The Game Of 'Don't Get Eliminated'
Golf writer Andy Reistetter is on site at TPC Boston in Norton, Mass. and is providing daily reports from both inside and outside the ropes.
The name of the game is "Don't Get Eliminated."
Like the children's game of musical chairs the remaining 120 golfers alive in the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup are willing to walk dizzily in circles around the links at TPC Boston hoping to plop down in one of the remaining 70 chairs when the music ends on Labor Day Monday in the Deutsche Bank Championship.
The FedExCup jingle has been revamped for its third straight year of existence and it is darn right exciting!
With no point resetting until prior to the TOUR Championship, the players are working off the points earned in the 37 tournaments in 34 weeks of regular season competitions (remember there are opposite field events for the WGC Accenture Match Play, WGC CA Championship and the British Open).
And if they were good enough to make it they also have FedExCup points from last week's first playoff event, The Barclays.
Heath Slocum pulled a miraculous upset on the fairly new to the world and absolutely new to the PGA TOUR golf course called Liberty National. His one-stroke victory over Tiger Woods, Steve Stricker, Ernie Els and Padraig Harrington catapulted him from No. 123 to No. 3 in the now remaining three-tournament race to the FedExCup.
Imagine if that playoff had happened… it could in a sudden death format for the $10 million first prize of the lucrative $35 million FedExCup bonus money.
Aussie Marc Leishman, a 2008 Nationwide Tour golden graduate is pulling a "Heath Slocum" today in the second round of the Deutsche Bank. Posting a 62 in the morning wave and currently tied for third place he will dramatically improve his standing relative to his start at position No. 93.
Golfers of the world start your engines!
Why ride an ungulate into the desert to play in front of a bunch of emirs when America is still the land of opportunity for world golfers?
Get it? That other race from the other tour?
Speaking of which, who didn't even take the opportunity to be eliminated in the PGA TOUR Playoffs?
This year's PLAYERS Champion Henrik Stenson for one who only competed in 10 PGA TOUR events.
British Open runner up and "inspirational golfer of the year" Tom Watson who finish five slots out of the race for the golfer's cup is another.
Hey what about some wildcard entries next year in the playoffs for the FedExCup?
Who was eliminated in the first week of the playoffs?
Not necessarily those who played the worse or even did not play. Remember this is not a "sudden death" playoff format. It is have enough or get enough points as the field dwindles in size "stay alive" format.
Paul Casey is slowly dancing to the tune of "Staying Alive" while not playing the first two playoff events due to a rib injury first noticed a week before the British Open. The world No. 2 ranked golfer is currently No. 27 and will be eligible to compete if healthy next week in the BMW Championship outside Chicago at Cog Hill.
Casey is ranked No. 2 in that other race. Stenson is No. 13.
Golfers without a chair and gone last week at the Barclays include K.J. Choi, Ben Curtis, Senior PGA Champion Michael Allen, Aussies Adam Scott and Aaron Baddeley, and popular Americans Mark Calcavecchia and Chris DiMarco.
How many golfers have competed on the PGA TOUR this year?
A total of 598.
How many remain in the race?
There are 99 left standing dancing around TPC Boston and looking for one of the remaining 69 chairs that Casey is not already sitting in and a ticket to Chicago.
It is playoff time on the PGA TOUR!
Who will win the Deutsche Bank Championship?
Who will be among the top 70 points-earners and advance to next week's BMW Championship at the revamped Cog Hill outside Chicago?
Who will then be among the top 30 points-earners and advance to the TOUR Championship two weeks later at East Lake in Atlanta?
Who will be the 2009 FedExCup Champion?
The PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup are as exciting as that silly musical chair game we all played as kids.
Enjoy your Labor Day weekend!
Andy Reistetter is a freelance golf writer. He follows the PGA TOUR volunteering and working part time for NBC Sports, CBS Sports, and The Golf Channel. Having attended the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Honda Classic, WGC-CA Championship, Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard, Masters Tournament, Verizon Heritage, Zurich Classic of New Orleans, THE PLAYERS Championship, U.S. Open at Bethpage, AT&T National, British Open at Turnberry, PGA at Hazeltine and The Barclays last week this is Andy's 14th event of the season.
He resides in Jacksonville Beach, Florida near the PGA TOUR headquarters and home of The PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach. He enjoys pursuing his passion for the game of golf and everything associated with it. He can be reached through his website www.MrHickoryGolf.net or by e-mailing him to Andy@MrHickoryGolf.net
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