Fast-starting Piercy needs help to claim FedEx Cup

By Jason SobelSeptember 20, 2012, 10:08 pm

ATLANTA – Scott Piercy is going to win the FedEx Cup.

Apologies for the lack of a spoiler alert, but the biggest shocker in the six-year history of the playoff series is too exciting to keep under wraps.

Piercy entered the Tour Championship in dead last on the points list of the 30 players in this week’s field, but he’s on the verge of making a worst-to-first turnaround. Following an opening-round 3-under 67 that included a half-dozen birdies sandwiched by a bogey on the first hole and double bogey on the last, he’s in prime position to claim the $10 million first prize on Sunday afternoon.

All he needs is a victory.

And, uh… a few other things, too.

Louis Oosthuizen must finish T-2 or worse. That’s right – a solo runner-up finish wouldn’t be good enough for Piercy, but sharing it would do the trick. Since Oosthuizen already has a pair of solo seconds this year, the chances are against his drive for a third.

Brandt Snedeker must finish in a three-way tie for second or worse. At T-7 through 18 holes, that’s practically a given.

Phil Mickelson must finish T-3 or worse. He’s tied for 12th right now. Done deal.

Nick Watney must finish in a four-way tie for third or worse. He’s currently in last place. Put a check mark next to this one.

Tiger Woods must finish in a three-way tie for sixth or worse. Hmm, currently tied for the lead, he’ll need a classic weekend fade to help out Piercy.

And last but not least, Rory McIlroy – the guy who leads the standings with victories in each of the last two events – must finish dead last of the 30 players teeing it up. No problem!

Cue Lloyd Christmas: “So you’re telling me there’s a chance …”

Saying that Piercy has a “mathematical possibility” of winning the playoffs is like saying that you have a “mathematical possibility” of marrying Kate Upton.

OK, so Piercy isn’t going to win the FedEx Cup.

You know. I know it. He knows it.

“My chances are slim to none – and I think slim's about to leave the building,” said Piercy, currently in a share of third place, one behind the lead of Woods and Justin Rose.

In reality, Piercy’s win came at the last playoff event. A share of 37th place in the BMW Championship secured the final spot in the Tour Championship – and with it, all the opportunities he could ever want.

Already in next year’s Masters thanks to his Canadian Open victory, Piercy is now eligible for the U.S. Open, British Open, Players Championship, WGC-Cadillac Championship, Arnold Palmer Invitational, Crowne Plaza Invitational, Memorial Tournament, AT&T National and CIMB Asia Pacific Classic.

If that doesn’t sound too impressive, consider the fact that Piercy didn’t reach the PGA Tour until four years ago at the age of 30. Now he not only owns a card, but can pick and choose, setting his schedule before the year even begins.

“It's definitely big for me to be here,” he said. “I'm definitely excited to be here. Getting the doors it opens, and just being part of 30 guys from the whole Tour, I think it says a lot to where my game has come from and hopefully going to. I think it's just a stepping stone in the process.”

Someone is going to win the FedEx Cup this weekend. There’s an excellent possibility that someone is named McIlroy or Woods, but all 30 players in the field have a chance to hoist the trophy and receive the ridiculously large paycheck.

Piercy owns the smallest chance of ‘em all. Unless McIlroy turns into a 16-handicap overnight and all the stars align his way, it’ll be impossible for him to claim that title.

But he’s still looking to capture another one.

“If I win, I finish second,” he explained. “It's still a million and a half for first place, and another $3 million for the FedEx, so I'll take $4.5 million. That would be sweet.”

Getty Images

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.

Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos

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.”

Getty Images

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.

Getty Images

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.”

Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos

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.”

Getty Images

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.

Honda Classic: Articles, photos and videos

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.