Woods expected to play first playoff event
HAVEN, Wis. -- Tiger Woods' week at Whistling Straits may have fallen well short of what he hoped for it, but he at least avoided one painful scenario.
By making the cut in the PGA, Woods, who also held on to the No. 1 spot in the world ranking, earned enough FedEx Cup points to lock up a spot in the first playoff event, the Barclays, in two weeks. Had Woods not qualified for the weekend here, he could have been knocked out of the top 125 on the points list, which would have compelled him to play this week's Wyndham Championship to keep his season going.
Asked about his schedule following his closing one-over par 73, Woods pointed only to events he had already committed to -- the HSBC Champions, the Australian Masters, and his own Chevron World Challenge -- but the expectation is he will play the Barclays August 26-29 at Ridgewood CC in Paramus, N.J.
Last year marked Woods' only time playing in all four FedEx Cup playoff events. In the first year of the playoff format, in 2007, Woods skipped the Barclays but still went on to win the title and the $10 million bonus that went with it. He missed the next year's playoffs because of knee surgery, but was in the field last year at Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, N.J, where he lost by a shot to Heath Slocum. He later went on to win his second FedEx Cup title on the strength of a win in the BMW Championship and runner-up showings at Barclays and the Tour Championship.
As for the upcoming Ryder Cup, Woods this week fell short of his goal of qualifying on points, but reiterated his desire to be tabbed by Corey Pavin when the U.S. captain makes his wildcard picks in New York Sept. 7.
"I feel like my game is a lot better than it was obviously last week, and given a little bit more time, it's starting to head in the right direction," Woods said. "I'm looking forward to it. Hopefully Corey will pick me on the team."
*-- Sam Weinman *