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Question of the Day
He was 68th on the money list last year, which is why he teed off at 11 a.m. at Torrey Pines. That has a large pro-am field with two courses, however. Woods won’t qualify for several pro-ams, but he’ll be a sponsor’s pick. And the picks typically get the third, sixth and ninth spots in the morning and afternoon groups.
Translation: Woods can expect to tee off in the third group.
It’s also worth noting that of the dozen tournaments he plays before the FedEx Cup playoffs begin, eight of those events don’t even have pro-ams. He probably would need to be a pro-am pick in three others (Bay Hill, Quail Hollow, Memorial). The one place he might tee off in the middle of the pack? The AT&T National, which he once hosted.
MATCH PLAY: This is the final week for players to get into the top 64 in the world ranking and qualifying for the Match Play Championship in Arizona, although some are taking the week off.
Lucas Glover at No. 65 isn’t at Pebble Beach, and is not likely to make the field. Toru Taniguchi at No. 64 isn’t playing, either. Also on the bubble are Thomas Bjorn (No. 60), past champion Henrik Stenson (No. 62) and Seung-yul Noh (No. 63). Sergio Garcia, a semifinalist a year ago, has fallen to No. 79 and would need at least a runner-up finish in Dubai to have a chance.
Phil Mickelson has not said if he will play. Francesco Molinari had said he would miss the Match Play because his wife was due with their first child, although she gave birth on Sunday to a boy and the Italian might end up going.
Among those who look to be safely inside the top 64 is Heath Slocum at No. 59. He never considered playing it safe in the world ranking by taking off Pebble Beach.
“I heard some guys say that for sure to be in, I should skip Pebble,” Slocum said. “I have no idea. Like I’ve said before, I’m going to play golf. And if these things fall into place, great. If not, I’ll stay home. But I’d like to get in. Match play is fun.”
Slocum doesn’t speak from recent experience.
He said the last time he was in match play was the 1995 U.S. Amateur Public Links. He never made it to match play in the U.S. Amateur, although it wasn’t strictly because of his golf.
He missed his tee time.
Slocum opened with a good qualifying round on the Valley Course at the TPC Sawgrass in 1994, and remembers needing only a decent round on the Stadium Course to get in the top 64.
“I had an 8 o’clock tee time, and I woke up at 7:52 a.m.,” he said. “I was sick to my stomach.”
By Tammy Bruce
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