Stuart Appleby caught fire with five birdies on the back nine at Ridgewood CC to catapult into a tie for second place in the first playoff event. Appleby’s T2 at the Barclays is projected to move him to 19th in the FedExCup standings.
At 98th place going into the playoffs, Appleby was in danger of missing the 100-man cutoff for next week’s Deutsche Bank Championship. Instead, he followed up an opening round two-over 73 with three straight rounds in the 60s including a sizzling 65 on Sunday.
Appleby said, “The year has been a bit quiet so it was really nice to get out there today and feel more comfortable. The nerves, I dealt with them nicely, which was great. It was a great test of golf and it was just nice to roll the ball and make some putts.”
The Australian’s last Tour win came at the 2010 Greenbrier Classic when he shot 59 in the final round to defeat Jeff Overton by one-stroke. “Well, it’s been a long time. I’ve won tournaments but they feel so long ago and sometimes that experience can wear thin and sort of doesn’t show its head much,” said the 9-time PGA Tour winner. “Today, I just thought, go out there, don’t fight, don’t wrestle the golf course. If you get an opportunity, give it a roll, see what happens.”
Appleby moved up 79 places with his finish at the Barclays. Hunter Mahan’s victory moved him 61 places to first in the FedExCup standings.
The players who played their way into the Deutsche Bank are: Bo van Pelt, Stewart Cink, Andres Romero, Danny Lee, Paul Casey, Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano, and Morgan Hoffman.
The players who moved outside the top-100 are: Jonas Blixt, Kevin Kisner, Nick Watney, Luke Guthrie, Retief Goosen, Rory Sabbatini, and Brian Davis.