More than one player thinks the FedEx Cup should have a bigger impact on who wins player of the year. Tiger Woods is a lock for the award entering the PGA’s new playoff format. “[Zach Johnson] won the Masters and one other tournament,” Jerry Kelly said. “If he wins the FedEx Cup, that means he’ll have won another tournament. And then it becomes a race.”
Despite his No. 7 spot in the world ranking and No. 2 in the FedEx Cup standings entering the inaugural PGA Tour playoffs, Vijay Singh has been pretty quiet this season. In 23 PGA events, Singh has just six top-10s. But the Figian has thrived in the four events that comprise the FedEx Cup, particularly this week’s Barclays. Singh has walked away as champion a record three times, including last year, when he broke a 21-tournament winless streak. The 44-year-old already has the most wins for someone 40 or older with 19, two clear of Sam Snead’s previous mark.
So the PGA spends all this time and money trying to whip everyone into a frenzy over the new FedEx Cup playoff system. And with one fell swoop, Tiger Woods shows just how important it is to play in all four events. Woods’ decision not to play this week has to have raised the ire of the PGA, which certainly isn’t going to bite the hand that feeds it with the increased exposure Tiger has brought the tour. But you can bet the PGA will revise its schedule so as not to bunch up all of the big events in a relatively short time.
The American players on the LPGA Tour have one final shot to qualify for the final of the 10 automatic spots on the Solheim Cup team — or at least make an impression on Betsy King, who has two captain’s picks. Nine of the spots are locked up. Sherri Steinhauer is 10th with 324.5 points, 47.5 ahead of 11th-place Nicole Castrale and 59 up on 12th-place Brittany Lang. A win is worth 60 points this week, so moving up could be difficult.
THIS WEEK’S TEE TIMES
WHERE: Harrison, N.Y.
COURSE: Westchester Country Club, par 71
DEFENDING CHAMP: Vijay Singh
EVENT: Safeway Classic
WHERE: Portland, Ore.
COURSE: Columbia Egdewater Country Club, par 72
DEFENDING CHAMP: Pat Hurst
EVENT: Boeing Classic
WHERE: Snoqualmie, Wash.
COURSE: TPC Snoqualmie Ridge, par 72
DEFENDING CHAMP: Tom Kite
EVENT: National Mining Association Pete Dye Classic
WHERE: Bridgeport, W.Va.
COURSE: Pete Dye Golf Club, par 72
DEFENDING CHAMP: Jason Enloe
EVENT: KLM Open
WHERE: Zandvoort, Netherlands
COURSE: Kennemer Golf and Country Club, par 70
DEFENDING CHAMP: Simon Dyson