There is no shortage of intriguing groupings when the FedEx Cup Playoffs begin – the threesomes are determined by a player’s position in the points standings (Nos. 1, 2 and 3, etc.).
So, here are four groups to watch this week at The Barclays:
8:16 a.m. ET Thursday (No. 10): Tiger Woods, Matt Kuchar, Brandt Snedeker
All three players have won two or more titles this season, which is why they’re in the featured group of the playoff opener. As usual, the attention this week will be on Woods, who followed up his dominating victory at Firestone with a laborious T-40 at Oak Hill. Which Woods shows up at Liberty National? The guess here is the former, especially considering he was a co-runner-up here in 2009.
12:55 p.m. ET Thursday (No. 1): Keegan Bradley, Adam Scott, Boo Weekley
Bradley is the only member of this group without a victory in 2013, but he’s certainly trending toward ending that drought. He has top-20s in his last three starts, including a runner-up at Firestone, and he’s third in the Tour’s all-around ranking. Scott, meanwhile, has seemed to save his best for the year’s biggest events, recording three top-fives in majors this season.
1:06 p.m. ET Thursday (No. 1): Phil Mickelson, Bill Haas, Billy Horschel
This is the 4-5-6 group, led by Mickelson, who was awful at Oak Hill (T-72 among the 75 players who made the cut) and hasn’t been the same player since his breakthrough at Muirfield. Does he coast through the playoffs, or can he regain his motivation to close out a great year and, possibly, win Player of the Year for the first time? Haas was the 2011 FedEx Cup winner, while Horschel has seven top-10s this season but none since mid-June.
8:05 a.m. ET Thursday (No. 10): Justin Rose, Jordan Spieth, Henrik Stenson
The two hottest players in this group are the ones without a major championship. Rose has a pair of top-10s in his last four starts, but Spieth is coming off a playoff loss at the Wyndham (his seventh top-10) and is motivated to make the Presidents Cup team, while Stenson has a pair of seconds and two thirds in his last four starts. It’s a good bet they’ll both finish ahead of Rose this week.