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What amazed Woods was hearing Ishikawa tell them that he prefers to work on swing changes at tournaments, in competition, instead of solely on the range. That’s where a big schedule helps the Japanese star, who won Sunday for the third time this year.

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SHANGHAI PRECEDENT: PGA Tour Commissioner Tim Finchem is not ready to count the HSBC Champions as official money on the PGA Tour, even though it’s a World Golf Championship, because it comes so late in the year _ a week before the season-ender at Disney.

But there is precedent.

When the WGCs began in 1999, the American Express in Spain was held the week after the Tour Championship and counted toward the money list. The idea was to give the PGA Tour two blockbuster weeks at the end to decide the money title.

A number of Americans decided not to go to Valderrama, and the money list was never affected because Tiger Woods won by millions. Even so, there were players in Spain who could have affected the rest of the money list.

“I think the money list is less important than it used to be,” Finchem said. “As I said, we don’t view it as a big deal. We just made the call on this one, and for this period of time, we’re not going to do it. I don’t know what to tell you except we’ll continue to look at it.”

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DIVOTS: Stewart Cink finished at No. 52 on the PGA Tour money list, his first time out of the top 50 since 2002 and only the second time since his first full season on tour in 1997. … The Masters (11-under 277) is the only tournament where Tiger Woods finished double digits under par this year. … Steve Elkington and Joe Durant finished inside the top 125 on the money list despite starting the year with only past champions status. Elkington got in 22 tournaments and finished 99th, while Durant played 19 times and wound up 124th. … Robert Garrigus became the first player since John Daly in 1995 to lead the PGA Tour in driving distance and win a tournament in the same year.

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STAT OF THE WEEK: Sean O’Hair is the only American in the top 50 who is not yet eligible for the Masters.

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FINAL WORD: “That aura thing, it helped him play better, but it didn’t make anyone else play worse.” _ Geoff Ogilvy, on Tiger Woods.