- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 8, 2009


A. Tiger Woods — His scorching finish at the Deutsche Bank (63) is a harbinger of good things to come. The 33-year-old plays well at the venue of this week’s BMW Championship, posting four victories in 10 starts on the suburban Chicago layout. Though he has been far less effective at East Lake (site of the Tour Championship), a victory at this week’s BMW would give him an almost insurmountable lead.

B. Padraig Harrington — Nobody has played more consistently over the last month than the Irishman. Take away two holes (triple bogeys at the Bridgestone and the PGA), and Harrington would be the talk of the tour. In any case, it’s obvious that the 38-year-old Dubliner has completed his controversial swing overhaul.

C. Steve Stricker — The phenomenal putter always seems to be in the weekend mix since his career renaissance in 2006. Stricker doesn’t often parlay contention into victory. Monday’s victory was the exception, not the rule.

D. Other — Not only does the rest of the field include stalwarts like Retief Goosen, Geoff Ogilvy and Phil Mickelson, it includes a raft of the second-tier players who have defined the season. Bet on an outsider.

Our Take — Woods is the obvious pick, and it’s not just because he’s leading the standings and is the world No. 1. Not only does this week’s playoff venue suit him better than anyone in the field, Sunday’s closing 63 at TPC Boston should have given him a pretty good indication of what’s been wrong with him in big events much of this season. Sure, Woods didn’t make many putts in majors this season, nor did he make any at the Barclays. But he also hasn’t given himself many opportunities because of his conservative play. Sunday at TPC Boston, there was a glimpse of the old, hard-charging, aggressive Tiger. The result was a final-round 63 and perhaps a slight shift in his approach moving forward.


“It’s something everybody has learned from, in our program and teams from the outside, to say nothing and just play ball.”

Boise State coach Chris Petersen on not suspending Byron Hout for taunting Oregon’s LeGarrette Blount

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