Published September 19, 2011
| Sports Network
Philadelphia, PA – PGA TOUR - TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP, East Lake It's finally down to the final 30 to determine the FedExCup champion.
The PGA Tour Playoffs culminate this week in Atlanta. What began in Hawaii in January, ends in Georgia.
Webb Simpson is in the driver's seat. The Deutsche Bank Champion is No. 1 on the Playoff points list and controls his own destiny. A win and the Simpson clan is $10 million richer, but he's not the only one who wins the FedExCup with a Tour Championship victory.
The top five on the list -- Simpson, The Barclays winner Dustin Johnson, Sunday's BMW Championship victor Justin Rose, world No. 1 Luke Donald and local favorite Matt Kuchar -- can claim FedExCup gold with a win on Sunday at East Lake.
If nothing else, we're assured a new Tour Champion and a new FedExCup champion. Last year's winner of both, Jim Furyk, did not qualify for East Lake.
The biggest mover at Cog Hill was Geoff Ogilvy. He began the week in the second-to-last spot on the points list, 69th, but his third-place finish got him into the Tour Championship and on to the International Presidents Cup team.
Rose and John Senden, the runner-up to the Englishman on Sunday, also played their way into the field this week. In order to have three golfers make it in, three had to fall out of the top 30.
No case was more interesting than that of Masters champion Charl Schwartzel. He took off the first Playoff event, The Barclays, to go hunting and decompress. Turned out, it cost him a place in the Tour Championship field.
It could be costly for Sabbatini on more levels than the $10 million. Greg Norman, the International Presidents Cup captain, and Fred Couples, the American leader, will make their picks on Tuesday following the Tour Championship.
Sabbatini didn't finish in the top 10 automatic qualifiers and would need a pick from Norman. Couples already announced he asked Tiger Woods to take one of the spots.
Golf Channel has four days of action, but NBC will take it home over the weekend.
The American team is led by captain Rosie Jones. Cristie Kerr, Stacy Lewis, Morgan Pressel, Angela Stanford, Paula Creamer, Michelle Wie, Brittany Lincicome, Brittany Lang, Juli Inkster and Christina Kim made the team on points. Jones finalized her roster with Vicky Hurst and Ryan O'Toole.
Alison Nicholas is the home captain as she returns to duty after guiding the 2009 European squad. Laura Davies, Melissa Reid, Christel Boeljon, Suzann Pettersen, Sophie Gustafson, Catriona Matthew, Anna Nordqvist and Maria Hjorth automatically qualified, then Nicholas rounded out her team with Azahara Munoz, Sandra Gal, Caroline Hedwall and Karen Stupples.
The U.S. has won the last three Solheim Cups and, two years ago, won eight of the 12 singles points to cruise to a 16-12 victory. It was the eighth time the U.S. won the singles and the eighth time the Americans held the Cup.
There will be four foursomes matches and four four-ball matches on Friday and Saturday, then all 12 ladies hit the course in singles on Sunday. The U.S. needs 14 points to keep the Cup, while Europe will need 14 1/2 to wrestle it back.
Golf Channel has the action live this week.
AUSTRIAN GOLFOPEN - Diamond Country Club, Atzenbrugg, Austria - This week's European Tour stop is all about the future of the tour in the form of two new professionals.
The two were given sponsor's exemptions into the field. They can have six more sponsor invites until the end of the season and in that time, they will try to amass enough money to get a 2012 European Tour card and avoid the dreaded Q School.
Spaniard Jose Manuel Lara won last year's Austrian GolfOpen thanks to a final- round 64 and a playoff victory over David Lynn. Lara missed nine straight cuts heading into Austria, but he secured his playing privileges for this season.
Golf Channel has the broadcast all week.
Next week is the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, which was won last year by Martin Kaymer.
SOBOBA GOLF CLASSIC - Country Club at Soboba Springs, San Jacinto, California - The Nationwide Tour season is winding down, so the time is now to make a move up the money list.
J.J. Killeen leads the money list and he and Mathew Goggin, who is second on the list, can both earn immediate promotions to the PGA Tour with a third victory this season.
Steven Bowditch is on hand to try and make it two in a row and he can become the first player in Nationwide Tour history to successfully defend a title if he can win on Sunday.
There is no television coverage this week.
Next week is the WNB Golf Classic, which was won last year by Nate Smith.