Par for the Course

September 3, 2009 1:06 PM

FedEx Cup - Round 2

With the first round of the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston set to tee off tomorrow, the second round of the FedEx Cup begins with one big question.
Such as, just how does a guy who compiled just 355 points in 24 events suddenly find himself in a position to win the Cup and the $10 million prize that goes with it?
Heath Slocum barely got into the field of 125, starting last Thursday's opening round of The Barclays at 124th, 3,076 points behind Tiger Woods. When his final putt sank to the bottom of the cup in the 18th on Sunday, Slocum had leaped up 121 places in the standings to third and finds himself just 1,526 points behind the first-place Woods, and just 250 points behind second-place Steve Stricker.
If Slocum is getting hot at the right time and pulls a 2008 Vijay Singh by winning this week, he could find himself in the lead with two events to play and likely only needing to make sure he finishes no worse than tied with Woods at the BMW Championship and the Tour Championship to seal the deal.
But, while Tiger has won at the Deutsche Bank Championship (2006), Slocum's best ever finish here was last year's tie for 15th and that does not bode well for his chances.
One player who has thrived in Boston is Vijay Singh, a two-time winner of this event (2004, 2008), who comes into the week in 78th in the Cup standings and 3,734 points behind Woods. A successful defense of his title would put Singh right back into the mix.
One player to keep an eye on this week is the Big Easy, Ernie Els. Els has only played this tournament once, a third-place finish last year, and is coming off a solid effort last week in New Jersey. If Els, who starts play on Friday in 11th place and is 2,698 points behind Woods, can carry over that play to this week he could put himself right on Tiger's tail.
Of course, there could be another Heath Slocum lurking somewhere in the tall grass at the TPC Boston, looking to deal himself into the mix as well, which should make for some great golf viewing over this holiday weekend.

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