Lady will dominate event

CHRIS STEVENSON, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:31 AM ET

A little prediction this week for The Barclays, the first tournament in the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup playoffs: A woman will be the star.

She's a free swinger, has a hard body and isn't shy about punching her right arm in the air.

The Statue of Liberty will probably get as much air time this week as Tiger Woods.

The Barclays is being held at the Liberty National Golf Club in Jersey City, N.J., and the course, designed by Bob Cupp and Tom Kite, is dominated by views of Lady Liberty -- about 1,000 yards away -- at every turn. The course, which might be the most expensive ever at a reported $250 million to build, also has great views of Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and Manhattan.

The course's story is interesting. It is built on the site of the Standard Oil storage tank facility, on a poisoned piece of land that became a toxic dump. Old oil tanks were left to rust and the runoff from nearby refineries and factories poisoned the land, dotted with the shells of old warehouses.

After acquiring the land in 1997, Paul Fireman, the former chairman of Reebok, and his son, Dan, wound up pumping money into the project to make it a reality. It was basically covered with a plastic bag and four feet of sand, then three million cubic yards of earth were dumped on top.

Keep in mind when you're watching this week, everything you see was created on that featureless piece of rescued land. Every tree, bush and mound was put in place by Cupp (who worked on Glen Abbey when he was affiliated with Jack Nicklaus) and Kite.

They had a blank slate with which to work, one with a rare backdrop.

The course, with a $60-million mirror-clad clubhouse shaped like the bow of a ship, commands an initiation fee of $500,000.

Here and there

Champions Tour player Ken Green had his leg amputated below his right knee after that horrific crash in June when his RV blew a tire and hurtled into a ditch, hitting a tree and killing his long-time girlfriend, his brother and dog. Now Green has been fitted and has set a goal of becoming the first player to play professionally with a prosthetic. He's already taken some swings and hopes to play in a charity event at the end of September ... RCGA national team coach Henry Brunton has published a guide for aspiring young golfers, Journey to Excellence. It's a step-by-step approach to helping junior golfers realize their potential, covering just about every aspect of the game. It's available at amazon.com, henrybrunton.com and at Golf Town stores, among other outlets ... The PGA Tour has launched a free iPhone/iPod Touch application.

Revelations

PGA Tour player David Mathis skipped a pro-am event in Ottawa last week because he couldn't find a flight that would get him to Greensboro in time to play a practice round for the Wyndham Championship.

He was 126th on the FedEx Cup list, one outside a berth. Good decision. He shot 65-67 on the weekend and jumped into 118th spot ... Mathis was only 2-under for the first two rounds and would have missed the cut if not for 16-year-old amateur Justin Thomas. The rule for the cut is the top 70 "professionals," so Thomas making the cut opened the door for the players at 2-under to advance to third-round play.

Speculations

Given her performance at the Solheim Cup, Michelle Wie is ready to take a big leap on the LPGA Tour. Her usually hovering parents were asked to keep their distance during the competition and the 19-year-old probably needs the space. The team aspect seemed to bring out a passion we haven't seen from her. Also, she's brought in former PGA winner Dave Stockton as a short-game instructor. Stockton, whose strength was his putting, has got her thinking less about mechanics. It's a good move for Wie, who has never been strong with the flatstick ... If they could get all the Canadian Tour events up to the level of the Montreal Open (guests John Daly and Hank Haney and great crowds), the Tour would be a lot better off.

Just wondering

Did you think it was refreshingly different, as I did, seeing the logo-less Ryan Moore pose with the trophy for winning the Wyndham Championship last week? A player can earn up to $500,000 a year for a "head-to-toe" deal (clubs, hat, glove, shoes) with a manufacturer. A hat deal alone can be worth $200,000. Moore, who has his own fashion sense (he has worn a loosened tie on course this year), said he likes the logo-less look. After struggling, he wanted to play the clubs he wanted without worrying about being tied to one manufacturer. He used an Adams driver, fairway wood and hybrid, PING irons, PING and Titleist wedges, a Scotty Cameron putter and a Callaway ball. It will be interesting to see now if he will resist money thrown at him in the wake of his win.

Parting shot

Kelowna's Samantha Richdale won the Turkey Hill Classic and six months of free ice cream from the sponsor after having the second-lowest round on the final day. Low round of the day earned free ice cream for a year. Right now, you know John Daly is trying to figure out a way to get a sponsor's exemption.

chris.stevenson@sunmedia.ca


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