Yes, the FedEx Cup Playoffs began today with the Barclays, where after four rounds 25 of the 120 golfers in the field will see their 2014-15 PGA Tour seasons come to an end. Of course all those players know they have tour cards wrapped up for next year, so the "pressure" of playing well is somewhat muted. That's why the professional golfer with arguably the most at stake this week isn't competing at Plainfield C.C. That player has tee times at Pumpkin Ridge G.C. outside of Portland, Ore., where he's playing in the Web.com Tour's final regular season event, the WinCo Foods Portland Open
Harold Varner III is a 25-year-old from Gastonia, N.C., near Charlotte, who is trying to become the first African-American golfer to earn a PGA Tour card via the Web.com Tour. Varner is 25th on the Web.com Tour money list heading into the event. If he can hold on to the spot (or improve on it) come Sunday, he'll wrap up his spot in the big leagues as the top 25 on the money list automatically earn PGA Tour cards for next season.
In 2015, Varner has earned $158,762.08 with three top six finishes in 20 starts, which is $9,589.22 better than Kevin Tway, the No. 26 player on the money list. Over the last six starts, however, Varner has missed three cuts and only had one top-50 finish (a T-18 at last week's News Sentinel Open).
Knowing the stakes this week, Varner decided to take to social media to help see if he could get some advice from a certain someone about Pumpkin Ridge.
Varner is of course referring to Tiger's victory at Pumpkin Ridge in the 1996 U.S. Amateur. No word on whether Woods passed along any local knowledge.