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What a Way to Finish

In recent years, the PGA Tour Championship has had the feel of a season-ending event.
But not in a dynamic way.
Its had all the emotion of an Algebra class. The field of 30 seemed to run through the motions: play the four rounds, cash the guaranteed paycheck. If you happen to get into contention, great; if not, so be it ' Silly Season, here I come.
This year, however, happens to have a different feel.
For the first time since 1998, the money title and Player of the Year honors are still in doubt.
Tiger Woods has had a stranglehold on those two titles over the last four years, and he may well win both for a fifth straight season. But this time, if he does, hell have to secure each this week in Houston, Texas.
Woods said it at the WGC-American Express Championship; he reiterated it two weeks ago at the Funai Classic: Its all going to come down to the Tour Championship.
Woods currently trails Vijay Singh by $768,494 on the money list.
Singh overtook Tiger at the top by virtue of his victory at Disney. He entered last weeks Chrysler Championship with a $250,000 advantage over his rival, and managed to increase it thanks to a runner-up finish.
Woods, who was not originally scheduled to compete last week, opted not to add the event to his schedule, stating: The most important thing to me is being ready for the Tour Championship. Thats a big event and I want to be physically and mentally ready.
If he (Singh) has it (the money title) wrapped up by then, so be it. I think anyone would rather have Player of the Year than the money title.
Well, its not wrapped up. And, according the Singh, hed rather be tops in earnings than in his peers' minds.
Thats the only one I can control, said Singh, who also believes his only chance to win Player of the Year is to also win the money title.
This weeks purse is $6 million, meaning the winner will get $1,080,000. Second place will get $648,000.
With no cut, the last-place finisher is guaranteed $96,000.
Woods must win the event and hope that Singh finishes fourth place or worse. If Singh cracks the top 3 then he will win the money title.
Of course, there are 28 others in the field, and a few who can still stake their claim for Player of the Year.
Mike Weir has won three times this season, including the Masters Tournament. And while Singh may be the defending champion, the modest Canadian is the reigning champion at Champions Club.
Singh prevailed last year at the East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Ga. Weir won two years ago at Champions, defeating Ernie Els, Sergio Garcia and David Toms in a playoff.
Woods won this event at Champions in 1999, when he defeated Davis Love III by four strokes.
Love ' four wins, including The Players Championship, and Jim Furyk ' two wins, including the U.S. Open, also hope to keep alive their fading P.O.Y. chances with a victory this week.
Related Links:
  • Full Coverage - The Tour Championship
  • More PGA Tour Preview Information