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Tiger pumped for playoffs

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As had been reported earlier, Tiger Woods committed early Friday to play next week’s Barclays in New Jersey, the first of four FedEx Cup Playoff events.

The world No. 1 missed the first two editions of The Barclays, including last year’s injury-induced no-show, and holds a commanding lead in the season-long points race, which led some to speculate he would pass on this year’s playoff opener as well.

Either Woods signed on to play The Barclays to support a Tour struggling with the impacts of a down economy or the circuit’s reworked points system, which carries all points earned in the regular season over into the first three playoff events before a reseed prior to the Tour Championship, prompted him to sign on to protect his “cup” chances. We’re betting on the former.

Interestingly, Golf World magazine reported in last week’s edition that Woods, Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els have all lobbied the Tour to cut the playoffs to three events, with The Barclays likely getting the hook and sliding back into the regular schedule.