EDISON, N.J. - Clearly this was going to be an extraordinary day at The Barclays. Minutes before co-leaders Jason Day and Sang-moon Bae walked to the first tee, Brian Harman was talking about having made two holes-in-one in his round (and how he would have to buy many rounds). But as amazing as that feat was, Harman was quickly and fully upstaged by the arrival of Donald Trump.
Trump was treated like a rock star by the crowd at Plainfield Country Club on Sunday, signing autographs, posing for selfies and giving thumbs-ups to fans shouting support. "It's affirmation. They want the country to be great again," he said as he walked near the ninth fairway. "Not a heckler in the whole group."
The golf course owner/developer and would-be leader of the free world did leave in a blue SUV -- waving to security guards and anyone else near the driveway -- about two hours before the tournament ended.
By then, it was obvious that Jason was the most extraordinary Day. He shot 8-under-par 62, finished at 19 under, tied a tournament record with his four-day 261 and won the first leg of the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup playoffs by six strokes.
Day claimed the $1.485-million first-place check, took the lead toward the $10-million FedEx prize and intensified the momentum he built by winning the PGA Championship, his first major title, two weeks ago. Counting the Canadian Open, he has won three of his past four starts.
He said his year was transformed right before that stretch, during the British Open, despite leaving a potential tying putt short on the final hole. "Ever since then, I just felt a lot more calm on the golf course. I felt it was my time," he said.
Runner-up Henrik Stenson (66) was within two shots early on the back nine, but no one really threatened Day. Bae, who started the round tied for first, shot a 2-over 72. Ryan Palmer, the sentimental favorite, shot par and then finally let tears flow for his father, who died in a vehicle accident last week. Bubba Watson, who had been at or near the lead all week, shot a bland 69.
Watson recalled telling his caddie, "I'm playing good the last few months and Jason Day is playing a thousand times better. It seems like he's my thorn right now."
Day's putter was a dagger to everyone else's hopes. He made birdie putts of 27, 29 and 33 feet on Nos. 10, 14 and 15, respectively. "I feel like Jordan Spieth right now, the way I'm putting," he said.
When he did get in trouble by pushing his tee shot near the fence on 13, he threaded a 153-yard wedge shot over trees and a water hazard to save par. His tee shots averaged an impressive 326.3 yards.
"I think [it's] the mentality of not being satisfied with a number," he said. "Just keep pushing forward, not being OK with 'OK.' "
He has set a torrid pace for the playoffs, just as Harman (68) had set the bar high for the day. The double-ace shooter, headed out to Manhattan with buddies, was asked what the bar tab would be. "It's going to hurt," he said.
Still, the most electric figure was the man in the blue blazer and white cap. "He's got a lot of momentum. Hopefully it keeps going," said Jim Herman (67), the former Trump Bedminster, New Jersey, assistant pro who wears a Trump logo on his shirt and credits his old boss for launching his tour career.
Trump had plenty of support Sunday, on both sides of the ropes. Former Barclays champion Dustin Johnson said: "I know Mr. Trump pretty well. Yeah, I like him. He's got my vote."