After FedExCup, Kodak Challenge is golf?s next big prize
Does anybody remember something at the beginning of the year called the Kodak Challenge?
Anyway, it?s been on hiatus while the top players compete for this $10 million FedExCup thing. But my guess is while we?re on the edge of our seat in anticipation of the Tour Championship in two weeks, guys like Kevin Streelman and J.J. Henry are really looking forward to the Fall Series when the Kodak Challenge resumes.
The Kodak Challenge is sort of like the consolation prize compared to the FedExCup, but it?s nothing to sneeze at with $1 million going to the winner. And my guess is that the guy who wins it ? someone who?s playing in a lot of events without big-time success ? will appreciate an extra cool million.
Here?s how it works, in case you haven?t been following it. Thirty selected PGA Tour events from the 2009 season feature a Kodak Challenge hole. Players must play at least 18 Kodak Challenge holes throughout the season to be eligible to win. The final scorecard will consist of a player?s best 18-hole score, relative to par, with the winner taking home $1 million and the Kodak Challenge trophy.
None of the events in the current PGA Tour Playoff events are in the loop.
Right now, the leader is Streelman, who is 13-under par through the 16 holes he?s played. He has a one-shot lead over J.J. Henry. Seven other guys are two shots back, so it?s anybody?s ballgame with five events left in the Fall Series.
Where is Tiger Woods on this list? Nowhere to be found, of course, since he wouldn?t come close to playing the required 18 events.
In fact, the FedExCup standings and Kodak Challenge list are almost entirely exclusive. Vijay Singh isn?t even on the top 135 of the Kodak Challenge, and he?s a guy who used to never skip an event.
The notable exception is Scott Verplank, who is currently eighth on the FedExCup list and two behind Streelman in a tie for third on the Kodak Challenge. Verplank will be playing at the Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club, of course, with an outside chance at the $10 million. He?s one short of the required 18 holes in the Kodak Challenge, but would probably need to play the rest of the Fall Series to overtake Streelman anyway, so any hope of seeing someone win both is unlikely.
Streelman, by the way, is 85th on the money list with just over $900,000. Henry is 71st with just over $1.1 million. Yeah, I?m guessing both of these guys will be paying attention to those designated holes in the Fall Series.
Next up: the 230-yard par-3 11th at the Turning Stone Resort Championship at Atunyote Golf Club in Verona, New York at the end of the month.
Since it looks like my NFL team (which shall go unnamed at this point) is likely to be out of it already by then, I?ll probably be playing close attention, too.
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