A reduced Tour schedule and his daughter's birth fueled speculation Woods might skip the FedExCup. Tiger Woods plans to compete in all four of the PGA Tour's FedExCup 'playoffs'

Occasionally criticized for his single-minded focus on winning majors, Tiger Woods offered up some words Monday must have thrilled PGA Tour officials.

"As far as my intent, my intent is to play all the playoffs," Woods said during a press conference to promote the Deutsche Bank Championship, the second of four FedExCup playoff events.

Woods' scaled-back tournament schedule and the birth of his first child in June fueled speculation that the world No. 1 would not be enthusiastic about the FedExCup format, which involves the Tour's top 144 players (based on points amassed during the 33-week "regular season") meeting for four straight weeks in a championship series that begins Aug. 23.

"This is the time of year where, traditionally, the fans really haven't been as interested," Woods said. "As soon as the PGA [Championship] is over there's sort of a lull … and then football season is in swing, and also the baseball playoffs are in the fall coming up.

"I think that's what they're trying to do is eliminate the lull and increase fan interest. I think we've taken a positive step in that direction."

Woods has 20,899 points and leads the FedExCup standings heading into this week's Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio. Vijay Singh (19,070), Jim Furyk (16,691), Phil Mickelson (15,818) and K.J. Choi (14,359) round out the top five.

The FedExCup series kicks off with the Barclays (Aug. 23-26 in Rye, N.Y.), followed by the Deutsche Bank Championship (Aug. 31-Sept. 3 in Norton, Mass.), the BMW Championship (Sept. 6-9 in Lemont, Ill.) and the Tour Championship (Sept. 13-16 in Atlanta).

The ones that got away

Shortly after earning 13th career PGA Tour win in the Canadian Open, Furyk agreed that he probably should've won more at this point in his career. The noted week-in, week-out grinder has 115 top-10 finishes in 357 career Tour starts.

"I definitely feel like I've let my share slip through my fingers, and I don't think I would be the player that I am if I didn't feel that way," Furyk told reporters after becoming the first player in more than half a century to defend his title at the Canadian Open.

"You don't want to slight the other person that beat you, because they obviously got it done and you didn't, but yes, I probably feel like I should have won more events."

Still, Furyk said he's proud to have taken home 13 Tour titles.

"I think in some respects, if you compare it to Tiger or Vijay or Phil, 13 doesn't sound like a lot, but there's a hell of a lot of guys out there [that] 13 sounds like a lot to," he said. "For me, it is what it is. That's the number I'm on and I can't blame anyone else for it being bigger or smaller but me."

Who's your caddie?

Jay Williamson made headlines at the Canadian when he fired caddie Mike Mollet prior to the 15th hole of Thursday's opening round.

Williamson then proceeded to select 69-year-old Don Alexander out of the gallery to tote his bag for the final four holes.

"A younger guy named Mike said he'd do it," Alexander told The Toronto Star. "I don't know if Williamson didn't want another man named Mike or what, but he didn't want him. I said, 'I'm your man.'"

Alexander, who qualified and played in the 1962 Canadian Open as an amateur, received a dozen golf balls as payment for completing the loop. Williamson wound up shooting 72, then carded 75 with substitute caddie Kris Cox on the bag in Friday's second round, missing the cut.

Shaun Micheel 'comes clean' about steroids

Turns out Gary Player was right after all. There was at least one player in the British Open field at Carnoustie who was taking a steroid.

That player was 2003 PGA Championship winner Shaun Micheel, who was prescribed a synthetic steroid after doctors determined two years ago that he had a low testosterone level.

Micheel said most of his fellow competitors are very understanding about his condition. However, he said he does get some ribbing when he applies the steroid, which comes in the form of a clear gel, on his shoulders in the locker room.

"That's where I get harassed the most," Micheel told the Associated Press. "They say I'm using the clear. I do laugh about it, but I don't want to take this stuff. I don't like taking stuff for a cold."


• Furyk's Canadian Open victory marked the 10th straight Tour event at which the 54-hole leader or co-leader failed to win. Furyk shot a 7-under-par 64, including a hole-in-one, to rally past third-round leader Singh at Angus Glen Golf Club.

• With his tie for fifth place in Ontario, Hunter Mahan climbed from No. 16 to No. 12 in the FedExCup standings. Mahan is bidding to get into the top 10 in hopes of making the President's Cup team, which will be captained by Jack Nicklaus.

• Brandt Snedeker is gaining steam as a possible PGA Tour rookie of the year candidate after shooting a final-round 68 to tie for seventh at the Canadian Open. He has made the cut in 18 of 23 events this year, posting five top-10 and 10 top-25 finishes.

August 1, 2007

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