NORTON, Mass. – For many Labor Day is the end of a season, for some PGA Tour types Monday promises to be the end of the road, a finality that goes well beyond the play-for-pay set’s affinity for white pants.
Deutsche Bank Championship Monday will be filled with professional milestones large and small, from those vying for playoff survival to others scrambling for last-minute Presidents Cup bids, the final 18 at TPC Boston will decide much more than just a champion.
Who needs the bigger Monday is a matter of perspective, but in CliffNotes form here are a half dozen worth watching.
Adam Scott. Since adding the long putter and Stevie Williams to his bag this year the Australian has quickly transitioned from intriguing comeback tale to world-beater in waiting, a spot he’s occupied in the past before sliding into an inexplicable tailspin in late 2008-2009.
But now those dark days seem like a past life following his victory at last month’s WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and rounds of 69-63-71 at TPC Boston. He’ll begin the final turn one stroke off the lead held by Bubba Watson and one round away from laying an early claim to the Player of the Year and FedEx Cup titles.
Brandt Snedeker. U.S. Presidents Cup captain Fred Couples’ decision to dole out one of his two coveted picks to Tiger Woods well before the Sept. 26 deadline sent a collective chill down the spines of many American hopefuls.
As the points now stand, Jim Furyk (11th in points), Snedeker (12th), Rickie Fowler (13th) and PGA champion Keegan Bradley (20th) are all vying for that final spot. It’s a list that makes Snedes the odd man out if his spot on the team comes down to needing a pick.
If Snedeker, currently tied for 12th in Boston, is going to make the U.S. team he will need to crack the top 10 on the points list by the end of the BMW Championship, and a good Monday at Deutsche Bank can only help.
Chez Reavie. It would be virtually impossible to tell given his affable demeanor, but the rest of Reavie’s year is riding on Monday’s finishing stretch. He must maintain his place in the top 10 (he’s currently tied for second) just to advance to the next playoff stop in Chicago and hope for more solid play to earn his first trip to the Tour Championship.
But even that won’t get him into the Fall Series. Because of Reavie’s status following knee surgery last June, he’s not qualified for three of the four fall events and he’s into the first stop in Las Vegas only because he finished in the top 10 at the Wyndham Championship.
“It’s been like that all year,” said Reavie, who is currently projected to move up to 27th on the FedEx Cup points list. “I could make it to the Tour Championship and not get into any fall events.”
Geoff Ogilvy. Like Snedeker, the Australian is scrambling for a spot on the International Presidents Cup team. Unlike his American counterpart, Ogilvy is also trying to claw his way into the BMW.
Ogilvy is 12th on the International team’s points list and the Melbourne native could make Greg Norman’s choices easier if he were to play his way onto the squad, which will be set following the BMW. Complicating matters, however, is Ogilvy’s position on the FedEx Cup points list (91st). He will need to finish in the top 15 in Boston if he wants to keep his playoff, and perhaps even his Presidents Cup, hopes alive.
“I’d like to have a good enough (Monday) to guarantee Atlanta (Tour Championship), Presidents Cup, win the tournament. I just want to keep playing,” Ogilvy said.
Kevin Na. Unlike everyone else on this list, Na has no control over what happens on Monday at TPC Boston. He missed the cut with rounds of 73-72 and will be relegated to partial bystander as his FedEx Cup fate is decided.
Throughout the day on Sunday Na lingered between 68th and 70th on the points list, but by the time the sun went down he’d settled at 69th.
“I’ll go home and watch the leaderboard, root for myself because I can’t root against someone else,” Na said after he missed the cut on Saturday.
PGA Tour. After having the playoff opener washed to 54 holes by a hurricane named Irene and jilted for the second time in four years by a postseason no-show by Tiger Woods, the circuit is in need of a big finish to liven things up.
The 54-hole leaderboard is helping, with the high-profile likes of Bubba Watson, Jason Day and Adam Scott, Nos. 16, 15 and 23 on the current playoff points list, topping a board that features 17 players within three strokes of the lead.
Phil Mickelson, who had created more buzz with his decision to go with a belly putter this week than his play, also helped the Deutsche Bank’s “Q-rating” on Sunday, signing for a 63 that gave him an outside chance at his second Boston tilt.
If all the lead characters can maintain the status quo, Monday’s finish could feel, well playoff-like.