While many would love to see Tiger Woods vs. Rory Sabbatini in singles on the Sunday of the Presidents Cup, Aussie Geoff Ogilvy has a better suggestion for match play: countryman Nick O’Hern. “He’s the most annoying guy on our team in match play,” Ogilvy said. “I think he would frustrate Tiger, which he has done twice.”
Is this the type of Cinderella story the PGA Tour was hoping for when it created the FedEx Cup? One has to think so. Steve Stricker’s dramatic victory last week at The Barclays — in which he coughed up the lead on the back nine before seizing it for a two-shot win — vaulted him to the lead in the first of the four playoff-style events. Regardless of how he finishes, Stricker’s story is one worth telling. Once near the top of the PGA, he struggled with an equipment change, dedicated himself to his family instead of golf, lost his tour card and worked his way back, culminating in his victory last week.
Oh, yeah — and then there is Tiger Woods. While still holding down the No. 1 spot in the world ranking, Woods is no longer No. 1 in the FedEx standings. While taking last week off in order to recharge his body — and ring the bell on Wall Street and endlessly plug his new video game with personal appearances — Woods slipped to fourth in the standings. The 4,950-point deficit to Stricker can easily be made up, especially considering his success at TPC Boston. He won this event last year, his fifth win in his amazing streak of seven straight triumphs.
Better get a good look at Lorena Ochoa while you can. The Mexican is cementing her star power with a late-season charge, winning three straight heading into this week’s LPGA State Farm Classic. Ochoa is more than $1.7 million ahead of second-place Suzann Pettersen on the money list. This year, the event is being played at Panther Creek Country Club after 31 years at the Rail Golf Club, also in Springfield, Ill., where Annika Sorenstam won last year with a final-round 62.
— Staff report
THIS WEEK’S TEE TIMES
EVENT:Deutsche Bank Champ-ionship
WHERE: Norton, Mass.
COURSE:TPC Boston (par 71)
DEFENDING CHAMP: Tiger Woods
EVENT:LPGA State Farm Classic
WHERE: Springfield, Ill.
COURSE: Panther Creek Country Club (par 72)
DEFENDING CHAMP: Annika Sorenstam
EVENT: First Tee Open
WHERE: Pebble Beach
COURSE: Pebble Beach Golf Links (par 72), Del Monte Golf Course (par 72)
DEFENDING CHAMP: Scott Simpson
EVENT: Utah Energy-Solutions Championship
WHEN: Sept. 6-9
WHERE: Sandy, Utah
COURSE: Willow Creek Country Club
DEFENDING CHAMP: Craig Kanada
EVENT: Johnnie Walker Champ-ionship
WHERE: Gleneagles, Scotland
COURSE: Gleneagles Hotel, PGA Centenary Course (par 73)
DEFENDING CHAMP: Paul Casey