NORTON, Mass. – Amazing how quickly one’s fortunes can change in the FedEx Cup playoffs. Consider Kevin Streelman, for instance. He went to The Barclays at No. 102 in the FedEx standings, two spots outside the cutline for the second playoff event, this week’s Deutsche Bank Championship in Norton, Mass. He tied for third and zoomed all the way to 18th. Instead of facing three weeks off at home, now he’s thinking about getting to the Tour Championship, and has a great chance to get there.
Not bad for a man who’d had one top-30 finish in his previous 15 starts, dating to March.
Streelman had a good feeling going into Ridgewood last week, and give him this – he’s a pretty sharp guy, a Duke grad. So he leaned on another sharp Dukie, Joe Ogilvie, a mentor of sorts, to break down The Meaning of Golf. At least as it pertains to being a journeyman golfer competing for his living on the PGA Tour.
“He said, ‘Kevin, no matter what, it’s pretty statistically proven that you make 80 percent of your money in 20 percent of your tournaments,’ ” Streelman explained. “So if I expect to make all the cuts, expect to keep doing top 10s, top 25s, realistically it doen’t happen for most of us. A couple exceptions obviously. So you know when you’re making those 8-footers or saving those par saves or knocking your short irons really stiff that week, you know that this is the week you’ve got to take advantage of it.
“It doesn’t happen every week. You hope it does, but when it does, you’ve got to run with it.”
So he’s running. Sprinting, in fact. Even with a poor showing this week, he’ll play at home in Chicago next week at the BMW (a guaranteed paycheck), so that’s another good thing. He’s a man riding a wave, and for those trying to get hot at the right time, the FedEx playoffs can offer some pretty decent surfing.