FARMINGDALE, N.Y. -- Heath Slocum has reason to be wary of media on the golf course unless it is for a trophy presentation.
Two years ago in the final event of the season, Slocum was so far out of contention at Disney that he teed off on the back nine. As he finished, he saw photographers and a few writers behind the ninth green, and he knew why they were there. Slocum was at No. 30 on the money list, needing to hold down that spot to get into the Masters.
The Barclays kicks off the 2012 PGA Tour playoffs at Bethpage Black, the famous New York City public course that hosted the U.S. Open in 2002 and 2009.
''I didn't know if they needed a quote because I made the Masters or because I missed it,'' Slocum said.
He made a 7-footer for par and held onto the 30th spot by $1,439 over J.B. Holmes.
On Monday in Greensboro, Slocum was trying to move into the top 125 on the FedExCup standings to qualify for the playoffs when he started dropping shots. A three-putt double bogey on the 14th, a bogey on the 16th, and then more photographers.
''I knew it was going to be close,'' he said.
Slocum finished with a bogey, but he was one-shot clear of moving into the top 125, sending him to Bethpage Black for The Barclays.
He needs to get into the top 100 in the standings to advance next week to the Deutsche Bank Championship, though he has history on his side. Slocum also was No. 124 in 2009 when he won The Barclays at Liberty National. He wound up at No. 8 when the FedExCup ended, giving him a $600,000 bonus.
It was the biggest win of his career, not only because the field was among the strongest of the year, but because of the four players he beat - Tiger Woods, Padraig Harrington, Ernie Els and Steve Stricker, who at the time had combined for 97 PGA Tour wins and 20 majors.
Now, if he can only find a little more magic at this tournament. And this time, he wouldn't mind seeing photographers.
''If I see them Sunday, that would be a good thing,'' he said. ''And I hope I do. I hope I can make it a good story.''