Slocum wins Barclays|Locals celebrate triumph

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 31, 2009

The roar at the Vicksburg Country Club said it all. The gathering of Sunday afternoon golfers watched Heath Slocum, the son of VCC club pro Jack Slocum, roll in a 20-foot par putt on No. 18 to win The Barclays Sunday afternoon at Liberty National in Jersey City, New Jersey.

Scroll down to see Heath Slocum’s winning putt on 18

Winning the PGA Tour’s first playoff tournament for the 2009 FedEx Cup marks a career-defining moment in the 35-yard-old Slocum’s pro career. It was Heath’s first PGA Tour win since the 2005 Southern Farm Bureau Tournament, now the Viking Classic played at Annandale Country Club in Madison. It was also his third PGA Tour win and sixth overall as a pro, and definitely the biggest paycheck of his career at $1.35 million.

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Jack was at Annandale Sunday afternoon playing in a club pro sectional, and not at the VCC in Vicksburg. He still got plenty of calls and texts from his club members after his son sealed the win by rolling in the dramatic par putt. Slocum finished at 9-under, one stroke better than Tiger Woods, Padraig Harrington, Steve Stricker and Ernie Els.

“Well, he made the one that counted,” Jack Slocum said by phone of his son’s par save on the final hole.

“This is so huge for him. It gets him into everything next year. The Masters, the U.S. Open, British Open and PGA,” Jack Slocum said.

It also gets him into the final three FedEx Cup playoff tournaments for this season, beginning with this week’s Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston, followed by the BMW Championships and then the Tour Championship in Atlanta.

But it knocked him out of a special father-son match at the Warren County Cup in September. Heath had sneaked into the playoffs coming into The Barclays ranked 124th out of 125 qualifiers. He needed a top 20 finish at The Barclays just to qualify for the Deutsche Bank and had he not, he would’ve been free to play with his dad at the Warren County Cup, and against the father-son duo of Chase and Kent Smith of Clear Creek.

It looked like Heath was staring at a playoff when he came to the 18th tee. He was tied at 9-under with Stricker but Woods had an easy 7-foot birdie putt for a tie. Woods ran the putt by and settled for a par and a share of the clubhouse lead with Harrington and Els at 8-under.

Slocum then saw his tee shot bounce into a fairway bunker, leaving him no option but to lay up on his second shot.

“It went just a little too right,” Jack Slocum said of his son’s tee shot.

Stricker was in the other side bunker but his third shot landed 10 feet from the pin, giving him a much better chance at the outright win.

Slocum had a good 20 feet left to save par and stay at 9-under, but he hit the line well and the putt dropped, creating a roar from his Vicksburg fans. Stricker then missed the 10-footer, giving Slocum the win.

Heath was then shown picking up his pink-clad daughter Stella.


Contact Jeff Byrd at