Woods tries to keep it simple

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ATLANTA --- So many scenarios. So many good players. So much money on the line.

Tiger Woods  Associated Press
Associated Press
Tiger Woods

Tiger Woods is keeping it so simple.

He tees it up today in the Tour Championship against a 30-man field at East Lake. His goal is to shoot the lowest score.

"You always have the same approach and same attitude that you try and win every tournament you enter," Woods said.

"Whether it's a regular tour event, a playoff event, World Golf Championship, Players, whatever it may be, it's the same intensity. You bring the same attitude to play. ... You win it, and you take care of everything else."

Everything else includes a $10 million bonus -- $9 million in cash -- for capturing the FedEx Cup, which in its third season appears to have finally delivered a compelling conclusion.

Woods is the No. 1 seed by virtue of his five PGA Tour victories that put him atop the standings, and a sixth victory in a playoff event two weeks ago at the BMW Championship.

The next four seeds -- Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson and Heath Slocum -- don't have to look at a leaderboard. If they win the Tour Championship, they win the FedEx Cup.

The points can get confusing, and there are a couple of wild possibilities.

- Furyk and Padraig Harrington can capture the FedEx Cup without having won a single tournament all year.

- Marc Leishman can win the FedEx Cup provided Woods finishes 10th or worse, and the next four seeds finish fifth or worse.

- Slocum could win the FedEx Cup by winning the Tour Championship. He wasn't even sure he would make the 125-man field at the start of the playoffs until his wife did the math and realized he qualified at No. 124 by two points. A week later, he won The Barclays over a world-class cast of runner-ups -- Woods, Harrington, Stricker and Ernie Els.

- And the most bizarre scenario of all? There could be two sudden-death playoffs on Sunday -- one to decide the Tour Championship, another to decide the FedEx Cup.

It might even be the same two players.

Imagine Furyk and Scott Verplank tied after 72 holes. They would have a playoff for the Tour Championship.

If Verplank were to win, that would leave them tied in the FedEx Cup standings, and they would return to the par-3 18th for a playoff with a much bigger payoff.


ATLANTA --- PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem said Wednesday that shrinking marketing budgets of major companies could lead to the loss of title sponsors, and possibly some tournaments.

The PGA Tour schedule for 2010 is not expected to be finalized until its board meeting the first week of November.

The bigger concern is some 10 title sponsor contracts that expire after 2010.

"I suspect it's possible that we could lose a couple more events," Finchem said.

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Boston93 09/24/09 - 08:12 am
I would have preferred that

I would have preferred that the FedEx Tournament end with the top 30 playing straight up for the Championship versus only giving the top 5 a chance to win. Would be discourageing to me to know that I worked hard for a year to get into the playoffs and now I'm playing with NO chance to win. Why are the other 25 playing. Split the purse for those 25 spots and let them stay home. Saves money for them as well.

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