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Playoffs a real test to the players

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LEMONT, Ill. – There has been a question of how players deal with the physical toll of staying in contention during these playoffs. Padraig Harrington has talked extensively about the demands that come from playing pressure golf, which usually comes when you are either contending or trying to make a cut.

But the playoffs affect almost all players like that, because of the constant specter of elimination. Marc Leishmann made eagle on the 72nd hole last week to make this week's field. He told me today about how he spent Monday night making travel arrangements, played a practice round Tuesday, then got to the course Wednesday, hit a few balls, then decided to go home for the day. He said he couldn’t bear to be at the golf course for a second longer.

That decision has worked out well for him. Maybe not well enough to outlast Tiger Woods, but enough to make a guy who was going home to Virginia Beach on Monday able to book a flight to Atlanta for the Tour Championship should he hold his position.

The playoffs are not just testing players on the course it is testing their resolve, their stamina and their ability to find a way to get the best out of themselves. Even when they don’t feel up to par.