Notebook: Two stars make playoff road tougher by skipping first event

Zach Johnson
Getty Images
Zach Johnson will miss the Barclays to go to Chicago for his brother's wedding.
By
Doug Ferguson
Associated Press

Series: PGA Tour

JERSEY CITY, N.J. – Two players are making it a little bit harder on themselves to qualify for the Tour Championship by skipping the first playoff event at The Barclays.

One is missing by choice, the other because of a family obligation.

Zach Johnson, at No. 18 in the standings, will be in Chicago this week for his brother's wedding. Only one player has started at No. 18 and failed to reach the Tour Championship – J.B. Holmes in 2010.

Steve Stricker is not at The Barclays because of his part-time schedule. He won the event in 2007 at Westchester Country Club.

DOWN TO THE WIRE: Patrick Cantlay won his second start on the Web.com Tour at the Colombia Championship and looked set to earn a PGA Tour card. But the former UCLA star missed three months with a back injury, only returning last week and missing the cut.

During that time off, Cantlay has fallen to No. 25 on the money list.

The top 25 after the Cox Classic this week in Omaha, Neb., are assured their PGA Tour cards for the 2013-14 season, and the next 50 are thrown in with the PGA Tour players from 126-200 in the FedExCup standings to fight for the other 25 cards.

Cantlay's lead over Wes Roach at No. 26 is a mere $2,807.

Farther down the list is Michael Connell at No. 75, the cutoff for getting into the series of four tournaments to vie for 25 tour cards. Connell's lead over Zach Sucher is $126.

MISREADING THE TEA LEAVES: Tiger Woods was the overwhelming favorite going into the PGA Championship, particularly coming off a seven-shot win at the Bridgestone Invitational. But looking back at the whole of his career, it's not as though Woods ever had a strong record of making majors a consecutive win.

The PGA Championship was the 20th time he had gone into a major coming off a win. His majors record under those circumstances is 4-16.

Woods won the Memorial and U.S. Open in 2000; The Players Championship and Masters in 2001; the Buick Open and PGA Championship in 2006; and the Bridgestone Invitational and PGA Championship in 2007.

His record in his next start after winning a major is 4-10. That includes a second-round loss in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in 2009, held eight months after he won the U.S. Open and then had reconstructive knee surgery.

DIVOTS: Rory McIlroy plans to play in the Australian Open this year, held Nov. 28-Dec. 1 at Royal Sydney. ... Hideki Matsuyama tied for 15th in Greensboro and easily wrapped up a PGA Tour card for the 2013-14 season. Matsuyama, who had a pair of top-10s in the majors, made $771,640. That would be the equivalent of No. 105 on the money list. ... Davis Love III ended his streak of 27 consecutive years inside the top 100 on the PGA Tour money list when he failed to qualify for the FedExCup playoffs. ... Eight players failed to qualify for the playoffs for the first time since the FedExCup began in 2007: David Toms, Padraig Harrington, Chad Campbell, Vijay Singh, Jonathan Byrd, Troy Matteson, Sean O'Hair and Robert Allenby. ... As expected, Matt Kuchar is playing the World Cup in Australia at Royal Melbourne, one week after the Australian Masters on the same course.

STAT OF THE WEEK: Four players qualified for the FedExCup playoffs without having a top-10 this year on the PGA Tour.

FINAL WORD: ''I don't think that golfers care about how long it takes, I think they care if they wait. I think that should be everybody's mission when they play. Don't have anybody wait on you.'' -- Judy Rankin.

 


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