- Iran touts new laser that bolsters missile accuracy
- Satanists petition for statue at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Deadly N.Y. train derailment leads to Senate call for cameras at tracks
- WWII vet, 90, en route to Pearl Harbor event booted from flight
- SWAT team at Phoenix hospital as armed man clears emergency room
- Kim Jong-un’s uncle dragged from political meeting, booted from party
- Big storm dumps snow on East Coast, travel dicey
- Thai prime minister dissolves Parliament, calls elections
- Hagel to meet with Pakistan’s prime minister
- Kiev: Riot police deployed near protest sites
Laird seizes control at The Barclays
PARAMUS, N.J. (AP) - Martin Laird suspected that four straight birdies early in the round and no bogeys had put him in the lead Saturday at The Barclays. When he finally glanced at a leaderboard, it gave him quite a jolt.
And it had nothing to do with the size of his three-shot lead.
It was a not-so-subtle reminder that winning goes a long way in these playoffs, and Laird put himself in a great spot. He was at 12-under 201, three shots clear of Dustin Johnson and Jason Day with one round left at Ridgewood Country Club.
A victory for the 27-year-old Scot would move him to No. 1, assuring him a spot in all four majors next year, and making him a serious contender for the $10 million FedEx Cup payoff.
Tiger Woods also has something at stake Sunday, but it most likely won’t be a trophy. After missing only one fairway in each of the first two rounds, Woods hit his opening tee shot off the property and took triple bogey. He couldn’t get those three shots back and shot 72, putting him nine shots behind. He needs a steady final round just to advance to second round next week outside Boston.
For Johnson, who has found nothing but hard luck in the majors this year, it will be his second straight tournament playing in the final group. So much for that hangover from the PGA Championship, where he was penalized two shots on the final hole when he didn’t realize he was in a bunker at Whistling Straits, knocking him out of a playoff.
Johnson, struggling with a cold and his swing earlier in the week, began to hit his stride on a sunny day in northern New Jersey. On the 616-yard 13th hole, he blasted a 3-wood to about 15 feet for eagle, and added consecutive birdies a short time later on his way to a 64 that gave him a chance to win.
“I definitely put myself into the hunt,” Johnson said.
The good news? Everyone knows what a bunker looks like at Ridgewood.
Day remains in the hunt, too, although he didn’t help himself on a day for scoring at Ridgewood. The 22-year-old Australian regained the lead by chipping for eagle on the short par-4 fifth hole, but he simply missed too many putts and struggled enough with his driver _ he hit only four fairways _ to give it away. Day made five bogeys, one of them on a par 5 on the back nine, and had to settle for a 70.
“Just hit more fairways and I’ll be able to set myself up better at making birdies,” Day said.
Adam Scott birdied the 18th hole for a 68 and was four shots behind.
On the day before European captain Colin Montgomerie announces his three captain’s picks, it might be pleasing to see a fellow Scot atop the leaderboard against such a strong field. Too bad it’s Laird, who played college golf at Colorado State and never left the American golf circuits. Plus, he has played so poorly all year that he’s not even thinking about the Ryder Cup.
By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- EDITORIAL: Health care hardball
- 'Dude, I'm dreading that I will have to go': Czech prime minister on Mandela funeral
- South Carolina sheriff refuses to lower American flag for Nelson Mandela
- Obamas call to close Vatican embassy is 'slap in the face' to Roman Catholics
- FENNO: Mike Shanahan's empty words no salve to free-falling Redskins
- POWELL: The Fed's scandalous monetary policy
- As the unemployed wait, lawmakers debate about extended benefits
- Sen. Rand Paul: Supreme Court needs to re-examine Fourth Amendment
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Understanding economic events with a free market explanation
Television commentary, reviews, news and nonstop DVR catch-up by Lisa King Dolloff and friends.
Al Maurer provides a common sense, conservatarian, Constitutional conservative perspective from the battleground state of Colorado
Let it snow
White House pets gone wild!