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FedEx Cup: Where a week can change everything

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 28, 2014 at 4:02 pm •  Published: August 28, 2014
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NORTON, Mass. (AP) — Stuart Appleby knows how one week can change everything during the FedEx Cup playoffs.

Geoff Ogilvy can only hope he's next.

Ogilvy was the 100th and final player to get into the Deutsche Bank Championship, the second of four playoff events. He's a long shot to get to the next tournament, and the odds are even longer for him to reach the Tour Championship in Atlanta for a shot at the $10 million. But at least he's playing.

"I can still win the FedEx Cup sitting here right now," Ogilvy said Thursday. "I'm sure I'm the longest shot there is in the field — statistically — but everyone still can. You've just got get to that last one. So I'm still in it."

Appleby had not come close to winning all year. He had two top 10s, but never started the final round closer than five shots at any tournament. He was No. 98 when the FedEx Cup playoffs began last week at The Barclays. He opened with a 73 and was outside the cut line, one round away from the end of his season.

He strung together three good rounds, closed with a 65 to tie for second and look him at now. Because the points are worth five times the value as the regular season, Appleby vaulted 79 spots to No. 19. If he can stay in the top 30 the next two weeks — and the odds are in his favor — he will be at East Lake for the Tour Championship and get into all four majors for the first time in five years.

"If I could play well whenever I wanted, last week would have been good timing," Appleby said. "And last week, that's how it panned out. It's certainly given me a large spike in ranking, and it's given me much more of a dream to get back to Atlanta to play the Tour Championship, which enables a lot more golf events to select from. And that's been a plan of mine — to get back into the cool crowd.

"I still have a bit of work to do yet."

That's what these playoffs are all about. Golf typically has only one winner each week. The FedEx Cup can make the losers feel like winners.

The Deutsche Bank Championship begins Friday and ends on Labor Day, with the top 70 advancing to the third playoff event next week in Denver. This the shortest field ever with only 93 players. Four players are taking the week off for various reasons, two are injured (Jason Dufner and Tim Clark) and Dustin Johnson is on "voluntary leave."

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