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JERSEY CITY, N.J. -- With a 5-under 66 on Friday in the second round of the Barclays, Adam Scott put himself in excellent position to win the first leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs.
More importantly, the 33-year-old Australian could -- with a victory this week -- elevate himself firmly into the conversation for PGA Tour Player of the Year.
Even though Tiger Woods has five wins on the year, it would be difficult to reckon with a player who had a green jacket for a Masters victory and the $10 million playoff prize, if Scott were to go on to win the FedEx Cup playoffs.
In 2013, no one in the game played better than Scott in the majors. In addition to his win in Augusta, he had a tie for third at the Open Championship and a tie for fifth at the PGA. His only blemish in the Grand Slam events was a tie for 45th at Merion.
"I feel like I've played a lot of good golf and obviously winning at Augusta is huge, but I feel like I'd like to win again before the end of the season, and kind of validate all of my good play," Scott said after his second round.
The mere number of wins should never be the sole or even leading factor in determining who will earn the player of the year award. If the tour used a points system to determine player of the year, instead of player voting, extra weight should be given to the majors and strength of field, similar to how world ranking points are distributed or to how the LPGA picks its Rolex POY. The PGA of America uses a points system to select its player of the year that takes into account wins, stroke average and position on the money list.
Earlier this week when Tiger was asked about his competition for player of the year, Scott's name was not one of them. The 79-time winner mentioned only multiple winners in the season: Brandt Snedeker, Matt Kuchar and Phil Mickelson.
Tiger might still win player of the year under a points system, given his victories at the Players, two WGC events and the Arnold Palmer Invitational, but if Scott can somehow win this week at the Barclays and then take the Tour Championship in Atlanta in late September, the balloting will become much more difficult for the voting players.
Having one of this season's major winners as the FedEx Cup champion would undoubtedly raise the prestige of the four-tournament series that began in 2007 when Tiger won the first of his two FedEx Cup titles.
The playoffs were designed to showcase the best players in the world in a format that would keep fans interested after the majors.
All four of the 2013 major winners have a chance of stealing the player of the year honor away from Tiger. But with two wins on the year, including perhaps a career-defining triumph at Muirfield, Mickelson probably has the best chance of this group if he can win the playoffs. But after the emotional finish in Scotland, Mickelson doesn't seem like he has much left to give in 2013.
On Friday evening, Scott said he had to put his "foot down" a little bit in the second round because he thought that come Sunday the winning score would be between 15 and 20 under.
In a day where he played 30 holes to complete his first and second rounds due to weather delays on Thursday, Scott had five birdies, two bogeys and an eagle. He finished 36 holes at 7 under par, 3 shots off Kuchar's lead with the second round not due for completion until Saturday morning.
"I'm pretty happy with today's effort," Scott said. "It was actually kind of tough out there. When we went out this morning, the wind was up, and the course played a lot tougher than the few holes I played yesterday.
"Playing 30 holes in a day is good if you're playing well, you want to keep playing. Sometimes when you're playing well, [you'd] rather just keep going around and I've had a little bit of momentum going."
If Scott can keep that momentum going for 36 more holes and carry it through to Boston, Chicago and Atlanta, he might just get the player of the year award to go along with his green jacket.