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Sunday, August 30, 2009

The Big Easy Returns to Form!

Did anybody see this coming? Ernie Els, like Sergio, has struggled with his self-confidence ever since his knee surgery a few years ago. Nick Faldo said that Ernie seemed a little different this week, but I doubt that even he could foresee today’s 5-under 66. Ernie posted an 8-under total and confirmed in a CBS interview that he had indeed ‘found something’ encouraging in his game. That’s great news for the golf world.

Sergio was clearly down today, head bowed and shoulders slumped most of the day. His game has really improved lately; hopefully his planned break from golf after the playoffs will help. I know I keep saying it, but compare Ernie and Sergio; both are playing well, but it’s amazing how much difference your state of mind can have on your performance.

Another player demonstrating this is Padraig Harrington who, after blowing two consecutive tournaments with a single poorly-played hole and then posting a huge score on one hole earlier this week, also posted at 8-under, along with Tiger.

In the end, both Goydos and Marino stumbled, but 9-under remained the winning score. Heath Slocum beat Steve Stricker with a par putt on the 18th for the third and biggest win of his career so far.

The new FedEx Cup point system is definitely shaking things up this year, with drastic swings in the rankings taking place this week. Tiger was so far ahead that he was unaffected, but players like Harrington and Fredrik Jacobson jumped way up in the rankings. How volatile is the new system? Slocum came in ranked 124, barely making the field… and leaves as the number 3 man. Stricker moved up from number 3 to number 2. Remember: Under the new system, if you are one of the top 5 entering the Tour Championship and you win there, you win the FedEx Cup.

Maybe the PGA got the points system right this year.

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