Tiger Woods Tiger Woods back in the FedEx Cup hunt at Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston

A rested and refreshed Tiger Woods didn't seem too concerned about the fact that he has slipped to fourth place in the FedEx Cup standings after skipping The Barclays Classic, the first of the PGA Tour's four playoff events.

Woods, who's set to start his playoff run Aug. 31-Sept. 3 in the Deutsche Bank Championship at the TPC Boston, said he enjoyed getting away and getting recharged and focused on what figures to be a grueling upcoming stretch.

"I'm looking forward to it," Woods said Thursday in a press conference in Norton, Mass. "I know I've slipped back in the standings, but there are plenty of points out there."

Regardless of where he stands in the chase for the FedEx Cup's $10 million deferred prize, he plans to play the final two playoff events after the Deutsche Bank. That includes Sept. 6-9 in the BMW Championship at Cog Hill in Lemont, Ill., and Sept. 13-16 in The Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Course in Atlanta.

Despite being consumed by his pursuit to win more majors than Jack Nicklaus, Woods said it would be meaningful for him to win the FedExCup.

"Any time you win something that's never been done before, it's always meaningful," said Woods, who will play in a threesome with Phil Mickelson and Vijay Singh in the first two days of the Deutsche Bank. "This is an experiment for the tour and I equated it out there to very similar to what NASCAR went through. No one really understood it until after it happened, and then after a couple years people really got behind it.

"As we can all see, it's been flourishing."

The first PGA Tour playoff event certainly didn't enjoy much success without Woods. TV ratings for The Barclays were unimpressive, and the tournament was easily beaten by the Little League World Series.

"I wasn't surprised," PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem told reporters. "I think it was close to being a really good, solid rating. I know it was up some. It could have been up even more had we either gone to a playoff or had Phil and Ernie [Els] made a stronger run in the afternoon than they happened to do.

"I thought it was off to a good start. I'm not displeased by the numbers, but I'm looking for our numbers to go up here in the next couple weeks."

Despite being criticized by several members of the media for skipping the first playoff event, Woods defended his decision.

"I think if you're not ready to win, there's really no point in playing, and that's how I've always played," Woods said. "That's why I've played a very limited schedule, and when I come to play, I come to win, period.

"I want to give it my best in order to do that. That's allowing myself to prepare both physically and mentally."

Woods, who posted back-to-back wins in the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and the PGA Championship before skipping The Barlcays, said the issue was larger than just playing four weeks in a row. In addition to the FedEx Cup playoffs, Woods said he's also taking the Presidents Cup matches into consideration as well.

"It's not just four (week) in a row, it's seven out of nine," Woods said of his potential schedule. "That's what people don't realize. You've got to look at the bigger picture of it. It would be seven out of nine, and especially given what we went through temperature-wise those two weeks.

"I lost quite a bit of weight and it's not easy for me to put weight on. I lose it pretty quickly and need a little bit time to get it back up."

Deutsche Bank Championship

• Dates: Aug. 31-Sept. 3
• COURSE: TPC Boston (7,207 yards, par 71)
• PURSE: $7 million (Winner's share: $1.26 million)
• FEDEX CUP POINTS: 50,000 (winner's share: 9,000)
• TV: Golf Channel (Aug. 31-Sept. 1, 3-6 p.m. EDT, 8:30-11:30 p.m. EDT) and NBC (Sept. 2, 3-6 p.m.; Sept. 3, 2-6 p.m.)

August 31, 2007

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