Woods pulls his weight as PGA Tour playoffs begin

By Doug FergusonAugust 26, 2009, 4:00 pm
The Barclays JERSEY CITY, N.J. ' No matter what players think of the golf course, Liberty National gets universal praise for its intimate view of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty, so close to the shore she looks as if she could tend a flag on the green.
 
Equally impressive is the view of Tiger Woods suited up for the opening of the PGA Tour Playoffs.
 
Woods has not played The Barclays in six years, and this will be the first time he competes in all four of the playoff events for the FedEx Cup. At a time when PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem is asking players to do more for sponsors in a tough economy, the worlds No. 1 player is pulling his weight.
 
Tiger Woods playing is really good, Geoff Ogilvy said. Hes been very good for golf lately, not just because of the TV ratings, but hes playing a lot more. Our tour is always better when hes here. Golf is getting spoiled.
 
Golf went eight months without Woods as he recovered from knee surgery. Now it cant get rid of him.
 
The Barclays, which gets under way Thursday, is part of a nine-week stretch in which Woods will be playing seven times. He hasnt played that much in such a short period since the end of the 2006 season, when he missed nine weeks because of his fathers death.
 
Asked why he was playing this year, Woods replied, I qualified.
 
That he did, winning five times in 13 starts to be the top seed among 125 players who qualified for this $63 million bonanza at the end of the year ' $7 million purse at each of the four events, with $35 million in bonus money for the FedEx Cup.
 
The points system has been tweaked to put more emphasis on the eight months that comprise the regular season, with quintuple the value of points during the playoff events, then a reset of the points that allows for a shootout at the Tour Championship for the $10 million prize.
 
Woods could have skipped The Barclays and won the FedEx Cup, as he did in 2007. He learned Wednesday that it was possible for him to win the next three tournaments, finish second at the Tour Championship and not capture the FedEx Cup. Or that someone could win the big prize without having won a single tournament this year.
 
It is different, theres no doubt, he said. But then again, this is what were playing for. This is our opportunity to play well. You play well at the right time, you should be all right.
 
Whether the system works to everyones satisfaction this year, the playoffs is off to a solid start, mainly because Woods is playing.
 
Its great that everyone is here, Steve Stricker said. It gets this off on the right foot.
 
For Woods, it is a continuation of quiet support.
 
In March, he hosted 16 chief executives of companies that sponsor the PGA Tour for lunch and golf at Isleworth, some of them trying to decide whether to renew contracts. After the second round at Firestone this month, Woods hopped into a cart and headed for a meeting with sponsors.
 
Corporate duty, he said with a smile.
 
He played the Buick Open, even though his endorsement contract with the automaker ended late last year. That meant playing three straight weeks, the final tournament being a major, and Woods said Wednesday that being in contention three straight weeks ' two victories and blowing a two-shot lead at the PGA Championship to Y.E. Yang ' took its toll.
 
And now The Barclays.
 
I think we have to support the tour, especially in this economy right now, Woods said. Thats one of the reasons why I played Flint, to show my support and my thank you to Buick, and a lot of guys did the same thing. And certainly, Barclays has been just a great sponsor over the year, and hopefully, they will continue and we can continue building the partnership.
 
Woods conceded that he felt a greater responsibility as the sports top player. He said he couldnt play more earlier in the year because he didnt want to push himself physically while returning from reconstructive knee surgery.
 
As for his responsibility to tee it up when the playoffs begin?
 
You want to be here. You want to be in the playoffs, he said. And ultimately, this is our opportunity to get in the Tour Championship. So it starts here.
 
It will end at Liberty National for 25 players who dont finish among the top 100 and advance to the next week at TPC Boston for the Deutsche Bank Championship.
 
No one has played the golf course in competition, and while the architecture isnt overwhelming anyone, the length has their attention. Liberty National is 7,419 yards and plays as a par 71. The meat of the course is in the middle, with three par 4s at least 474 yards, a par 5 that is 611 yards and the par-3 11th that is 250 yards. The 18th hole is a par 4 at 508 yards, and another great view of New York.
 
Adding to the difficulty are the undulating greens, with some of the most severe on the long par 4s.
 
The holes that are 480 and above, Woods said. Its going to be hard to get the ball close. But everyone has got to play them.
 
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    By Grill Room TeamDecember 15, 2017, 1:05 am

    Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth. Really good at golf. Really good at vacationing.

    With #SB2K18 still months away, Thomas and Spieth headlined a vacation to Cabo San Lucas, and this will shock you but it looks like they had a great time.

    Spring break veteran Smylie Kaufman joined the party, as did Thomas' roommate, Tom Lovelady, who continued his shirtless trend.

    The gang played all the hits, including shoeless golf in baketball jerseys and late nights with Casamigos tequila.

    Image via tom.lovelady on Instagram.

    In conclusion, it's still good to be these guys.

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    Awards season: Handing out the 2017 Rexys

    By Rex HoggardDecember 14, 2017, 7:00 pm

    After careful consideration and an exhaustive review of 2017 we present The Rexys, a wildly incomplete and arbitrary line up following one of the most eventful years in golf.

     There will be omissions – just keep your calls, concerns and even e-mails to yourself. We appreciate your patronage, but not your feedback.



    It’s Not You, It’s Me Award. You know the deal: You can’t be a part of two until you’re a better one; but on this front it’s really just a desire to find a better two.

    It was a tough year for caddies, and not just any caddies. In June, Phil Mickelson split with longtime bagman Jim “Bones” Mackay. Both player and caddie cited the need for “change,” but the move reverberated throughout the game.

    “The fairytale is over,” mused one caddie when told of the high-profile split.

    In the wake of the Lefty/Bones break, Rory McIlroy split with his caddie J.P Fitzgerald, and Jason Day replaced looper/swing coach Colin Swatton on his bag. It all proves yet again that there are only two kinds of caddies, those who have been fired and those who are about to be fired.



    Run for the Rose Cup. Sergio Garcia got the green jacket, a lifetime exemption to the game’s most coveted member-member and a long-awaited major, but Justin Rose took home the slightly less prestigious “Rose Cup.”

    Following a frenzied afternoon at Augusta National in April, Rose lost to Garcia on the first playoff hole, but he won so much more with his honesty and class.

    “You're going to win majors and you're going to lose majors, but you've got to be willing to lose them,” Rose figured following the final round. “You've got to put yourself out there. You've got to hit the top of the leaderboard. There's a lot of pressure out there and if you're not willing to enjoy it, then you're not ready to win these tournaments. I loved it out there.”

    Few have made losing look so dignified and fewer still are as easy to root for.



    Half-Empty Cup. It was the perfect setting, with sweeping views of the Manhattan skyline and the promise of the Tristate masses descending on this fall’s Presidents Cup.

    If only all those rowdy New Yorkers had something to cheer.

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    Officials spoke of the purity of the competition and the attention the ’17 cup generated, but however you spin the 19-11 rout, this cup is half empty.



    Enigma Award. The actual hardware is simply an oversized question mark and was sent directly to Tiger Woods’ South Florida compound following the most curious of seasons.

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    Little is certain when it comes to Woods, and the over-sized question mark goes to ... the guy in red and black.



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    That working group – it turns out the U.S. Ryder Cup team has some sort of copyright on “task force” – initially issued a decision that introduced a “reasonable judgment” and a “naked eye” standard to video reviews, and last week the rule makers kept the changes coming.

    The new protocols on video review will now include an official to monitor tournament broadcasts and ended the practice of allowing fans to call in, or in this case e-mail, possible infractions to officials. The USGA and R&A also eliminated the two-stroke penalty for players who sign incorrect scorecards when the player is unaware of the penalty.

    While all this might be a step in the right direction, it does nothing to change Thompson’s fate. The AFR Chalice won’t change the harsh reality, but at least it will serve as a reminder of how she helped altered the rulemaking landscape.



    Nothing Runs Like a Deere Award. Nothing gets fans fired up like officials turning fields of fescue rough into hay on the eve of a major championship, and the USGA’s decision to do some 11th-hour trimming at Erin Hills in June certainly caught many by surprise.

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    Full-field scores from the Indonesian Masters


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