Sergio Garcia winning at Greensboro assured the Spaniard a spot on Europe’s team, though he wound up bumping Poulter out of the top 10 in the standings. This is the last week to qualify for the European team, but only for those at the Johnnie Walker Championship at Gleneagles, where players can earn points from money or the world ranking. Whatever points a European Tour member earns at The Barclays wouldn’t count, because the tournament ends after Gleneagles.
That means Poulter can’t earn a spot on the team, and neither can Padraig Harrington.
Poulter, however, appears to be a lock as one of Jose Maria Olazabal’s two picks, especially after he tied for third at the PGA Championship and moved into the top 10 momentarily. The other leading candidate is Nicolas Colsaerts, the big hitter from Belgium, who is playing at Gleneagles.
Then again, Colsaerts can earn a spot on the team by finishing in the top two. That would knock out Martin Kaymer, and then leave Olazabal with a tough choice. The captain had said Harrington, who has played on every team since 1999, would have to do something extraordinary to merit consideration.
Harrington can’t earn points at The Barclays, but he still might be able to make an impression.
LOOPER’S LIFE: Sergio Garcia and his caddie, Gary Matthews, split up at the PGA Championship. The Spaniard went to the Wyndham Championship in need of a caddie, and David Faircloth was in the right spot at the right time. Faircloth, a caddie at a private club in North Carolina, was working the pro-am for club member Bobby Long, who wound up recommending him to Garcia.
The rest of the week was a blur. Faircloth was on the bag as Garcia won his first PGA Tour event in four years.
Perhaps the classiest gesture came from Tony Navarro, a longtime PGA Tour caddie who has worked for Greg Norman, Adam Scott and now Bud Cauley. Garcia and Cauley played in the final group at Greensboro, and when Navarro realized how overwhelmed Faircloth was, he unscrewed the flag from the pin on the 18th hole, took it over to Faircloth and said, “Well done this week. This is yours.”
“That flag is kind of our trophy,” Navarro told The New York Post. “I figured he didn’t know, so I just did the right thing and gave it to him. He was a nice kid, and I could tell he was a bit emotional and excited.”
The payoff for Faircloth remains a mystery. Most regular tour caddies are on a weekly salary, along with a percentage of what the player earns, typically 10 percent if they win. Garcia earned $936,000. But the Spaniard wasn’t sure what he should give a club caddie who filled in for the week.
“I’ll have to look at it,” Garcia said. “Obviously, he’s not going to get what a normal caddie would get because his job was fairly easy.”
For The Barclays, Garcia plans on using Wayne Richardson, who works as a spotter for CBS Sports.
DIVOTS: Arnold Palmer’s reaction to Augusta National adding female members for the first time: “I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Condoleezza Rice. I am happy to welcome her as a member of Augusta National and look forward to meeting Darla Moore and welcoming her, as well. I congratulate Billy Payne and the club for taking this significant step in the wonderful history of Augusta National.” Palmer is a four-time Masters champion and a member at Augusta National. … The Frys.com Open will be the first event of the 2013-14 PGA Tour season, and it will remain at CordeValle. Tournament organizers plan to move it to The Institute, but the clubhouse will not be completed in time to hold the event next year. … Green fees for visitors at the Old Course at St. Andrews will increase by 5 pounds in 2013 to 155 pounds in high season. That’s roughly $245.