2 big weeks in golf, 2 different prizes

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For now, the focus is on the final event of the FedEx Cup that comes with a $10 million bonus and a five-year exemption on the PGA Tour.

The FedEx Cup is still in its infancy, and there remains plenty of debate that someone could win the FedEx Cup without winning a tournament all year. This is the fourth straight year such a scenario could happen, but it hasn’t yet. The list of FedEx Cup champions includes Woods (twice), Vijay Singh and Jim Furyk. The lone fluke was Bill Haas last year, who was No. 45 in the world. The fluke was that he won the $10 million despite being the No. 25 seed.

More than a fluke, that should serve as inspiration that anyone at East Lake still has a chance.

“It’s an individual game, and that’s how ultimately you’re going to be remembered in this game,” Rose said. “You can win the Ryder Cup and lose three of four matches, and it will be an amazing week. But I don’t think you come out of it a better player. You win this week, in this scenario, you come out of it a better player.”

Rose doesn’t want to think about the Ryder Cup until he holes out his final putt at East Lake on Sunday.

“I’ve been having a hard time getting super excited about the Ryder Cup because I’ve been slightly overwhelmed with the playing schedule since Akron, really,” he said. “I’m doing my best to stay into each week. As soon as I putt out on Sunday, I think the juices will start to fly. Or when I get on that plane in Orlando with (Ian) Poulter and some of the guys, yes, amazing. It’s the week we’ve been waiting for.

“But now, I can’t get invested in it,” he said. “I’ve got to do myself justice for this week.”

It’s still a point of consternation for the PGA Tour.

This is the big conclusion they envisioned for the FedEx Cup, especially with this lineup of stars who occupy the top five seeds and only have to win the Tour Championship to capture the $10 million prize _ Rory McIlroy, Woods, Nick Watney, Phil Mickelson, and Brandt Snedeker. The three playoff events leading up to the Tour Championship have been nothing short of blockbuster, with all the top names on the leaderboard week after week.

One of the ideas behind the FedEx Cup was to give the PGA Tour season a definitive ending. Trouble is, every two years the end of the season is followed by an exhibition that happens to be the second-biggest event in golf behind the Masters.

The 10 million-pound elephant in the room is the Ryder Cup.

It could be worse. The last time the Ryder Cup was played in America, it was held the week before the Tour Championship. The Americans won at Valhalla, and they staggered down to Atlanta to cap off the FedEx Cup season. It didn’t help that Vijay Singh only had to stay upright through four rounds to win the $10 million. And it didn’t help when Kentucky native Kenny Perry said, “It’s ruined my greatest week in my life, coming here.”

And he went home with a $250,000 bonus.

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Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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