Tiger Woods’ victory at the PGA Championship ended what might have been a statistical rarity. For the first time in the majors this year, the winner came out of the final group. Zach Johnson played in the third-to-last group at the Masters, Angel Cabrera was in the fifth-to-last group at the U.S. Open and Padraig Harrington also was in the third-to-last group at the British Open.
This is like the final weekend of a baseball season and projecting the NCAA men’s basketball tournament all wrapped into one event. This week’s Wyndham Championship is the final event before the PGA’s inaugural FedEx Cup, the four-week event that will determine this tour champion. While there is no doubt who No. 1 is (Tiger Woods), all the attention is focused at the bottom of the pile. The FedEx Cup takes the top 144 players after this week. So that means the guys at 140 and below need to step up this week. Marco Dawson enters the week at No. 144. Who is Marco Dawson? Born in Germany, Dawson has played in 15 events this year, making just eight cuts. Dawson (1,669) has a 102-point lead over Eric Axley (1,567), with Steve Lowery (1,536), Cameron Beckman (1,514) and Chris Couch (1,494) not far behind.
Coming off a couple of big tournaments and with four must-play events coming up, only three of the top 50 players in the world ranking are playing this week. It would have been four, but defending champ Davis Love III is having kidney stones removed today. Anders Hansen, at No. 40, is the top-ranked player teeing off this week.
After taking last week off following Lorena Ochoa’s first major win at the Women’s British Open, the LPGA swings back into action. Don’t blame the players if they are a bit travel-weary. The Canadian Women’s Open marks the fourth country in five weeks for the tour. After its stop in New York, the LPGA went to France and then Scotland before trudging to Canada this week.
THIS WEEK’S TEE TIMES
EVENT: Wyndham Champ-ionship
WHERE: Greensboro, N.C.
COURSE: Forest Oaks Country Club, par 72
DEFENDING CHAMP: Davis Love III
EVENT: Canadian Women’s Open
WHERE: Edmonton, Alberta
COURSE: Royal Mayfair Golf and Country Club, par 71
DEFENDING CHAMP: Christie Kerr
EVENT: JELD-WEN Tradition
WHERE: Sunriver, Ore.
COURSE: Crosswater Club at Sunriver Resort, par 72
DEFENDING CHAMP: Eduardo Romero
EVENT: Xerox Classic
WHERE: Rochester, N.Y.
COURSE: Irondequoit Country Club, par 70
DEFENDING CHAMP: Kevin Stadler
EVENT: Scand-anavian Masters
WHERE: Stockholm, Sweden
COURSE: Arlandastad Golf Club, par 70
DEFENDING CHAMP: Marc Warren