The 2008 FedExCup Playoffs wrapped up this past weekend. Camilo Villegas won his second consecutive event, and Vijay Singh walked away a millionaire 10 times over. Congratulations are in order for both, and I’m already looking forward to next year’s FedExCup. Unfortunately for golf fans, it’s another three months before the calendar shows 2009.
While the most exciting golf in the states is over, the PGA Tour will continue the next six weeks with the Fall Series. Some golfers will be playing to keep their PGA Tour cards for next season, while others will play to simply keep their golf games in shape over the next month and a half.
Last year, the Fall Series was a platform for many of the game’s best golfers to return to glory in a way. Notable winners included Mike Weir, Justin Leonard, and Chad Campbell. All three used the victories to propel them to good seasons in 2008. Which notables will put themselves in those shoes this time around, and which notables may struggle the next six weeks? You are going to have to keep reading to find out.
The Winner’s Circle
David Toms is the first golfer that comes to mind in this category. Quite frankly, Toms hasn’t had a very good 2008 season by his standards. He missed out on his first Ryder Cup since 1999, and he wasn’t even close to qualifying for the Tour Championship. In fact, he finished 136th in FedExCup standings.
It may be surprising to see Toms’ name in this part of the article, but he has started to show signs the last couple months. In the first Fall Series event (Viking Classic) two weeks ago, he finished in a tie for eighth. He put together three solid rounds, and if he would have played well all four, he probably would have won. Toms hasn’t won in almost three years, and he is far too talented to go that long without finding the winner’s circle. He is starting to play well, and he could very well pick up a win or two over the next month.
Davis Love III is the next guy worth mentioning. DL3’s 2008 season has been awful and by far his worst in more than a decade. He finished 154th in FedExCup standings, and he still has some work left to earn his PGA Tour card for 2009. His best finish so far this season was a tie for 19th at the British Open.
Love has put together some very solid rounds this year, but he can’t put two or three good ones together. He has put himself in contention in some big tournaments including the U.S. Open, but his weekend rounds have completely taken him out of contention.
DL3’s last win was around this same time two seasons ago, and while he hasn’t had a very good 2008, it’s easy to see things are very close to clicking for the veteran. Like Toms, he is definitely capable up picking up a late-season victory in the next month that will help springboard him into next season.
The Struggles Continue
I’ve given David Duval a number of chances in recent years, but I’m losing confidence in him by the day. I’ve read a number of posts in the forum about him being close, but I’m not buying it anymore. In 2008, he has made three cuts in 16 events. That’s awful, plain and simple. Sure, he put himself in contention after two rounds at the British Open Championship a couple months ago, but a third-round 83 ended all hope in a hurry.
Duval did card his best finish of the season at the Viking Classic two weeks ago. His tie for 22nd was his best PGA Tour finish since the 2006 U.S. Open, but he has been here before in recent years. Every time the fans start getting excited about his chances, he misses about 10 cuts in a row. While his decent play two weeks ago was nice to see, it’s going to happen anymore in 2008. Sadly, he will miss a lot of cuts in the next month or so and will once again be on the outside looking in for 2009.
While Chris DiMarco hasn’t struggled this season quite like David Duval, he has still been pretty mediocre. He has missed 14 cuts in 24 events, and he only has a few top-25 finishes. His once-solid putting has let him down a lot this year, and he still has work to do if he wants to earn his PGA Tour card for next season. He is currently 149th in money.
Like some of the others listed above, DiMarco has shown flashes of decent play this season, but he hasn’t been able to keep the momentum going. After finishing T12 and T31 at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and PGA Championship, respectively, he has missed three cuts in a row. Those missed cuts include the Viking Classic, the first event in the Fall Series.
It would be great to see Duval and DiMarco return to the winner’s circle or at least put themselves in serious contention in a final round on occasion. That being said, neither have been able to put anything together on a consistent basis, and that will probably continue for awhile. Maybe they need to take a trip to the Nationwide Tour for a year or two to get things back together. If they don’t play well in the next month or so, that will turn into a reality.
The Final Say
I’d by lying if I said I was real excited about the Fall Series, but there is still some decent golf to be played. I didn’t expect much out of it last year, and it provided golf fans with some pretty exciting action. On top of that, a lot of guys with past success returned to the winner’s circle and have played very well this season. In that regard, the Fall Series has been a success. In the end, however, it’s tough to follow majors, the Ryder Cup, and FedExCup Playoffs.
It’s your turn to tell me what you think about this week’s article. First, will you watch any of the Fall Series? Second, which notable golfers have a chance to get things back together and return to the winner’s circle? Finally, which notables will continue to struggle the next six weeks? If you have anything to add, please comment below or discuss them in the forum. Thanks for reading this week’s Thrash Talk!
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