Woods commits to The Barclays
Friday, August 21, 2009
JERSEY CITY, N.J. – Tiger Woods entered The Barlcays on Friday, an indication that the world’s No. 1 player plans to compete in all four FedEx Cup playoff events for the first time.
In a tough economic year in which PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem has asked the players to do more for the sponsors, Woods came through in a big way by agreeing to compete in The Barclays. He has not played the tournament since 2003, when it was held in June, and he has not played since Barclays took over as title sponsor in 2005.
Barclays’ contract with the PGA Tour is up for renewal next year.
Woods is assured of being the No. 1 seed when the PGA Tour Playoffs for the FedEx Cup begins Thursday with The Barclays. A new points system means players are more likely to lose ground if they take a week off.
Even so, that likely didn’t have a bearing on Woods’ decision. He skipped the opening playoff event in 2007 during the first year of the FedEx Cup, then tied for second and won the last two events to easily claim the $10 million bonus.
He did not play last year because of knee surgery.
“The Barclays has been an exciting kickoff to the PGA Tour Playoffs for the FedEx Cup each of the first two years. Having Tiger in the field this year will, no doubt, bring even more excitement to the tournament,” tournament director Pete Mele said.
A change in the schedule also helps.
The Barclays will be followed by the Deutsche Bank Championship outside Boston, then the BMW Championship in the Chicago suburb. The tour will take a week off before the final event – with the points reset – at the Tour Championship in Atlanta.
Woods has not played a regular PGA Tour event in the New York area since the Buick Classic at Westchester in 2003. He played Westchester three times without winning.
The Barclays will be played this year at Liberty National. The 125-man field will not be set until the conclusion of the Wyndham Championship this week in Greenboro, N.C.
Should he play all four playoff events, as expected, Woods will have played seven times in a nine-week stretch dating to the Buick Open.