Watson, three more lead Barclays through Round 1

RSS

Bubba Watson, Tony Finau, Spencer Levin and Camilo Villegas share the lead at The Barclays after opening rounds of 5-under 65. Here’s how things look after 18 holes at the tricky, Donald Ross-designed Plainfield Country Club:

Leaderboard: Watson (-5), Finau (-5), Levin (-5), Villegas (-5),

What it means: Watson is in search of his third win this season, while Villegas (No. 117) and Levin (No. 110) are doing their best just to make the top-100 cutoff in order to advance to next week’s Deutsche Bank Championship. Watson would join Jordan Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Jason Day as the only players to win three or more events on Tour this season. Villegas’ last Tour title came at last year’s Wyndham. Levin, making his 175th career start, remains in search of his first victory. Finau, 39th in the points race coming into the week, has been knocking on the door with five top-10 finishes this season; he would make a strong case for rookie of the year with a playoff win.

Round of the day: Villegas and Levin both carded six birdies against a lone bogey, while Watson added one more of each, and Finau added two more of each. Finau's was the only round of 65 recorded in the tougher afternoon wave.

Best of the rest: Six players - Danny Lee, Jason Dufner, Cameron Tringale, Russell Knox, Paul Casey and Bryce Molder - sit one shot back at 4 under. Of that group, only Lee has won this year. Casey has two runners-up and two thirds.

Biggest disappointment: Defending champion Hunter Mahan is the only player to have played in every playoff event since the postseason’s inception in 2007, but his streak is in jeopardy after an opening 78. He is tied with Ian Poulter, John Huh, Will McGirt and David Lingmerth for last place. Mahan ended the day in a projected position of 97th. The top 100 make the Deutsche, the top 70 make the BMW, and only the top 30 make the Tour Championship. Jordan Spieth, separately, posted his worst score to par in any round this year, a 4-over 74.

Shot of the day: Dustin Johnson drove the green at the 326-yard, par-4 12th and cleaned up an 8-foot putt for eagle en route to an even-par 70.

Quote of the day: “Nothing. Well, the scorecard suited my eye. We'll take the scorecard all day.” – Watson, when asked what about Plainfield suits his eye.