Woodland feeling like a rookie again, but with schedule made for a star

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Because of his early-season success, Gary Woodland's second-year schedule is shaping up a lot differently than his rookie schedule.
By
Doug Ferguson
Associated Press

Series: PGA Tour

Published: Tuesday, June 28, 2011 | 8:21 p.m.

In his second full year on the PGA Tour, Gary Woodland has reason to feel like a rookie for the rest of the season. That's not a bad thing, either.

Woodland can count on as many as eight big events based on his good performance this year.

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His first PGA Tour victory at the Transitions Championship in March earned him a spot in the WGC-Bridgestone International at Firestone and the PGA Championship in August. It also helped him earn enough money to get into the British Open, and he has decided to prepare for links golf by playing next week in the Scottish Open at Castle Stuart.

After that is the FedExCup playoffs. He didn't play well enough as a rookie to qualify for any of the four playoff events.

For the rest of the year, the only golf course he will have seen before is at The Greenbrier.

His new-look schedule starts on truly foreign turf. Not only has Woodland never played links golf, he's never been to Britain. In fact, he's never even traveled to Europe.

"I've been west, I've been south and north -- but never east," he said.

That's why he signed up for the Scottish Open, which should be a treat.

"The closest links I've seen is probably Prairie Dunes in Kansas, which I guess is the most links we can get here in the United States," he said of the Perry Maxwell design. "But I'm looking forward to getting over there. I grew up in the wind, I grew up in bad conditions playing in Kansas. Hopefully the conditions suit me pretty well, and I think we'll be hitting that 2 iron quite a bit the next couple weeks."

Woodland is ninth in the FedExCup standings. The goal now that he has a taste of it is to keep coming back for more.

"That's what I'm here for. I'm here for the big events," he said. "Obviously, world golf is the best players in the world. It's great because I can take weeks off and prepare for that. I can get ready for that golf course. I've seen it on TV. But like I said, any time I can play against the best players in the world on the biggest stage, I'm looking forward to it."