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What We Learned: Tiger's resiliency

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Each week, GolfChannel.com offers thoughts on 'what we learned' from the world of golf. In this edition, our writers weigh in on Tiger Woods, Gary Woodland, Lydia Ko and the good and the bad from the first week of the playoffs.


When Tiger Woods trailed by four heading into Sunday at The Barclays, I was certain he couldn't catch Matt Kuchar. After all, Woods had overcome that big a deficit to win a Tour event just five times before, and we've seen far too many weekend disappointments out of Woods in recent years. But when Woods made the turn in 3 under, dropped those shots, but made birdies on Nos. 16 and 17 and then had a chance to get into a playoff with birdie at the 72nd hole, I remembered never to discount Woods until it's over. Sure, he didn't win, but it sure looked like he was going to late on Sunday. – Bailey Mosier


Gary Woodland has always had the look of a guy who was the all-state quarterback, dated the prom queen and still got straight As on his report card. None of those qualities translates directly into playing better golf, but it's more about the mindset. From his first day on the PGA Tour, the former college basketball player has owned an air of confidence rarely seen in young players. Let's face it: Everyone on Tour has the talent to be there. Oftentimes it's that confidence which separates the successful ones from their peers. Woodland showed again this week that he isn't intimidated competing with the world's best. Now that he's finally healthy, expect it to start happening on a more regular basis soon. – Jason Sobel


The FedEx Cup Playoffs may never resonate with the depth of a major championship, but a post-PGA Championship leaderboard that includes Adam Scott (your Barclays champion), Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose is worth celebrating. And there are still three more postseason events remaining. – Rex Hoggard


The 7-year-old FedEx Cup has its flaws, but at least one tweak can be made rather easily. The 125-man field at The Barclays is too large, and despite the Tour’s best sales job, it’s difficult to get worked up about players being on the wrong side of the playoff cut who weren’t exactly worthy of postseason play to begin with. No player from Nos. 100-125 entered The Barclays with more than three top 10s this season, which is the equivalent of a 7-9 team making the NFL playoffs. How about some exclusivity? (We suggest starting with 100 players.) With its oversized field, the Barclays looked and felt like just another PGA Tour event, not the start of the all-important playoffs. – Ryan Lavner


Lydia Ko is more than ready to turn pro and start collecting money for schooling LPGA Tour pros. The 16-year-old amateur, who successfully defended her title in the CN Canadian Women's Open, easily took down a field of the top women players, becoming the first amateur ever to win two LPGA titles. GolfChannel.com's Randall Mell has reported that Ko and her family are looking into seeking a waiver of the LPGA's 18-year-old minimum age. It's time to get that process started. Al Tays