Bungles, bogeys dictate top-30 list for Tour Championship

Rory McIlroy (left) talks with Tiger Woods at the BMW Championship in Carmel, Ind., on Sept. 6,...

Rory McIlroy (left) talks with Tiger Woods at the BMW Championship in Carmel, Ind., on Sept. 6, 2012. (Brent Smith/Reuters)

TIM MCKAY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:40 PM ET

Almost as much fun as watching Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods battle in these FedEx Cup playoffs are the meltdowns that have knocked players out of contention for the ensuing event.

With McIlroy running away with it on the back nine Sunday at the BMW Championship, the most intriguing factor became the battle by the other golfers for the top-30 qualifying spots at the Tour Championship next week.

Last year's overall playoff champ, Bill Haas, imploded with a 78 Sunday to keep a remarkable trend going: None of the past six FedEx Cup winners has made it to the Tour Championship the following season.

Even with his terrible closing round, Haas had a putt on 18 to climb back into 30th position and clinch a berth in the Tour Championship, but he missed that, too.

"Honestly it seems like the same old story, something I've been doing a lot this year," he said. "Under the gun, I haven't been able to get it done. It's something I've got to address and get better. When there's some pressure and there's a pressure situation I've got to be able to bear down and shoot a good number and not just blow up ...

"I just didn't deserve it."

Even more shocking was the free-fall of Vijay Singh, a veteran player who came into the final round tied for the lead at the BMW.

Needing a top-four finish to advance to East Lake after coming into the BMW at No. 49 in the FedEx rankings, Singh struggled with three back-nine bogies to finish in eighth and miss out on the championship event next week by three spots in the rankings.

A beneficiary of these mini-meltdowns was Canadian Open champ Scott Piercy, whose clutch 68 Sunday secured him the final spot in the Tour Championship.

Come next week, though, it won't matter who finishes 30th, it's all about No. 1 and the $10-million prize.

Weir's woes

Mike Weir's hard luck continues, according to the latest blog post on his website.

Not much has gone right for the Canadian lefty over the past couple of years and it looks as though the trend continues.

Seeking some competitive golf, Weir, at the end of August, played in his home state's Utah Open, an event for club pros in which he finished tied for 39th. Then, he was to fly to Switzerland for the European Tour's Omega European Masters.

Weir said his flight went from Salt Lake to Atlanta, where the plane experienced mechanical problems.

"By the time things had been sorted out, it was about 3 a.m. and they told us we could either continue on or get off and re-book our flight. I decided that considering the time and the plane, I'd get off," Weir wrote on his blog.

And that's where more misfortune caught up with a good Canadian boy attempting to do a good deed.

"A lady near me was having trouble getting her backpack out of the overhead compartment so I tried to help her and in doing so I wrenched my back," Weir wrote. "This wasn't just a little twinge; as soon as I did it, I knew I wouldn't be flying to Europe.

"I got off the plane, stayed in a hotel and the next day managed to take enough Advil to allow me to fly home and that's where I've been since, getting treatment -- the doctors told me it's nothing serious -- and putting ice on it and resting. I haven't swung a golf club since my last shot at the Utah Open (Aug, 26)," Weir wrote on Sept. 1.

Weir says he's scheduled to play in the PGA Tour Fall Series' second and fourth events (the Frys.com Open, Oct. 11-14, and the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals Classic, Nov. 8-11), and that he'd like to get into the other two fall events as well.

Looking ahead to 2013, Weir wrote that he's considering using one of his two lifetime money list exemptions to make it easier to plan his schedule on the PGA Tour.

At this point, it's hard not to feel for Weir. If it weren't for bad luck, he'd have none at all.

McIlroy taking heat

Maybe it's just human nature to try to create controversy where there really isn't any, but the latest issue surrounding McIlroy is a bit silly.

Earlier this year, the squeaky-clean 23-year-old rising superstar was being dogged for spending too much time with gal pal Caroline Wozniacki. Now he is being questioned about his allegiances for the 2016 Olympics.

Come on, really?

McIlroy told a British reporter that he feels "more British than Irish," this week and then took to Twitter to clarify that he is proud of his Northern Irish heritage, too. He added that if he does play in the Olympics, he hasn't decided under which flag he will compete.

In the grand scheme of things, though, who cares right now?

The Olympics are four years away and McIlroy has a $10-million FedEx Cup prize to worry about, not to mention something that would placate all of Europe: A Ryder Cup victory.

On the tee

LPGA

Women's British Open

Royal Liverpool Golf Club (6,657 yards, par 72), Hoylake, England.

Yani Tseng looking for third consecutive British Open title. Canadian Open champ, 15-year-old Lydia Ko, in the field. Paula Creamer looks to rebound from losing Monday on the ninth playoff hole to Jiyai Shin.

European Tour

Italian Open

Royal Park I Roveri (7,272 yards, par 72), Fiano, Italy.

Last tuneup for European Ryder Cup players who are playing on the European Tour.

tim.mckay@sunmedia.ca

twitter.com/TimMcKayGolf


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