Monday, September 14, 2009

Tiger wins, Snedeker really loses

It's possible that Tiger Woods can have a win, two seconds and a tie for 11th in the PGA Tour's four playoff events and still not win the FedEx Cup this year.

That's the, uh, beauty of the FedEx Cup playoffs which are taking this week off to allowed all those tired golfers to rest before the 30 still standing head to Atlanta for the Tour Championsnhip next week.

For all Tiger has done this year -- six wins including his dominating performance in the BMW Championship over the weekend -- the playoff scenario makes only one promise:

If any of the players ranked in the top five wins the Tour Championship -- that's Tiger, Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk, Zach Johnson and Heath Slocum -- they win the FedEx Cup. That means Furyk, who hasn't won in two years, would be the champion if he wins at East Lake.

That's the way playoffs work, even in golf where the points system is like heiroglyphics.

Tiger said he's okay with it. What's he going to say, "Hey, I've won six times, carried the tour again and you're telling me I can finish second or third at Atlanta and still not win?"

There's a difference in winning the FedEx Cup and being player of the year. Tiger's the player of the year regardless of whether he wins the FedEx Cup.

Do the playoffs work?

Well, some people are still paying attention to golf right now, which is an improvement. It helps that Tiger is playing every weekend in the same way that it helps to have oxygen to breathe.

The most compelling story at the BMW Championship beyond Tiger's performance was Brandt Snedeker's 72nd hole meltdown. If you haven't heard, he needed to make a bogey on the final hole to qualify for the Tour Championship. He didn't do it.

Snedeker kept batting the ball around the hole until he'd four-putted himself out of the Tour Championship.

Besides the embarrassment, it cost Snedeker more than $350,000 when you add in the money he lost at the BMW plus the guaranteed money for making the Tour Championship and the hit he took in the final points standings.

"I just showed you why 3-footers that mean something are a lot longer than they look," Snedeker told reporters at Cog Hill.

"I just started thinking about the wrong things, man; I didn't concentrate over the bogey putt and I was thinking about all the stuff the Tour Championship comes with, and I did everything you're not supposed to do. I'm sure Doc [Bob] Rotella and I will have a nice long talk tonight and he'll tell me everything I did wrong and we'll learn from it."

Tough lesson to learn.