Day joins world No 1 chase as Harrington exits Playoffs; Pieters wins as McGrane shows form

Jason Day/

Padraig Harrington —cut on Friday but unsure of his destiny until last night—was eliminated from the FedEx Cup playoffs as Jason Day shot 61 to win The Barclays by six and put himself in position to win the $10m bonus and challenge Rory McIlroy for the world No 1 spot in Boston.

Dubliner Harrington, who was 87th in the standings heading to New Jersey, might have had enough with making the weekend to advance to second Playoff event for the Top 100 in the FedEx Cup standings, the Deutsche Bank Championship, which starts on Friday.

Instead, Harrington ended up 103rd in the standings, four points short of survival, as eight players came from outside the Top 100 to keep their hopes alive.

At the head of affairs, Australian Day continued his red-hot streak of form by making eight birdies in an immaculate 62 to win The Barclays by six shots from Henrik Stenson on 19 under par and move to No 1 in the FedEx Cup standings ahead of Jordan Spieth, who missed the cut.

It was Day's fourth win of the season and his third in four events following his RBC Canadian Open victory and breakthrough major win at the US PGA.

And he now has a chance to become world No 1 and take over from McIlroy, who relieves Spieth of top spot today despite skipping the first Playoff event.

McIlroy will begin the Playoffs in 15th place and both he, Spieth and Day are expected to tee it up in Boston in an event that will now have the added spice of the world No 1 race.

"I am just excited about the competition and I think it is going to be a lot of fun," said Day, who finished tied ninth in the US Open, tied fourth in the Open before winning the RBC Canadian Open and then followed a share of 12th in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational with back to back wins in the US PGA and The Barclays.

"I love being in contention. And I love playing against guys that are on fire. You kind of live for those moments. 

"But Jordan, he didn't play that great and you could see he was tired and he's had a tough run with all the commitments he's had off the golf course. And with Rory, missing this week.... who knows that happened to his ankle, maybe he just needed to rest it. So those guys are going to at least come in fresh for next week...

"I think I have the opportunity to get to No 1 if I play some good golf over the next three or four weeks. It's been a goal of mine but it's going to be tough to catch. Right now I am just going to focus on getting some rest and trying to play that golf course, which I absolutely love."

Thomas Pieters/Getty Images

European Tour — Damien McGrane secured his first European Tour Top-10 for more than a year as Thomas Pieters powered to victory in the D+D REAL Czech Masters.
The Kells man closed with a 68 to share eighth on 10 under par at Albatross Golf Resort, picking up €20,600 to move to 166th in the money list but still a daunting €92,000 short of what he needs to keep his card through the Top 110 in the Race to Dubai.
Michael Hoey (73) tied for 22nd on seven under to lie 77th in the money list while Kevin Phelan (73) is 105th after sharing 47th on three under.
Title winner Pieters recovered from an early double bogey to win his maiden European Tour title by three shots on 20 under/
The big-hitting Belgian started the final round in Prague with a one shot advantage over Pelle Edberg, who joined him at the top of the leaderboard with a birdie on the second hole after both players had picked up shots on the first.
Pieters found himself one behind the Swede after a double bogey on the third hole but pulled clear with four birdies over his final ten holes, including holing a ten foot putt on the last, for a closing round of 69 and a 20 under par winning total.
He become just the third Belgian to win on The European Tour, after Phillip Toussaint and Nicolas Colsaerts.
Complete final round scores (par 72)

268 T Pieters(Bel) 66 68 65 69

271 P Edberg (Swe) 66 67 67 71

272 M Fitzpatrick(Eng) 66 67 71 68

274 R Dinwiddie(Eng) 69 67 68 70

277 R Kakko(Fin) 67 72 68 70, R Paratore (Ita) 65 73 70 69, T Olesen (Den) 67 69 67 74

278 E De La Riva(Esp) 65 76 69 68, K Broberg (Swe) 67 73 69 69, G Bourdy (Fra) 70 70 71 67, C Lee (Sco) 68 71 69 70, Damian McGrane (Irl) 69 70 71 68 (€ 20,600)

279 R Karlberg(Swe) 70 68 71 70, S Hutsby(Eng) 66 70 71 72, C Arendell (USA) 72 67 71 69, G Boyd(Eng) 69 72 69 69

280 M Lundberg (Swe) 72 71 64 73, J Makitalo(Fin) 71 70 68 71, P Uihlein(USA) 70 71 66 73, G Storm(Eng) 70 73 71 66, A Wall (Eng) 72 70 67 71

281 M Schneider (Ger) 72 67 71 71, E Pepperell (Eng) 69 68 71 73, J Lagergren (Swe) 69 73 69 70, Michael Hoey (Nir) 67 70 71 73 (€10,700), D Lipsky (USA) 71 69 68 73


285 Kevin Phelan (Irl) 70 71 71 73 (€4,600)