Nick Watney, Phil Mickelson and Snedeker. Watney was
the first to play his way out of it, followed by Mickelson.
Woods and McIlroy dropped out fast on Sunday, Woods
going four over through six holes and McIlroy four over
The world’s No. 1 and No. 2 players both double-bogeyed
the par- 3 sixth, as did Snedeker. But fighting through adversity was something he learned a little bit about at the
British Open where he led at the halfway mark. “I hung
in there very, very well. It could have gotten really ugly
on the weekend, and it didn’t,” he said of his experience
at Royal Lytham where he clawed his way back into the
mix until a pair of poor tee shots Sunday. So, when things
got a little dicey at East Lake, he was unconcerned. “The
double bogey on six didn’t even bother me,” he said.
While Justin Rose, who went into Sunday tied with
Snedeker, never managed to get his round under par,
Ryan Moore tied for the lead briefly on the back nine
with a birdie on the par- 5 15th before finishing with three
straight bogeys. Snedeker made an 18-footer for birdie
at the 13th and, as did Moore, birdied the 15th. When
Snedeker chipped in with his lob wedge for birdie on the
17th after his drive had caromed off the hospitality tents
on the right, he had a four-shot cushion with just the par- 3
18th to play. For little more than entertainment value, he
launched a hybrid into the upper deck, long and left, got
relief from the not-so-cheap seats and made a harmless 4
to clinch all available titles.
Woods and McIlroy, in their new made-for-TV roles as
honorary starters for the FedEx Cup tournaments, played
together on opening day for the third time in the four
designated playoff events. Despite Greg Norman’s seemingly snarky public assertion that Woods is intimidated by
McIlroy, it is far more likely that the old guy (that would
be Woods) and the young guy (that would be McIlroy)
share something nearer to mutual respect. To begin with,
the young guy knows how to count to 14 and the old guy
knows a cloud-seeding 4-iron when he sees one.
26 october 1, 2012 � GOlf WORld.cOm
On to Medinah: Woods, McIlroy (left) and Rose tuned up for the Ryder Cup with top-10s and over-par Sundays.
That kerfuffle aside, on this occasion Woods shot 66 to
take a share of the lead with Rose while McIlroy, who had
won the middle playoff events at BMW and Deutsche Bank,
shot 69. Turns out, however, there were 28 other people
in the field. Who knew? One of those was Jim Furyk, who
at 42 is considered a somewhat controversial Ryder Cup
captain’s pick after wobbling down the stretch in the U.S.
Open and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Furyk’s
rejoinder was eloquent in its simplicity: 3-3-3-3-3-3-3.
That was his first seven holes en route to a 64 and a second-round lead at seven under par (see Final Say, page 44).
After shouldering the lead all day Saturday, Furyk
added to the list of his year’s unfortunate swings when he
double-crossed his tee shot on the 17th and put it in the
water on the left. “My head was spinning,” he admitted,
and made a triple bogey that dropped him out of the lead
held jointly by Rose and Snedeker at eight under.
Although McIlroy may have won two of the FedEx
events, he didn’t win the one that mattered most. “I’m a
little disappointed, but, at the same time, Brandt really de-
serves to win,” he said. “I had the same chance as Brandt
coming into this week. I knew what I needed to do.”
As they both do this week at Medinah. n