by Jeff Skinner
Tim Finchem’s latest try at convincing golf fans that golf needs a Nascar-like playoff kicks off today at The Barclays. All of Finchem’s tweaking and adjusting of the “Playoff” format goes into motion when they tee off at Liberty National. Liberty National was designed by Tom Kite and Bob cup and built on a former toxic site. It was a mess in 1992 when Rebook founder Paul Fireman and his son Dan looked at the property. At the very least they created a course with views like no other. At its best it could be a major championship venue. It all depends on who you listen to.
I’ll be enjoying the views of Lady Liberty and The Big Apple while Tiger, Phil and the boys try to figure out the greens and Finchem’s points system. These guys will make the weekend interesting.
*** Tiger Woods will be trying to get back in the win column. They say there is nothing more dangerous than a wounded animal. Tiger is still smarting from his major shut out and he could take revenge by sweeping all four playoff events. Do four playoff tournaments equal a major? Sorry, not a chance.
*** Steve Stricker is number two in FedEx Cup points and has won twice this year. He is having his best year.
*** Hunter Mahan is still playing too well not to have won this year. In his last six outings he has four top tens.
*** Phil Mickelson is back in his adopted hometown and he loves The Big Apple. I know, Liberty national is in New Jersey, but don’t tell the PGA Tour that. All the cameras will be facing New York all week. Phil is a member here, so he should have some local knowledge but I think he still has too many distractions on his mind.
*** David Toms is number one in driving accuracy and that bodes well for him at Liberty National, a very demanding driving course. He has seven top tens and should be close on Sunday.
*** Mr. Consistency, Jim Furyk hasn’t been setting the world on fire lately, but he has a great history in the “playoffs”. In 2008 he had three top tens and a T12 in the playoff tournaments.
*** Sleeper Pick: John Merrick. If he makes the cut he usually finishes well. He has four top tens this year.