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Scott withstands challenges by Woods, others at Barclays

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Adam Scott gave his slim Player of the Year hopes a boost Sunday with a hard-fought victory over Tiger Woods and Co. at The Barclays. Here’s the skinny on the final round at Liberty National:

The leaderboard: Adam Scott (-11); Tiger Woods, Justin Rose, Gary Woodland and Graham DeLaet at -10; Phil Mickelson, D.A. Points and Jim Furyk at -9.

What it means: It’s the second victory of the season for Scott, who will move to No. 2 in the world rankings for the first time in his career. One of the year’s most consistent performers, the Australian had three top-5 finishes in majors, including a drought-busting victory at the Masters. This is the first time Scott has won twice or more in a season since 2004.

Round of the day: Scott shot a bogey-free 66 Sunday but, somewhat surprisingly, wasn’t caught by any of his pursuers. The best bet to force a playoff was Justin Rose, but the U.S. Open champion three-putted the 18th green, including a miss from 5 feet, that put him one shot behind Scott. Woods roared back into contention with back-to-back birdies on 16 and 17, but his approach shot into 18 took a firm bounce on the green, shot over the back, and he left his 27-footer from the back fringe about a rotation short. Woodland, meanwhile, missed makeable putts on each of the last three holes, including a 10-footer on the last. 

“I can’t believe it, to be honest,” Scott said. “I thought I played a good round today but didn’t really think I had a chance. Obviously, things went my way a lot today.”

Best of the rest: Phil Mickelson and Graham DeLaet soared up the leaderboard Sunday with matching 65s, though Phil’s round could have been far more intriguing if not for a final-hole bogey. DeLaet and Mickelson finished T-2 and T-6, respectively.  

Biggest disappointment: Camp Ponte Vedra has to be holding its collective breath about Woods, who grimaced and ached all week at Liberty National. He blamed the soft beds, but it’s likely the discomfort has bothered him for the past few weeks, if not months. That he was able to will his way into contention was remarkable, but his status for the rest of the FedEx Cup is uncertain. When asked whether he will play the next playoff event in Boston, Woods said, “That’s all hypothetical right now. I’m not feeling my best.”