Journeyman Woods Grinds to Keep FedEx Cup Hopes Alive
By Stephanie Wei under FedEx Cup

It was finish better than 58th place or go home for Tiger Woods this week at The Barclays, the first of the four FedEx Cup events. Tiger entered the week 112th in the standings, and to advance to next week’s Deutsche Bank Championship, he needed enough points to improve his position to the top-100. After he kicked off the tournament with a 65 for a share of the lead, he blamed his putter for his disappointing second and third rounds and dropped off the leaderboard.

But Woods finished strong on Sunday at The Barclays, posting a four-under 67 for a tournament total of seven-under to place T12. Overall, he’s “very pleased” with his performance.

And guess what?

Woods, whose best finish is T4 at both The Masters and the US Open this season, feels a win looming in the near future.

“I certainly haven’t won all year,” said Tiger. “But this is a week that I was very close at. I felt that if I would have put together on the greens for all four days, I would have been right there…but looking forward to next week…I hit it good all four days. And if I would have putted a little bit better the middle two rounds, then I would have been right there. I would have been battling these guys out on the back nine. Today, I felt even if I got to a quick start, if I could post 10, 11 or 12 [under] at the end of the day, I would have been — it would have been interesting.”

I walked with Tiger on Thursday and Friday and his ballstriking was certainly solid. He was hitting almost every fairway and I didn’t personally see any atrocious misses. On Friday, he carded a two-over 73 after a shooting 40 on his second nine (the back). But his score was misleading — he just couldn’t make a putt. After he missed a makeable birdie putt on the fifth hole, he carelessly whiffed the tap-in for par.

With this finish, Tiger walks away with enough FedEx Cup points to play in the next two events. He’ll need to work for a spot in the Tour Championship. Something else he’s trying to earn is a Ryder Cup captain’s pick from Corey Pavin, who announces his decision on September 7. Oh, let’s not kid ourselves, Tiger is a lock.

“The next three events, the next three venues I’ve won on,” said Tiger. “So I’m going to three venues I’m very familiar with and looking forward to it.”

[Photo by Kyle Auclair/]