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Golf Notes: Spieth back in NY with different view

Tuesday - 8/20/2013, 6:32pm  ET

Jordan Spieth tees off from the third tee during the third round of the Wyndham Championship golf tournament at Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C., Saturday, Aug. 17, 2013. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone)

DOUG FERGUSON
AP Golf Writer

JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) -- To realize how far he has come, Jordan Spieth only has to consider the last time The Barclays was played at Liberty National. He was about 30 miles away at Trump National, winning the U.S. Junior Amateur at age 16.

Four years later, Spieth not only is in the big leagues, he's trying to make the All-Star Game.

With a win at the John Deere Classic and a playoff loss last week at the Wyndham Championship, the 20-year-old Texan goes into the playoffs with the No. 8 seed and would seem to be a shoo-in to reach the Tour Championship.

Tiger Woods was the last player to start a season with no status and reach the Tour Championship.

"It's pretty wild," Spieth said. "Each year ... I have a goal to achieve, to reach that new, higher level. And so far each year, I've been on track. This year, I maybe skipped a few steps. Like I've said before, I don't really think of my age as my age. When you're out here, everyone is your peer. New goals come up each day that I'm trying to reach out and accomplish. You can't ever really rest out here. Everybody passes you up."

Since the FedEx Cup began in 2007, the No. 8 seed at the start has reached the Tour Championship every year.

Woods reached the Tour Championship in 1996 the old way, when it was the top 30 on the money list. He won twice in seven events after winning the U.S. Amateur for the third straight time.

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OH, BROTHER: Two players are making it a little bit harder on themselves to qualify for the Tour Championship by skipping the first playoff event at The Barclays.

One is missing by choice, the other because of a family obligation.

Zach Johnson, at No. 18 in the standings, will be in Chicago this week for his brother's wedding. Only one player has started at No. 18 and failed to reach the Tour Championship -- J.B. Holmes in 2010.

Steve Stricker is not at The Barclays because of his part-time schedule. He won the event in 2007 at Westchester Country Club.

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DOWN TO THE WIRE: Patrick Cantlay won his second start on the Web.com Tour at the Colombia Championship and looked set to earn a PGA Tour card. But the former UCLA star missed three months with a back injury, only returning last week and missing the cut.

During that time off, Cantlay has fallen to No. 25 on the money list.

The top 25 after the Cox Classic this week in Omaha, Neb., are assured their PGA Tour cards for the 2013-14 season, and the next 50 are thrown in with the PGA Tour players from 126-200 in the FedEx Cup standings to fight for the other 25 cards.

Cantlay's lead over Wes Roach at No. 26 is a mere $2,807.

Farther down the list is Michael Connell at No. 75, the cutoff for getting into the series of four tournaments to vie for 25 tour cards. Connell's lead over Zach Sucher is $126.

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THE C'S HAVE IT: European captain Liselotte Neumann told her team not to look at the scoreboards Sunday in the Solheim Cup, worrying only about their match instead of what kind of comeback the Americans might mount.

Turns out it didn't matter, as Europe led early in the singles and had control most of the day.

It's the lineup that made it clear Neumann was expecting a win all along. Just look at the names at 4-5-6 in the lineup, along with the ninth spot -- all of the players had a first name that started with the letter "C."

She revealed Sunday night that every player that has won the decisive point for Europe in their four previous wins all had names that began with "C."

Catrin Nilsmark in 1992. Carin Koch in 2000 at Loch Lomond. Catriona Matthew in 2003 at Barseback. Caroline Hedwall in 2011 at Ireland.

"We just tried to put all the players that their names start with a 'C' close together," Neumann said. "And it worked out really good. That was the strategy."

She smiled at the silence.

"Did you get that?" she said. "Did I lose you?"

The winning putt came from Matthew in the No. 6 slot.

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GRAND SLAMMED: In a development that shocked no one, British Open champion Phil Mickelson has pulled out of the PGA Grand Slam of Golf because of a scheduling conflict. He was replaced in the field in Bermuda by Padraig Harrington.

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