FedEx Cup playoff pressure, major performances, cellphones allowed

Greensboro stop the last for players to crack Top 125

August 19, 2010|By Jeff Shain, Tribune newspapers

If he hadn't blown that three-shot lead on the 72nd hole at Memphis, Robert Garrigus wouldn't have to worry about his performance this week. With a baby due soon, he might have skipped the Wyndham Championship.

Instead, he stands 122nd on the FedEx Cup points list and is playing to protect his spot in the "playoff" season.

"All mental," Garrigus told reporters Wednesday. "It's hard to keep from doing it, but (I need to) concentrate on every shot — not on, 'Oh my gosh, I'm on the bubble of the FedEx Cup.'"

The Greensboro, N.C., stop marks the final chance for players to crack the top 125 on the points list and reserve a spot at The Barclays next week. Otherwise, it's a five-week unpaid furlough.

"It's something that every player on the PGA Tour is trying to make sure that he's a part of, plain and simple," said Trevor Immelman, who stands 154th.

All but one player from No. 111 Nathan Green to Immelman is entered, lacking only No. 132 Matt Every (suspended). Anyone down to No. 142 Scott McCarron can move into the playoff field with a top-10 finish.

Major tidbits: No one cracked the top 10 in all four majors this year, and only one managed three top-10s — PGA champion Martin Kaymer, who tied for seventh at the British Open and eighth at the U.S. Open.

On a more inglorious list, Soren Hansen and Oliver Wilson are the only men to miss the cut at all four majors. Louis Oosthuizen missed the cut in all but one — his British Open triumph.

Bring the phone: In a trial run, the Wyndham is allowing fans to bring their cell phones this week. Phones must be set to silent mode and conversations must take place in designated areas.

"It's obviously different, but I think it's the right move," tournament chief Mark Brazil said. High among fan complaints these days is being forcibly out of touch with family or the office.

— Jeff Shain

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