Sunday, September 27, 2009

Focus of players quickly shifts

Kenny Perry faded with a 74, but still recorded his first top-10 in 11 playoff events. (Dave Martin/Associated Press)
ATLANTA - While most of the players can exhale now that the physical and mental grind of the four-tournament playoff push is over, emotions will get cranked up again in less than two weeks, when the Presidents Cup begins in San Francisco. Those at the Tour Championship who will represent the United States or International team already are looking forward to it. Online Sports
“It’s a great situation to be in. I like the guys who are on the team, and I’m looking forward to a great week,’’ said Sean O’Hair, who will make his Presidents Cup debut at Harding Park. “I’m playing well, so I’m looking forward to some time off, then playing and having a good time.’’
Fred Couples will captain the US team, with Greg Norman leading the International side. Ernie Els, who will be making his sixth appearance in the Presidents Cup, is accustomed to having Norman as his teammate. Now, he’ll be playing for him. Sports News
“If he gets lucky and gets the right pairings and we get points on the board, he’s a great captain,’’ Els said, laughing, “so it all depends on how we play, really. If we play well, he’ll be a great captain.’’
Some are sending in early requests.
“I want to be [Tiger Woods’s] partner in the Presidents Cup,’’ Kenny Perry said. “I would love to play one match with him somehow if Freddy would let me do that. I’m kind of putting a plug in early, get that in the papers so he can read it.’’
Good luck with that, Kenny.
Drama departmentFor a brief stretch yesterday, Steve Stricker was projected to be the FedEx Cup champion, but two bogeys down the stretch - and two birdies by Woods - pushed Stricker to third in the final points standings. Not bad, considering that it comes with a $2 million bonus. The final-hole drama was definitely on Stricker’s mind.
“It was, in a good way. There was so much riding on the line,’’ Stricker said. “After I made bogey at 16, I kind of figured there went my chances.’’
The third version of the FedEx Cup gave all 30 players an mathematical chance to win the Cup, something Stricker pointed to as a positive.
“There might be some tweaking again, who knows, but I thought it provided a lot of excitement for the fans and the players,’’ Stricker said. “All the players coming in here this week had a legitimate chance at winning the FedEx Cup, more so the guys in the top five, but you know, I think it was a lot closer than it has been over the last two years.
“I gave it a good run, and it was a lot of fun.’’
First impressionsTen of the 30 players had never before competed in the Tour Championship. Of the 10, Steve Marino had the highest finish, shooting a 71 in the final round to tie for seventh at 2 under par. John Senden tied for 10th, while Nick Watney and Angel Cabrera tied for 13th. The others: Y.E. Yang (18th), Jason Dufner (T-19), Dustin Johnson (27th), Marc Leishman and Brian Gay (T-28), and Kevin Na (30th).
Don’t feel bad for Na, though. Last-place money was $120,000, and when you throw in his $195,000 FedEx Cup bonus, he earned $315,000. Dufner, at 11th, had the highest finish of the first-timers in the FedEx Cup.
Bright sidePerry, the third-round leader, probably won’t find much solace in this after a final-round 74 left him tied for fourth, but it’s his first top-10 finish in 11 PGA Tour playoff events . . . Padraig Harrington isn’t winning, but he’s consistently knocking on the door. A tie for fourth here was Harrington’s sixth straight top-10 on Tour, including all four playoff tournaments, the only player to do so . . . Yesterday’s stroke average of 71.07 was the highest of the week . . . Which hole was toughest? That would be No. 5. The 520-yard par 4 gave up the fewest birdies all week (four), and had the highest stroke average at 4.3. Watney made the only birdie there yesterday, holing a 17-foot putt.


Post a Comment

Copyright (c)onine sports news | hot chicks and beer sexist Blog Page : ipl cheer girls