News & ToursSeptember 10, 2014

How much more are players actually playing nowadays?

"I'm in desperate need of some rest," said defending FedEx Cup champion Henrik Stenson last week, and he's not the only one who feels that way. Sergio Garcia blamed his botched chip shot into the water last week at the BMW Championship on exhaustion. Rory McIlroy did the same with his two four-putts. Phil was so tired he withdrew from the event.

How much more are the top players playing nowadays? Quite a lot more, it turns out. Assuming the top five golfers on the 2013-'14 money list play in the Tour Championship this week (which looks likely), that will mean the five have competed on average in seven of the last nine tournaments on the PGA Tour schedule starting with this year's British Open. That's a lot, especially considering the overall number of events the best players play each year is trending down.

          __Rank__     __Name__  __Year__  __Events After British__  __Starts After British__  __Total Starts__    1  [Rory McIlroy](http://www.pgatour.com/players/player.28237.html)  2014  9  7  16    2  [Bubba Watson](http://www.pgatour.com/players/player.25804.html)  2014  9  7  20    3  [Jimmy Walker](http://www.pgatour.com/players/player.25632.html)  2014  9  7  26    4  [Jim Furyk](http://www.pgatour.com/players/player.10809.html)  2014  9  8  20    5  [Sergio Garcia](http://www.pgatour.com/players/player.21209.html)  2014  9  6  15        __Average__  __7__  __19.4__ 

Compare that to 2006, the last year before the FedEx Cup came into play. The top five players in that year averaged two less starts over the same time period.

          __Rank__     __Name__  __Year__  __Events After British__  __Starts After British__  __Total Starts__       1  [Tiger Woods](http://www.pgatour.com/players/player.08793.html)  2006     9      5  15    2  [Jim Furyk](http://www.pgatour.com/players/player.10809.html)  2006  9  5  24    3  [Adam Scott](http://www.pgatour.com/players/player.24502.html)  2006  9  4  19    4  [Vijay Singh](http://www.pgatour.com/players/player.06567.html)  2006  9  7  27    5  [Geoff Ogilvy](http://www.pgatour.com/players/player.22046.html)  2006  9  4  20        __Average__  __5__  __21__ 

And even that was a slight uptick -- relative to the total number of events they played every year -- compared to how much post-British Open golf the best played six years prior to that, in 1998.

          __Rank__     __Name__  __Year__  __Events After British__  __Starts After British__  __Total Starts__       1  [David Duval](http://www.pgatour.com/players/player.09011.html)  1998  9  4  23    2  [Vijay Singh](http://www.pgatour.com/players/player.06567.html)  1998  9  7  26    3  [Jim Furyk](http://www.pgatour.com/players/player.10809.html)  1998  9  5  28    4  [Tiger Woods](http://www.pgatour.com/players/player.08793.html)  1998  9  3  20    5  [Hal Sutton](http://www.pgatour.com/players/player.02170.html)  1998  9  6  30        __Average__  __5__  __25.4__   

Also, fun fact: Jim Furyk was the only player to be featured on all three of these lists. Remember that little snippet your next party.

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