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2 big weeks in golf, 2 different prizes
Question of the Day
ATLANTA (AP) - Two big weeks in golf could not be more different.
East Lake has the top 30 players on the PGA Tour. Medinah will have 24 of the top 35 players in the world.
One pays $10 million to the winner. The other doesn’t pay a dime.
“One is monetary, the other is pride,” Steve Stricker said Tuesday. “This is playing for your year. You can do a lot of good things, and you’re playing for a lot of money. Next week you’re playing for something totally different. You’re playing for your country, with teammates. You have partners. You can see it across every guy’s face. You go through the whole gamut of emotions.
“But if you talk to any player, I guarantee they would want to win either one. It would mean a lot.”
The flag-waving, foot-stomping crowd that has waited two years for the most exciting three days in golf might find this hard to believe, but the players gathered at East Lake for the FedEx Cup finale are thinking only of winning the Tour Championship.
Because that’s all they can win this week.
Tiger Woods was roasted by the British press in 2002 when a World Golf Championship was staged at Mount Juliet in Ireland the week before the Ryder Cup. After taking a one-shot lead after the opening round, Woods was asked which was more important for him to win. He chose the WGC event and its $1 million purse _ that was back when $1 million meant something in golf _ over taking a 17-inch gold trophy home on the team plane.
“Why? I can think of a million reasons,” Woods said, a tongue-in-cheek remark that backfired.
Oddly enough, just about every Ryder Cup player at Mount Juliet felt the same way. One week they are playing for themselves, another week they are playing for a flag. Two different tournaments. Two important weeks. One at a time.
Justin Rose was working on his bunker play at East Lake when the rain finally gave way to patchy skies. He walked over to chat with Keegan Bradley, who was chipping out of the deep Bermuda rough. Rose is playing in his second Ryder Cup. Bradley will be making his debut next week.
The Ryder Cup will get here soon enough.
By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
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