Other Sports

Inside Golf | Ron Green Jr.

By The Numbers

13 Where Vijay Singh ranks on the PGA Tour's list of career victories after winning for the 33rd time Sunday. He needs three more wins to tie Lloyd Mangrum for 12th.

15 Number of players who played their way into the second round of the FedEx Cup playoffs in the first week, as compared to only two players last year.

97 Number of spots Martin Laird has jumped in FedEx Cup points with consecutive top-10 finishes, leaping from 167th before the Wyndham Championship to 67th after the Barclays.

Chip Shots

A number of area golf courses will participate in Patriot Golf Day Aug. 29-Sept. 1 by contributing money from greens fees to the Folds of Honor Foundation. It provides scholarships for family of soldiers injured or killed in the line of duty. The event, started last year by Dan Rooney of the Air National Guard in Stillwater, Okla., raised more than $1.1million…

Former Charlotte 49ers golfer Trevor Murphy picked up his first professional victory last week, winning the Gateway Tour event in Mesa, Ariz. Murphy, who played in the Wachovia Championship in May, intends to participate in the PGA Tour's qualifying tournaments this fall…


I got a look at the new Dormie Club being designed by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore on the edge of Pinehurst and it's going to be spectacular.

It will be extremely private – you won't even know you're driving past it – but the members will have a golf course unlike anything else around here.

The minimalist approach favored by Crenshaw and Coore makes the layout look like artwork. The holes are laid across surprisingly rolling terrain and the most striking feature is how rugged the land will be off the fairways.

There will be fairways, and scruffy, sandy waste areas in most other places, dotted with clumps of wire grass. When it opens next year, Dormie Club will reinforce the growing idea that Crenshaw and Coore might be the best in their business, true artists.

There is a tendency to slap the “next big thing” label on any youngster who wins a few tournaments, but in the case of U.S. Amateur champion Danny Lee, 18, the label might fit.

In blowtorching the field at the Amateur – after winning the Western Am and finishing tied for 20th at the Wyndham Championship – Lee has shown an ability to play at a level beyond his years. His game is built on solid fundamentals – not only is he long and straight, he can hit high, soft iron shots that took some of the sting out of Pinehurst No. 2's greens.

Around the greens, Lee has soft hands, a keen imagination and the belief that every putt is going in the hole. The game comes and goes for even the best players, but Lee has the look of someone we might be talking about for a long time.

My Two Cents

Kenny Perry made an interesting point last week before The Barclays when he noted that, despite all he's done this year, if he doesn't play well the first three weeks of the playoffs, he won't be in Atlanta for the Tour Championship.

That's why he said, “I liked last year's version better … because you couldn't move much last year.”

But that was part of the problem last year – there wasn't enough movement. Only three players who weren't in the top 30 when the playoffs began were there at the end.

The simple solution to Perry's concern is to play well. There shouldn't be any promises in the playoffs. There aren't in any other sport.

The idea in restructuring the playoffs this year was to throw more volatility into the mix. Did the Tour get it right this time?

We'll know better in two weeks after the BMW Championship has eliminated all but 30 players.

Significant movement in the standings is a good thing. Crazy movement is something else.

The idea of playoffs is to have a second season. Just because Perry was good in the “regular season,” he shouldn't automatically cruise into the Tour Championship.

Golf's playoffs are different in that the tour doesn't want to completely disregard the regular season. Someone who finished in, say 120th position before the playoffs, should need to do something extraordinary to have a shot at winning the big prize.

But if the playoffs don't look and feel different from the rest of the season, they haven't accomplished much.