Trying to retain the FedExCup title and cashing the bonus of $10 million would be more difficult for Jim Furyk at the start of the U.S. PGA Tour playoff tomorrow.
Aside from being seeded 60th, the Barclays event in Edison, New Jersey is quite a challenge with 125 golfers in attendance. However, Tiger Woods will not be included in the list as he failed to qualify for the playoffs, a first since 2007 when it was introduced.
“Now that times have changed, it’s kind of up for grabs,” the 41-year-old Furyk said during a media conference call yesterday at Atlanta’s East Lake Golf Club.
“It’s a good time for our tour. Our fans are getting to know a lot more of the younger guys and I think it’s great for our game.”
The 30-year-old Nick Watney tops the list into the first round tomorrow at the Plainfield Country Club which was designed by Donald Ross. Watney is ahead of the 44-year-old Steve Stricker by 41 points and the 26-year-old Webb Simpson by 45 points. This is the straight third year that Stricker enters the playoffs in the second place.
Among the players that have won more than one title this season are PGA Championship winner Keegan Bradley, Mark Wilson, Bubba Watson, Stricker. Watney, and Simpson.
The pressure to win the overall title has become easier to deal with for Simpson following his August 21 first career win at the Wyndham Championship.
“I know if I’m in contention, what I went through last week will help me,” Simpson said at a news conference.
Simpson is one of the young breed of golfers who are trying to steal the spotlight which was held for the past 13 years by 14-major-titles-winner Tiger Woods.
“You’re seeing kind of a generational change,” Simpson said. “A lot of young guys are playing well. Young guys are giving other young guys confidence. It is pretty cool to see. It’s almost turned into old versus young guys.”