Then he shot 40 on his opening nine holes and missed the cut in the first event of the playoffs.
Steve Stricker had not played at Westchester since 1995, when he tied for 60th and promptly told his wife, 'Take a picture because we're not coming back.' He had little choice but to return under the FedExCup format, and Stricker warmed to the place rather quickly when he won The Barclays for his first victory in more than six years.
'I think for the most part, most players feel like if they're playing well, they can compete at any course,' Stricker said Wednesday.
The next stop in the playoffs is the TPC Boston for the Deutsche Bank Championship, which starts Friday to accommodate its annual Labor Day finish.
The defending champion is Tiger Woods, who will be making his playoff debut after sitting out the first round, which caused him to fall from No. 1 to No. 4 in the standings.
Three of the top 10 players -- Adam Scott is the other -- have won at the TPC Boston. That doesn't mean much if the first week was any indication. Plus, the course has gone through another round of changes, this time by architect Gil Hanse and Brad Faxon.
Among the most significant changes:
Hanse and Faxon also reshaped the bunkers to give them a New England feel, rugged and unkempt.
The routing is the same, but it's not quite the same course where Woods closed with a 63 last year to turn a three-shot deficit into a two-shot victory over Singh.
Woods won't see these changes until his pro-am round. Playing for the first time since winning the PGA Championship at Southern Hills, he spent about two hours on the practice range and putting green before going to a Presidents Cup meeting with Jack Nicklaus.
David Toms was among the first and most vocal about the courses used for the PGA TOUR playoffs. He grew up in the South, and won his only major in the PGA Championship at Atlanta Athletic Club. That doesn't mean he is incapable of winning anywhere, but he questioned the equity of going to the same courses.
'If you're going to make guys play, are their guys from the West Coast who would normally go to Chicago or New York? Maybe, maybe not,' Toms said Wednesday. 'You might have variety throughout the year, but you're talking about four straight weeks. For anyone, you do the best you can.'
And Toms realizes his chances aren't necessarily hurt by going to the same four courses. He recalls hating Kingsmill the first time he played the old Michelob Championship, and it wasn't long before he won there in consecutive years.
'It's OK, as long as the golf courses are suitable for everybody,' he said. 'I guess if you look at past experience, there might be guys that definitely have an advantage. But that's usually some of the best players, anyway.'
So what to make of the TPC Boston?
Toms has not been back since 2004, when he closed with a 64 to tie for 13th. He liked the rugged look of the redesign, figured that it still caters to the longer hitters, but then came to another savvy conclusion big hitters usually have an advantage everywhere.
Scott won the inaugural Deutsche Bank Championship in 2003. He had yet to see the changes, but just being on the property some 35 miles south of Boston brings back fond memories. It was his first PGA TOUR victory.
'It's always an advantage if you've won at a course,' Scott said.
That would suggest the playoffs bode well for Scott, who tied for 14th at The Barclays and moved up one spot to No. 9 in the standings. He also won the TOUR Championship last year at East Lake.
'If you enjoy being at a golf course for four straight week, I think it's an advantage,' he said. 'If you don't, it won't be much fun.'
Like everyone else, Scott believes good play can change someone's mind quickly.
There was talk that Southern Hills wasn't a good fit for Woods, who tied for 12th at the U.S. Open in 2001 and was at the bottom of the pack in the '96 TOUR Championship. Woods kept saying in the weeks leading up to the PGA Championship that he wasn't hitting the ball very well those two years.
He tied a major championship record with a 63 in the second round of the PGA, and went on to a two-shot victory.
Stricker has never missed the Deutsche Bank Championship, but he missed the cut his first three years until tying for seventh a year ago. He liked the TPC Boston, and must like it even more coming off his victory at The Barclays.
'I don't want to stop,' Stricker said. 'I just want to keep this momentum going.'