|Ernie Els scrambled to make the FedExCup cut, finishing in the top 70 following last week's Deutsche Bank Championship. (Richard Lam/QMI Agency)
Why a week off in the middle of a playoff run, you ask?
So we, as golf fans, can figure out just what the heck is going on.
Quick, get out the abacus and tell me the probability of No. 70 Chris Stroud, currently with an impressive-sounding total of 788 points, catching No. 1 Webb Simpson, who, with 4,711 points, is 3,923 up in the manufactured race for the FedExCup.
Having decided about mid-way through my middling high-school career that advanced mathematics just weren't for me, I fear I cannot offer you much in the way of statistical analysis. But who can, outside of the PGA Tour number crunchers who made this crap up?
Sure, there was an exciting finish to the Deutsche Bank Championship, where This-ain't-your-father's-belly-putter poster boy James (Webb) Simpson and I-won-the-Canadian-Open-once-and- haven't-done-much-since Chesney (Chez) Reavie battled it out in a playoff. But some of the best stories from the Labour Day finish were about guys who made it in by the skin of their teeth.
Ernie Els thought he needed a birdie on the 18th on Monday to make it into the top 70, and he hit a 6-footer to make it (even though it turned out par would have been fine). Stroud plunked in an eagle on 18 to seize the final spot in the BMW Championship. And Geoff Ogilvy birdied 18 to live to play another day with the 69th rank.
"I knew if I didn't make birdie here my season was over and I was going to miss out on a lot of golf, so I was really happy to hole that six-footer for birdie. That was a real knee-knocker!," Els wrote on his PGA Tour blog. "I haven't celebrated a tied-14th finish like this for a long time."
It's fun to watch pros have to struggle to play on, but guess what? It happens every Friday all year: It's called the cut. And just making the cut usually isn't really something to celebrate.
Is it just me, or are the FedExCup Playoffs just a bit too contrived?
EXCUSE ME, SIR?
Interesting that Sir Nick Faldo recently told a Montreal newspaper that Tiger Woods' window for passing Jack Nicklaus' record 18 majors had closed, in his estimation, at the age of 35.
Faldo won his last major -- the 1996 Masters -- at the age of 38, but told the Montreal Gazette that Woods has too much going on in his life to be able to focus fully on golf.
"Once my quality of mind-set for practice was broken, it's been broken ever since," Faldo said.
A BIG HIT
While it's an impressive feat and a first since the PGA Tour started keeping those stats, Dustin Johnson had little to show for leading in both driving distance and driving accuracy at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
The long-hitting Johnson averaged 344.1 yards from the tee and hit the fairway 78.57% of the time, but putted poorly and faded to finish tied for 42nd after averaging 30.3 putts per round.
Winner Simpson gave up 45 yards off the tee to Johnson, but his 28.728 putts per round got it done.
Perhaps the most well-rounded performance of the weekend, however, came from Thomas Bjorn in his victory at the European Masters.
Bjorn led the field in driving accuracy (82.7%), greens in regulation (80.6%) and was a respectable 24th in driving distance (302 yards) and 28th in putting (29.3 putts per round).the impending storm, though.