There are only 70 players left in the 2013 FedExCup Playoffs, and that field will be cut by more than half this week in Chicago at the BMW Championship. While the very top of the standings, which includes players such as Tiger Woods, Adam Scott and Jordan Spieth, have already locked up their spot for the TOUR Championship, most of the 70-man field will be trying to elbow the others out and sneak into the most exclusive field of the year -- the final 30 in Atlanta.
The PGA Tour's first two playoff events, The Barclays in New York and Deutsche Bank in Boston, were significantly interrupted by rain to the point where a Sunday/Labor Day finish was in doubt. The limited field this week gives the Tour even more cushion to keep things on schedule, and even though there are only 70 players, they will still send them off in threesomes off split tees the first two days. So instead of rolling tee times beginning a little after dawn in Lake Forest, they will hold things until 10:20 a.m. local time for the first group. While there are still two "waves," the tee times are all condensed within a two-hour block with 24 groups out on the course. This should maximize the amount of players and shots that Golf Channel is able to show during the broadcast from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. ET.
With just the top 70 remaining, nearly every group has a fairly big name or star in it. But the indisputable marquee group through the first two days at Conway Farms is comprised of the top three players in the FedExCup standings -- No. 1 Henrik Stenson, No. 2 Tiger Woods, and No. 3 Adam Scott. Stenson and Scott won the first two legs of the postseason, and they've probably been the most consistent players in the world since April with repeated contention at the game's biggest events.
Tiger, on the other hand, stormed to a stranglehold of the FEC points lead thanks to five 2013 wins. But Woods' play has been erratic since late June, with injuries and some shaky driving and putting resulting in multiple mediocre finishes. The bright spot in the second half was that dominating WGC win at Firestone. His FedExCup has been a continuation of that unpredictable play, as he hobbled in to a near-miraculous comeback at Liberty National (finished T2) but then bombed out at TPC Boston for a 65th place finish that relinquished the points lead to Stenson. Now, Woods arrives at Conway Farms, a track that he's unfamiliar with and hasn't played -- typically a recipe for Woods bowing out early.
Tiger is guaranteed a spot in Atlanta and will control his own fate there, being one of the five players who automatically wins the Cup and $10 million grand prize with a victory at East Lake. But he'll need to dramatically improve the form from Boston before he starts thinking about any postseason success, either this week or next. He begins on Thursday at 11:53 a.m. ET. Here's the full tee sheet for Thursday's first round (All times ET):
First wave off No. 1:
|11:20 a.m.||Henley, Russell||Merrick, John||Walker, Jimmy|
|11:31 a.m.||Castro, Roberto||de Jonge, Brendon||Johnson, Zach|
|11:42 a.m.||Weekley, Boo||Simpson, Webb||Points, D.A.|
|11:53 a.m.||Dufner, Jason||Woodland, Gary||Furyk, Jim|
|12:04 p.m.||Stallings, Scott||Lynn, David||Every, Matt|
|12:15 p.m.||Duke, Ken||Hearn, David||Thompson, Michael|
First wave off No. 10:
|11:20 a.m.||Gay, Brian||Reed, Patrick||McDowell, Graeme|
|11:31 a.m.||English, Harris||Schwartzel, Charl||Westwood, Lee|
|11:42 a.m.||Rose, Justin||Stricker, Steve||Snedeker, Brandt|
|11:53 a.m.||Stenson, Henrik||Woods, Tiger||Scott, Adam|
|12:04 p.m.||Leishman, Marc||Thompson, Nicholas||Sabbatini, Rory|
|12:15 p.m.||Kokrak, Jason||Moore, Ryan||Molder, Bryce|
Second wave off No. 1:
|12:26 p.m.||Kirk, Chris||Huh, John||Stroud, Chris|
|12:37 p.m.||Howell III, Charles||Stadler, Kevin||Chappell, Kevin|
|12:48 p.m.||Spieth, Jordan||Bradley, Keegan||Day, Jason|
|12:59 p.m.||Kuchar, Matt||DeLaet, Graham||Mickelson, Phil|
|1:10 p.m.||Davis, Brian||Blixt, Jonas||Jones, Matt|
|1:21 p.m.||Bae, Sang-Moon||Cabrera, Angel|
Second wave off No. 10:
|12:26 p.m.||Watson, Bubba||McIlroy, Rory||Summerhays, Daniel|
|12:37 p.m.||Watney, Nick||Piercy, Scott||Fowler, Rickie|
|12:48 p.m.||Horschel, Billy||Johnson, Dustin||Garcia, Sergio|
|12:59 p.m.||Streelman, Kevin||Haas, Bill||Mahan, Hunter|
|1:10 p.m.||Poulter, Ian||Hoffman, Charley||Donald, Luke|
|1:21 p.m.||Steele, Brendan||Els, Ernie|