, gusty and dreary day at Liberty National for Round 2 of The Barclays. The conditions were especially terrible for the players that teed off in the morning as the scores indicate.

The course played extremely long with some players hitting driver-3-wood into a few par 4s. Only four players shot scores under 70, including leader Webb Simpson, firing 3-under, 8-under for the tournament. He leads by two over first-round leaders Paul Goydos and Steve Marino.

With the conditions and links-style design, it felt more like they were playing in Scotland than Jersey City, NJ. Ryan Moore’s brother, Jeremy, said it reminded him of a round when he caddied for Ryan at Carnoustie in the ‘07 British Open.

Actually, some players have said the attempt to make Liberty National a links course is why it is flawed. It looks like one visually, but it doesn’t play that way — at least how it should. The players mentioned the greens and run-offs aren’t designed so they can play the ball low or work it off slopes. Also, they have to hit long irons and woods into greens and it’s tough to hold shots — well, at the moment, they can because of the soft conditions. Because the designers/owners wanted to create a majestic oasis of sorts from a landfill, the course feels too manufactured and loses some of the natural feel and authenticity. So, that’s part of where the criticism lies.

Notables who missed the cut included ‘09 Masters Champion Angel Cabrera, ‘09 US Open Champion Lucas Glover and ‘08 FedEx Cup Winner Vijay Singh. Camilo Villegas withdrew after shooting 7-over on the front nine, citing a “left wrist injury.” Matthew Goggin also withdrew. He was 11-over through 8 holes. Ouch.

First-round co-leader Senor Dick Mount shot 5-over 76 and fell back to T11. Tiger Woods had a frustrating day and carded 72. I watched him play holes 2 and 3, and he looked like he was ready to break his putter after missing a par putt on number 2 — that was the story of his day. It appears he hasn’t been able to find the right line and isn’t comfortable, which isn’t a good sign on tricky greens at Liberty National.

The rain is supposed to continue on Saturday, but should clear up for Sunday. It looks like we’re in for two more interesting rounds, not to mention more exasperated players.

[Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images]