Plenty to Play For


There may not be any majors left on the 2003 calendar, but there is still plenty to play for over the remainder of the PGA Tour season.
The Player of the Year honor is up for grabs, as is the money title. And this weeks event may go a long way in determining the winner(s) of both.
The $6-million NEC Invitational ' the second of three individual World Golf Championship events ' is ready to greet the games greatest.
The event has returned to Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio, following a one-year stay at Sahalee Country Club outside of Seattle, Wash.
And no one could be happier about the venues revisit than Tiger Woods -- who has usually sewed up the P.O.Y. award and the money title by this point in the season. He has won both titles the last four years.
Woods won at Firestone from 1999-2001; he finished fourth last year, five shots behind champion Craig Parry.
The burly Australian won his first event on American soil in his 236th tour start. It was his 20th career worldwide victory.
Parry may still be trying to recover from a celebratory hangover. He has six missed cuts in 14 starts on tour this season, with no top-30s.
This became an official tour event in 1976, when it was known as the World Series of Golf. It affiliated with the World Golf Championships in 99, and until last year had been exclusively contested at Firestone.
First prize this week is $1,080,000.
Woods won the years first WGC event, the Accenture Match Play Championship. He is also the defending champion at the American Express Championship, the final individual WGC event of the season, to be played Sept. 2-5.
Woods has won six of the 11 WGC events in which he has played ' not including three World Cup titles from 1999-01.
Woods is again among the favorites for Player of the Year honors. He has won four times -- though no majors -- and is second on the money list.
Mike Weir has three victories, including the Masters tournament. He had a wonderful opportunity to clinch the award in last week's PGA Championship, but bogeyed his first five holes in the final round and settled for a tie for seventh.
Davis Love III leads the money list. He missed the cut at Oak Hill just one week removed from his fourth win of the season at The International.
Also in the running are U.S. Open and Buick Open champion Jim Furyk, and three-time winner Kenny Perry.
The field includes the current U.S. and International Presidents Cup team members; the most recent U.S. and European Ryder Cup team members; the top 50 players according to the World Golf Ranking, if not otherwise eligible; and select tournament winners, if not otherwise eligible, of worldwide events over the past year.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - WGC-NEC Invitational
  • More PGA Tour Preview Information