Return to the Golf Today Home PageAll the latest golf newsCoverage of all the worlds major toursFor all your golfing needsGolf Course DirectoryOut on the courseGolf related travelWhats going on, message board, links and more!
Worldwide Feature Articles
Top Stories
PGA: Stephen Ames coasts to six shot win
PGA: Tiger Woods ends difficult week with 75
Euro: Van de Velde ends 13 year victory wait
Stephen Ames vaults to World No. 27
Boost for the Philippine Open
Tiger Woods misses practice to be with father

A different week than normal at Disney event

The Palm and Magnolia courses were mostly empty Wednesday afternoon as players in the Funai Classic at Disney headed across the street to the Magic Kingdom to hang out with their families.

``This used to the be hardest week of the year,'' Curtis Strange said. ``You play in the morning and go to the parks in the afternoon with your kids, and by the end of the day you couldn't wait to get to bed.''

But this isn't a working vacation for everyone.

About two dozen guys are struggling to keep their jobs next year, with only two tournaments left to finish in the top 125 on the PGA Tour money list.

Every player from No. 26 through No. 38 on the money list, including a rare appearance by Phil Mickelson, is at Disney trying to finish in the top 30 and make it to the lucrative Tour Championship.

Tiger Woods has no such worries, although he's not immune to the grind.

Along with trying to build on his $171,239 lead over Vijay Singh as he tries to win the money title for a record fifth straight year, Woods is on the verge of breaking one of the oldest records in the PGA Tour books.

All he has to do is finish among the top 70 players after two rounds to tie Byron Nelson at 113 consecutive cuts made.

Woods essentially would break the record, too, since his next two tournaments -- the Tour Championship and Mercedes Championships next year -- have no cut.

It should be a fairly simple task.

After all, the only time Woods missed the cut as a professional was in the 1997 Canadian Open. The cut streak dates to the 1998 Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, when Woods withdrew rather than return seven months later to finish the rain-delayed tournament.

But strange things can happen at Disney.

A year ago, Woods was 9 under par after two rounds and figured he was in good shape going into the weekend. The course played so easy -- and yes, these guys are good -- that the cut was a record 6-under.

``I think the cut is probably going to be 8- or 10-under this week,'' he said.

Woods has been playing several courses around Orlando while his home course at Isleworth is being renovated, and he said all of them had firm, fast greens.

He came to Disney and found them lush, green and receptive.

``I think the guys will just tear this place apart,'' Woods said.

It leads to the kind of golf Woods detests -- a putting contest, in which players slip down the leaderboard if they aren't making birdies in bunches.

``I've never liked them,'' he said. ``It doesn't really reward good ball-striking. When you get a golf course like a U.S. Open, where you've got to manage your game, think about where you are going, that's when it becomes more fun. It becomes more of a chess match.

``Here, you're basically firing at every pin.''

Woods has finished at 23-under 265 twice at Disney and finished third. Then again, he also has won twice (1996, 1999).

``You don't have to like it,'' he said. ``Just play well.''

There have been 10 tournaments over his last 112 on the PGA Tour where Woods flirted with missing the cut in the second round.

The most recent came at the Deutsche Bank Championship outside Boston, where he was 3 over the cut line with 11 holes to play, then birdied six of his next nine holes.

The closest call this year came at the Masters. Needing a par to make the cut, Woods hit his drive under a small pine tree, then hit a shoulder-high stinger into a greenside bunker, and made his par with a 3-foot putt.

Woods attributed his streak to consistency, with a dose of stubbornness.

``I don't ever bag it,'' he said. ``You have to fight. There are days when you feel terrible. You wish you were in other places because you're playing so poorly, but you somehow figure out a way to score. I've been lucky, but I also worked my butt off, too.''

The work won't end if he makes the cut.

Woods has won the PGA Tour money title every year since 1999, although he's never been in a battle quite like this one.

He only regained the lead by winning the American Express Championship, and his lead over Singh is even more tenuous considering that Singh is playing in the $4.8 million Chrysler Championship in Tampa next week, while Woods is taking that week off.

By the end of the year, Singh will have played nine more times.

Woods places more stock in the Vardon Trophy, for the lowest adjusted scoring average. He is going for his fifth in a row, and has it wrapped up if he breaks 80 the rest of the year.

The cut streak is all that matters at Disney.

``It's a great record considering that he's played against very deep, very big fields, and it only takes one bad round of 75, 76 to push you out of the cut line,'' U.S. Open champion Jim Furyk said. ``He just seems to be very consistent and seems to fight through it when he's playing poorly and gets it done.''

This years news archive | Email this page to a friend | Return to top of page