The world's No. 1-ranked player, who had said previously that he "intended" to play in all four FedEx Cup events, announced Aug. 17 that he was skipping The Barclays, which starts Thursday at Westchester Country Club in Rye, N.Y. In a statement posted on Woods' Web site, he said he simply wasn't ready to return to tournament play.
"Playing the last two weeks in the heat and humidity were mentally and physically draining," Woods said. "Although I managed to pull out victories in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and PGA Championship, my body is spent, and I need a short break. Major championships are a grueling experience and usually necessitate recovery time."
Woods said he'll only play in a tournament if he feels he's prepared to win it.
"This is no way a knock on Barclays, their new event … or the new FedEx Cup series, which I fully support," Woods said. "I just hope that this extra week of rest will rejuvenate me for the final three playoff events and the Presidents Cup. It is still my goal to win the FedEx Cup and I am hopeful this will give me the best opportunity to finish the year strong."
As the top seed in the FedEx Cup playoffs, Woods can still win the Cup without playing in the Barclays. However, with Woods skipping the tournament, several other players will have an opportunity to pass him heading into the second of four playoff events, next week's Deutsche Bank Championship outside Boston.
For instance, if any of the top 59 players in the FedEx Cup standings win the Barclays, they will surpass Woods. If any player ranked in the top 20 finishes second, they will overtake Woods as well. Vijay Singh, who finished second in the regular season points standings, could pass Woods by finishing 13th or better.
Woody Austin, who finished second to Woods in the PGA Championship at Southern Hills, is among the 143 players of the qualifying 144 that will play the Barclays. He said he didn't know why Woods would bypass the event.
"Maybe he just decided it's not a good golf course, I don't know," Austin told reporters. "If you want to look at it from a playoffs standpoint, maybe he figured he had a first-round bye."
Contrary to popular opinion, Austin said he doesn't think Woods' absence will dampen the excitement for the first playoff event.
"You still have the best field you've ever had," Austin said. "One person can't make the tournament. Would he enhance the tournament? Sure, because he's the best player in the world, but one person doesn't make the golf tournament."
Padraig Harrington said he's had eight days off and is rested and ready to play in this week's Barclays Championships. However, he admitted that life hasn't quite returned to normal since winning his first major, the British Open, in July.
"Certainly going home the following week, it was manic," Harrington told reporters. "There was so much happening, so much to do. It was very exciting. It was all go. Since I've come away, there have been some periods of that, but it's been a lot less and it's certainly easier to get focused on your golf away from home."
Harrington has followed up his Open championship by finishing tied for 14th place in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and tied for 42nd in the PGA Championships.
"I could see, especially in Oklahoma, where there was a definite falloff with my concentration and my focus," Harrington said. "I could see I was starting to lag a little bit. I was just starting to tire."
"Obviously, (it has) been a good couple of days," Snedeker said. "It was very special for me being from Tennessee growing up in that kind of area in the southeast part of the United States. It's four good days of golf, and obviously Sunday, a lot of good luck and a lot of putts went in and I look forward to hopefully continuing on this week, we'll see."
Snedeker's victory vaulted the Tour rookie to ninth in the FedEx Cup standings, putting him in solid position to potentially win the $10 million first-place prize.
"I'm very excited about the opportunity that the FedEx Cup has given me and all of the rest of the players playing for $10 million, the largest prize in sports, it's pretty exciting," Snedeker said. "More importantly, (we're) competing in the best fields of golf for four straight weeks. I think that's what we all relish as golfers."
August 17, 2007
Davis Love III, who played the final 57 holes of the Children's Miracle Network Classic without a bogey, finished at 25-under 263 in the season-ending event played at the Walt Disney World Golf Resort in Florida. It has been a long road back for Love, who severely sprained his ankle late last year. After tearing ligaments, he needed surgery, and he's spent much of this year rehabilitating the injury.
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