You Oughta Know: Tour Championship

By Rex HoggardSeptember 22, 2012, 11:38 pm

The race for the FedEx Cup has come down to the final day with plenty left to be settled. Here are notes and nuggets to whet your appetite for Sunday’s finish to the Tour Championship:

Rory McIlroy can become the newest member of the $10 million club on Sunday with a victory at the Tour Championship and lock up his status as this year’s PGA Tour Player of the Year. But if the bloated paycheck was going to keep the Ulsterman up at night the stress wasn’t showing. “This is nothing compared to going into the final round of a major with the lead,” he said.

The Ulsterman can also become the first player since David Duval in 1997 to win three consecutive starts ending with the Tour Championship.

Tiger Woods can collect his third FedEx Cup trophy with a victory. He could also cash in with a sixth-place finish or better depending on what McIlroy and the other top-5 players on the points list do on Sunday.

Brandt Snedeker, fifth in points entering the week, can also collect the check with a victory. Perhaps more important than the $10 million, however, a victory would silence critics who questioned U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III’s decision to make him a pick for next week’s matches.

• Nick Watney, currently 29th out of a 30-man field, is projected to finish fifth in the FedEx Cup standings and collect $1 million. Not a bad haul for a playoff run that featured a victory (Barclays), T-20 (Deutsche Bank Championship), T-45 (BMW Championship) and TBD (Tour Championship).

• Justin Rose can win but only if he gets some help from those ahead of him on the points list – including McIlroy finishing 17th or worse and Woods no better than a three-way tie for fifth.

• Love can get a sneak peek at a few potential Sunday pairings for next week’s Ryder Cup via the final-round pairings at East Lake – including Snedeker and Rose in the day’s anchor group, Luke Donald and Zach Johnson , and Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia.

Ryan Moore, who is alone in third place two strokes back, can collect his first Tour title since 2009.

• John Huh, the only rookie to advance to the Tour Championship, will likely wrap up the Rookie of the Year race. Four rookies have made it to the finale in the FedEx Cup era – Keegan Bradley (2011), Marc Leishman (2009), Andres Romero (2008) and Snedeker (2007) – and all were voted the year’s top newcomer.

• Steve Stricker, who has struggled with back-to-back 73s and is tied for 22nd, can become the all-time playoffs leader for top-10 finishes (currently he has 10) if he rallies on Sunday.

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Rory: Phil said RC task force just copied Europe

By Randall MellFebruary 21, 2018, 7:21 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Playing the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am two weeks ago, Rory McIlroy quizzed Phil Mickelson about what the Americans got out of the U.S. Ryder Cup task force’s overhaul.

McIlroy and Mickelson were paired together at Pebble Beach.

“Basically, all they are doing is copying what the Europeans have done,” McIlroy said.  “That's what he said.”

The Europeans claimed their sixth of seven Ryder Cups with their victory at Gleneagles in 2014. That brought about a sea change in the way the United States approached the Ryder Cup. Mickelson called out the tactics in Gleneagles of captain Tom Watson, who was outmaneuvered by European captain Paul McGinley.

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The Americans defeated Europe at Hazeltine two years ago with that new European model.

“He said the first thing they did in that task force was Phil played a video, a 12-minute video of Paul McGinley to all of them,” McIlroy said. “So, they are copying what we do, and it's working for them. It's more cohesive, and the team and the core of that team are more in control of what they are doing, instead of the PGA of America recruiting and someone telling them what to do.”

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Tiger Tracker: Honda Classic

By Tiger TrackerFebruary 21, 2018, 7:00 pm

Tiger Woods is making his third start of the year at the Honda Classic. We're tracking him at PGA National in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.

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Woods happy to help Furyk at Ryder Cup

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 21, 2018, 6:58 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Tiger Woods didn't hesitate when Jim Furyk asked him to become a vice captain at the upcoming Ryder Cup.

Woods said Wednesday that Furyk asked he and Steve Stricker “a while ago” whether they were interested in being assistants in Paris as the Americans try to win a Ryder Cup on foreign soil for the first time in 25 years.

“He’s one of my best friends,” Woods said of Furyk, “and whatever he wants, whatever he needs, I’m there to help him. We’re worked well the last couple of years in the cups together.”

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Though Woods has said that he wants to be a playing vice captain, he has been an assistant at each of the past two international team competitions.

Furyk, Woods and Stricker were all assistants at Hazeltine, where the U.S. won in a rout.

“Jim is very detailed, very smart, very analytical, and he’s just a fantastic leader,” Woods said. “For him to ask Stricks and I together, it will be special for both of us.”

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Woods to hit '4 or 5' drivers each day at Honda

By Ryan LavnerFebruary 21, 2018, 6:25 pm

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – Those hoping Tiger Woods will wield the driver early and often this week at PGA National likely will be disappointed.

Depending on wind direction, he said he will only hit “four or five” drivers each round.

During Wednesday’s pro-am, Woods hit driver on six holes. He found two fairways with the big stick and found the right rough four times, though a few of those misses were only a few yards off the fairway.

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In two starts this year, Woods has struggled mightily with every club off the tee, but driver has been especially troublesome. He has found only 36 percent of the fairways so far (30 of 84).

The Champion Course here is a par 70, with water and bunkers often lining the fairways. Putting the ball in play off the tee will be at a premium, and so Woods opted for a low, penetrating 2-iron six times in the pro-am.

Woods said he did not make any equipment changes following the missed cut at Riviera.