- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 6, 2011

NORTON, MASS. (AP) - Robert Allenby was more dejected than angry after the final round of the Deutsche Bank Championship. He finished out of the top 50 for the second straight playoff event. Time is running out for him.

Only this had nothing to do with the FedEx Cup and its $10 million prize.

“It’s about a tournament that doesn’t pay a dime,” Allenby said.

Allenby is among three Australians _ Geoff Ogilvy and Aaron Baddeley are the others _ who care more about going to Royal Melbourne for the Presidents Cup than to East Lake for the Tour Championship and a shot at golf’s biggest payoff.

U.S. captain Fred Couples made it hard on himself for promising a pick to Tiger Woods, who has gone two years without a win and has played only two tournaments the last five months. That leaves Couples only one more pick, with complaints sure to follow that someone was unfairly left out.

International captain Greg Norman might have it tougher. He has two picks, and three Aussies who might need them.

Making it even more compelling is that all three grew up in Melbourne, where the Presidents Cup will be played Nov. 17-20. And all three of them were in the gallery in 1998, when the matches were last held at Royal Melbourne.

With two weeks left to qualify, one could get left out.

The Presidents Cup might not mean much to everyone, but it does to them. It means everything. That’s why Allenby was so melancholy after he finished at the TPC Boston, and the normally cheerful Baddeley barely cracked a smile when he shot his second straight 75 and tied for last.

“Definitely a big goal,” Baddeley said. “It was a disappointing week.”

Baddeley, who won this year at Riviera and has revived his game since returning to swing coach Dale Lynch, has done well enough that he is No. 25 and comfortably made it to the third playoff event next week outside Chicago _ the final event before the Presidents Cup teams are determined.

That wasn’t the case for Ogilvy, whose year has been bizarre since slicing open his finger on a piece of coral in the Pacific Ocean two days before the season opener in Hawaii.

He was No. 91 in the FedEx Cup standings, and only the top 70 moved on to Chicago. Ogilvy had to birdie one of the last two holes at the TPC Boston to advance, and it didn’t look good when he hit his tee shot on the 17th behind a rock, leading to a one-shot penalty. He made a 20-foot putt to escape with par, and then made a 6-foot birdie on the last hole.

That gave him one more week, either to move into the top 10 in the team standings, or to audition for Norman.

Ogilvy is likely to be a pick. He doesn’t want it come down to that.

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