PGA Tour Players Face a Hectic Schedule in July, August, September

Fred Altvater@@tolohgolfrContributor IIJuly 4, 2012

Darren Clarke captured the Claret Jug last year.
Darren Clarke captured the Claret Jug last year.Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

If you remember back to January and February, big-name golfers like Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson chose not to play in several events, citing the length of the PGA Tour season.

They feel that they need to save themselves for the big events that come toward the latter part of the season.

There is a lot of serious golf to be played over the next three months with very little time off between rounds.

Phil and Tiger are both playing this week at the Greenbrier Classic for their final tuneup prior to the Open Championship July 19-22.

The WGC-Bridgestone at Firestone is held Aug 2-5 and the following week the final major of the year, the PGA Championship, will be held at Kiawah Island.

The players get a week of down time and then they head right into the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

The playoffs feature four tournaments in a five-week span with $8 million purses, $1.4 million going to each winner and $10 million going to the FedEx Cup Champion.

The Barclays at Bethpage opens the race for the FedEx Cup August 23-26. 

Dustin Johnson won the 2011 Barclays, has a win in 2012 and is playing well again after returning to the tour from injury.

Bethpage Black is one of the most difficult courses in the world, and New York golf fans will provide added entertainment.

The tour then moves up the road to Boston for the Deutsche Bank Championship. 

2012 U.S. Open winner Webb Simpson is the defending champion and had a phenomenal finish in the FedEx Cup Playoffs in 2011, eventually finishing second to Luke Donald in the PGA Tour money race.

The playoffs then move to the Midwest for the BMW Championship to be held at Crooked Stick just outside of Indianapolis. 

Justin Rose collected the trophy last year and is having a fantastic year in 2012.

The players get a well-earned week off before invading the home of Bobby Jones' East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. 

Who can forget Bill Haas’ chip from the edge of the water on the 71st hole last year to capture the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup filled with $10 million?

Oh, and don’t forget that little international golf outing called the Ryder Cup to be held at Medinah Country Club the very next week.

Beginning with the Greenbrier this week, the top players in the world will be playing in eight big-time events over the next 12 weeks.

Player of the Year, FedEx Cup, PGA Tour Money Title, plus two major champions are all up for grabs.

Can Tiger collect a couple more wins, ascend to the No. 1 official world golf ranking and reclaim his throne as the “best golfer walking the fairways”?

Can he win at Royal Lytham or Kiawah and get one major title closer to Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 majors?