My friends and family just shake their heads when I start to talk about golf, for I am an avid fan.
My interest came about on Father’s Day, 2008.
I was home watching television, bored, and flicking through the channels when I came upon the final few holes of the US Open. It seemed appropriate to stop and watch the end of the game, as my dad had played and been a fan. He’d been gone twenty years by then, and I watched in his memory, and had my own private Father’s Day celebration.
Rocco Mediate was in the clubhouse, anxiously awaiting the final scores, for the last two players might challenge his lead. Lee Westwood, came away with a par and had to settle for third place. Tiger Woods birdied the last hole, to force an 18 hole playoff with Rocco on Monday.
Tiger Woods had recently had arthroscopic surgery to his left knee. He played in constant pain, for he had two stress fractures in the tibia. There had apparently been speculation throughout the weekend as to whether he would be able to finish out the tournament.
What can I say? I got sucked in by the drama. If Rocco won he would have been the oldest player to win the US Open, so there was a lot of sympathy going his way. But you have to admire the stamina and determination of Tiger Woods.
Unfortunately for Rocco, the two remained tied after 18 holes, and he lost to Tiger in a sudden death playoff. Tiger had further surgery immediately after, and was out of the game for the rest of the year.
I continued to follow golf, but I was just biding my time until Tiger came back. Then I discovered the Fed Ex Cup.
During the regular season, January to August, players can earn points with each event they play. Points are awarded, 500 for a win, 600 if it’s a major, and lesser points on down the ranks. After the final tournament, in August, the Fed Ex points are tallied and the top 125 players are eligible to play in the Fed Ex Cup Playoffs.
A playoff win is worth 2500 points, which are added to the season’s points. There are four playoff tournaments, and the field is reduced after each one.
The Barclays is the first playoff event, with a field of 125 players, and it starts tomorrow, August 22.
Next is the Deutsch Bank Championship, with the field reduced to the top 100.
The BMW Championship follows, with only 70 players, and at its completion, the top 30 vie for the PGA Tour Championship. The prize to the player with the most Fed Ex points is TEN MILLION DOLLARS. Unbelievable, look at this again, $10,000,000.
This year is the 7th time the tournament has been played, and Tiger’s won it twice, in 2007, and 2009.
The tournament starts tomorrow and I can’t wait. Most of the big name players rested last weekend, for the final tournament is more of a last chance for points, for standing and/or qualification to the final championship.
I love the constant speculation, if So-in-So wins he’d be in first, but if Joe-Blow wins he’ll be in contention. It’s like the round robin tournaments my son played in hockey, you gotta win if you wanna stay in.
I’m still a number one Tiger fan, despite what happened at the end of 2009. He has an incredible talent, and he’s persevered, fighting his way back, suffering through slumps, surgeries and scandal.
Tiger’s had 5 wins this season, alas no major, but in consolation he’s top of the Fed Ex Points Standing, and number one on the money list with earnings over $7,000,000.
I can’t wait to see how the year plays out. Who thought golf could be so exciting?