Jordan Spieth lost out on a chance to play the weekend at the Barclays. He also lost his No. 1 ranking.
Bubba Watson overcame a rare warning for pace of play with a birdie on the 18th hole at Plainfield Country Club in Edison, N.J., for a two-under-par 68 and a one-shot lead at seven under going into the weekend at the opening FedEx Cup playoff event.
On an otherwise sleepy afternoon at a course where no one could get some separation, two peculiar moments stood out — a bad time for Watson, bad golf from Spieth.
Trying to rally to make the cut, Spieth hit into a hazard on the 12th hole, and a bogey later became a double bogey when he was penalized one shot for stepping on his ball during the search. He had a 73, the first time since the Tour Championship last year that he had consecutive rounds over par.
He missed the cut by five shots. That means Rory McIlroy, who isn’t playing this week, returns to No. 1.
“I’ve reached that peak already and I know it’s going to be close enough to where if I just get the job done next week, I’ll be back in that ranking,” Spieth said. “But again, that ranking, it’s great once you reach it but it’s not something that I’m going to live or die on each week.”
McIlroy becomes the 14th player since the world ranking began in 1986 to get to No. 1 without playing that week.
Watson is in good shape through 36 holes to claim his own No. 1 ranking — a victory would move him to the top of the FedEx Cup. Much like the world ranking right now, that figures to change by the week.
Ultimately, what matters to Watson, Spieth and others is winning the Tour Championship to capture the $10 million bonus.
Watson was at seven-under 133.
British Open champion Zach Johnson made five birdies to go with four par-saving putts from outside 8 feet for a 65. He was one shot out of the lead, along with Henrik Stenson (66), Tony Finau (69) and Jason Dufner (68).
Jason Bohn shot the low round of the day, a six-under 64, to move into a tie for sixth with Camilo Villegas at five under.
Tseng leads Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic
Yani Tseng closed with an eagle and a birdie for an eight-under 64 and a one-stroke lead in the Yokohama Tire LPGA Classic.
Tseng hit a six-iron to within four feet to set up the eagle on the par-five eighth hole just before play was delayed for about 90 minutes because of lightning and rain, then took the outright lead on the par-four ninth with her sixth birdie of the day.
Ranked No. 1 in the world for 109 weeks, the 26-year-old Taiwanese player has slipped to 75th and is winless in 85 events since the 2012 Kia Classic. The 15-time tour winner tied for second in March in the LPGA Thailand for her only top-10 finish of the year.
Tseng reached 10-under 134 on the links-style Senator Course with her lowest round since a 63 in the 2013 LPGA Thailand. Austin Ernst was second after a 65.
Thirty-nine players were unable to finish the round because of more rain and darkness.
Goydos, Sauers share Champions Tour lead
Paul Goydos and Gene Sauers shared the first-round lead at six-under 66 in the Dick’s Sporting Goods Open at Endicott, N.Y. John Huston, who won this tournament four years ago, was a stroke back along with Ian Woosnam.
Peter Senior, a late addition to the field, was another shot back and tied for fifth with Bob Friend, Steve Jones, Rod Spittle, Jeff Maggert, and Willie Wood, who won here in 2012. Defending champion Bernhard Langer had a 71.
Schwab Cup points leader Colin Montgomerie is not playing for a second straight week because of commitments in Europe, giving Maggert and Langer a chance to take over the top spot.