Playing the What If game


ATLANTA – As if golf needed to be more confusing, Sunday’s showdown at East Lake comes with more small print than a federal bailout. But in case you were curious, here are a few “what ifs” regarding that $10 million bonus to digest.

– If Kenny Perry (first) wins the Tour Championship Tiger Woods, No. 1 on the FedEx Cup points list, must finish no better than a three-way tie for third.

– If Phil Mickelson (T-3) rallies from four back, Woods must finish no better than eighth.

– If Sean O’Hair (T-3) wins, Woods must be no better than a three-way tie for second place and Steve Stricker would have to tie for second.

– If Steve Marino (T-5) were to land his Tour breakthrough, Woods would have to finish tied for 19th or worse.

All of which means that – despite his career-long assessment that second . . . well, second is no good – finishing runner-up this week at the Tour Championship really isn’t that bad.