Thursday, August 25, 2011

Playoff Season is Upon Us

by Roz Roberts III

Thursday marks the start of the PGA Tour's Fedexcup playoff season, as the Barclays gets under way in Edison, New Jersey.  This is just the fifth year of the Fedexcup Playoffs but in that short amount of time the playoffs have started to turn doubters into believers.  Intriguing storylines, large purses at the four playoff events (the Barclays, the Deutsce Bank Championship,  the BMW Championship, and the Tour Championship) and a $10 million dollar bonus to the #1 player at the end of the Tour Championship have contributed to interest from fans and players alike.

Michael Thompson currently sits at #107 but that doesn't mean he can't be #1 at the end of the playoffs.  The points system is structured such that any of the 125 competitors in the first round could potentially claim the $10 million dollar prize.  Two years ago, Heath Slocum started the playoffs as #124 but a win at the Barclays launched him all the way up to #8.

The second event of the playoff series, the Deutsche Bank Championship, is limited to the top 100 players on the points list so all of the players currently sitting outside of the top 100 need make the cut this week or their playoff season is over.  Based on the PGA Tour's current playoff scenarios, a top 52 finish will ensure Michael's playoff push continues at least one more event.

A first round weather delay has pushed Michael's first round start time back to 4:13pm ET from the tenth hole.  He will be playing with Kevin Stadler (#105) and Chris Stroud (#106) for the first two rounds.

Video Coverage
In addition to traditional television coverage, the PGA Tour's website will be streaming live video coverage from the Barclays.

Live@ Streaming Schedule

Live@ Channel     11:00am - 6:00pm ET for all four rounds

Traditional Video Schedule:

Day    Date    Network    Time
THU    8/25    GOLF    3 - 6 PM ET
FRI    8/26    GOLF    3 - 6 PM ET
SAT    8/27    GOLF    1 - 2:30 PM ET
SAT    8/27    CBS    3 - 6 PM ET
SUN    8/28    GOLF    12 - 1:30 PM ET
SUN    8/28    CBS    2 - 6 PM ET

Expected Weather
The weather is expected to be a large part of the Barclays story as hurricane Irene is expected to slam into the eastern seaboard later this weekend.    The PGA had quietly been preparing players to stay through Tuesday as play may not be possible on Sunday or Monday.

Afternoon thunderstorms are possible on Thursday.  Weather has already caused a delay during the morning rounds of round 1.

Thursday's Forecast

Afternoon Thunder-Storms
High :  87°
Chance of Rain:  50%
Wind:  SSW at 15 mph
Partly cloudy early followed by scattered thunderstorms in the afternoon. A few storms may be severe.

Online Scoring Links
Michael Thompson Scorecard
Michael Thompson Shot Tracker
Michael Thompson's Group on Shot Tracker
Shot Tracker Leaderboard

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