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That essentially leaves Love having to look at five players _ maybe more _ for two spots.

Watney was enduring a lost season until winning The Barclays. That doesn’t make him a frontrunner, but he is a big blip on the radar at the very least. Brandt Snedeker already was under consideration _ a winner at Torrey Pines, a contender at the British Open and a guy who can putt. He showed that at The Barclays, making a 15-footer for par on the 17th and a birdie putt from about that length on the 18th to finish alone in second.

Dustin Johnson, who has won every year since his rookie season in 2008, tied for third at Barclays. His sheer power and talent is difficult to ignore. Fowler showed up on the leaderboard until Saturday, when Bethpage Black became Bethpage Brown and sent scores soaring. Not to be forgotten is Hunter Mahan, who was poised to make the team on his own until he finished toward the bottom of the pack at Firestone and missed the cut at the PGA Championship and the Barclays.

The list can get even longer depending on the Deutsche Bank Championship, especially if Bo Van Pelt or someone like Bill Haas were to win.

No one will be under greater pressure than Mahan. He won twice this year, but has only one top 10 over the last five months. And he is the opposite of Furyk, who has qualified for every team. Mahan has been a captain’s pick twice for the Presidents Cup, once for the Ryder Cup.

Johnson is another guy who can’t afford a letdown in Boston. For all his swagger and ability, he can be a square peg in the round hole of team matches. He did not partner well with Phil Mickelson at Celtic Manor or Woods at Royal Melbourne. If the Ryder Cup were 28 singles matches, he would be an obvious choice.

The audition for the final spots starts Friday and ends Labor Day, which is fitting. Love has some serious work ahead of him.

As for the FedEx Cup?

Even for a bunch of millionaires, $10 million still gets their attention, and it will before the playoffs are over. For now, what matters is an event that pays nothing at all.