Spieth hands world No 1 spot back to McIlroy as Harrington awaits FedEx Cup fate

Spieth hands world No 1 spot back to McIlroy as Harrington awaits FedEx Cup fate

Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth missed the cut by three shots in The Barclays, which means that Rory McIlroy will return to the top of the world rankings for the second FedEx Cup playoff event in Boston. What's unclear is whether or not Pádraig Harrington will join them there.

That Spieth and McIlroy will tee it up in the Deutsche Bank Championship is a given but it remains to be seen if Harrington will be in the Top 100 in the FedEx Cup points list who qualify after he comfortably missed the cut in New Jersey on Friday, adding a 75 to his opening 73 to miss out by six strokes.

Spieth, playing with a new series of Titleist irons, became the first player to miss the cut in his first start after becoming No 1, added a 73 to his opening 74 to miss the cut by five shots on seven over.

“Yeah, tough week,” Spieth said. “I'm definitely searching for answers. I don't know exactly what I'm going to do from here as far as how I get prepared for next week but I have some time to figure it out. We don't start till Friday.”

Poor from the tee in round one and struggling on the greens, Harrington fell 12 places to a projected 99th in the standings, leaving his fate in the hands of Mark Wilson, Stewart Cink, Vijay Singh, Lee Westwood, Carlos Ortiz, Ken Duke, Luke Donald, Jeff Overton and Ryo Ishikawa, who are currently outside the Top 100 but still in action at Plainfield this weekend.

Live projected FedEx Cup points

Harrington was aware he could do nothing else but wait around until Sunday night to discover his fate, admitting that his poor putting put his overall game under too much pressure.

As for Spieth, it was his first missed cut for three months and while he can still regain the No 1 spot in Boston, anything that could go wrong did go wrong in The Barclays, including a one-stroke penalty for stepping on his ball while looking for it in a hazard.

Asked about the No 1 ranking, he said:  "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.

“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. It doesn't really make much of a difference.

"If you go on a three- or four-year cycle, Rory is No. 1 in the world. If you go just base off of this year, I am. They just use two years. In my mind, it's just about trying to win the FedExCup at this point.”

At the business end of affairs, Bubba Watson added a 68 to his 65 to lead by a shot on seven under from Henrik Stenson, Tony Finau and Zach Johnson.