The FedEx Cup: How Far Will Tiger Woods Go In Golf's Playoffs?

The FedEx Cup has always been a bit contrived. Playoffs for golf? Sure, why not? More than that though, it's been anticlimatic. With players accumulating year-long points in designated events -- and only players above a certain cut qualifying for progressive events -- the final events the past few years have been non-events because Tiger Woods and/or Phil Mickelson have run away from the field so much that they could skip them.

But 2010 is certainly shaping up differently. Woods has obviously had his fair share of high-profile struggles, but Mickelson has been hobbled by arthritis lately as well, not to mention Lee Westwood's own ailments. But it's not just that the trio of top-ranked golfers in the world are unlikely to lap the field this time around -- it's that Tiger Woods could be hard-pressed to even qualify for event after this one.

Woods is currently ensconced at 113th in the FedEx Cup rankings, largely due to his disastrous finish at the Bridgestone Invitational, where he nearly finished last. Woods is actually a spot behind Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin, who Woods is counting on to pick for the team after not being one of the eight automatic qualifiers. But with only a week remaining to qualify for the next FedEx Cup event -- the Barclays Invitational -- Woods is certain to stay in the top 125 necessary...but after that things could get interesting. Woods will have to move up 13 spots to make the Deutsche Bank Championship field, and another 30 after that to qualify for the BMW Championship. Basically, he'll have to start playing like pre-crash Tiger Woods.

In other words, don't count on it, no matter how resilient Tiger might be.

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