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Tiger Woods confirms his FedEx Cup committment

Tiger Woods yesterday uttered the magic words that made four tournament directors stop worrying and start smiling.

“My intent is to play all the playoffs,” said Woods, the world’s top-ranked golfer, when asked whether he would play in the entire FedEx Cup playoff series, the second event being the Deutsche Bank Championship Aug. 28-Sept. 3 at TPC of Boston in Norton. Woods was on a conference call during media day for the Deutsche Bank event.

The new playoff system will take the top 144 players after a 33-week points race ending with the Wyndham Championship Aug. 20. Those 144 golfers are eligible for the Barclays in New York, where the points will be reshuffled with the top 120 eligible to come to Norton for the Deustche Bank. After that, the top 70 go to the BMW Championship in Chicago, and the top 30 from there go to the Tour Championship in Atlanta.

Each of the four events carries a $7 million purse, and the overall points winner after the Tour Championship gets a $10 million bonus. The top point-getters could conceivably skip the first or second playoff event and still get to the Tour Championship. Woods leads the points race.

Considering that Woods became a father the day after the U.S. Open, the pull for him to stay home with his wife and daughter is strong, though as defending champion at the Deutsche Bank - which benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation - there was little doubt he would be here. Now he essentially has cemented his presence for all four.

Woods had some insight for those who wondered how fatherhood would affect him.
“I have to go on the road to get a little bit of sleep,” Woods chuckled. “From that standpoint, it’s been nice to get out and play a couple of tournaments.

“Then again, it’s like anybody becoming a parent for the first time. You never really understand how people can miss their child so much. (Before) you’d hear stories like that, but you’d pass them off because you didn’t understand it. Now, I do understand. Every time I’m out there playing or away from home for a week, that’s when I miss the family.”

Woods, who called Boston one of the best sports towns in the country, has fond memories of his 2006 final-day surge when he shot 63 and overtook Vijay Singh with the lowest final-round score of his career.

Woods said the field will be deeper this time around and the local fans will appreciate it, especially on a course which has undergone a major face-lift to add some strategy to the mix.
“It’s a fantastic forum for the event, and there have been superb galleries in an area where the excitement has been phenomenal over the years,” said Woods, who offered architect Gil Hanse his input during the renovations. “All the players have thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Making it a playoff event is certainly going to add to that. There’s even more at stake now.

“I like the changes. From the photos I’ve seen, I think they’ve made some positive strides. They needed to do that considering the event we’re going to be hosting. The caliber of course needed to be improved. I gave my input on every hole. Whether they used it or not is their decision.”

Woods also approved of the necessity for players to think their way around the course now.
“That’s the whole idea. . . . You want to test the players’ ability to strategize.”
Title sponsor Deutsche Bank has everything in place now, including a long-term contract that runs through 2010.



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