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Woods to miss first FedEx Cup event

Tiger Woods, Barclays Classic
Robert Beck/SI
"My body is spent and I need a short break," Tiger Woods said.

(AP) — The PGA Tour has touted its new FedEx Cup competition by making references to the Green Bay Packers and New York Yankees. But when golf's version of the playoffs begin new week in New York, it won't include Tiger Woods.

Golf's star attraction said Friday he will sit out the first playoff event at The Barclays, saying he was worn out from back-to-back victories at Firestone and Southern Hills.

"My body is spent and I need a break," Woods said on his Web site.

The announcement was a setback for the PGA Tour, which had promoted the FedEx Cup as a "new era in golf" and instead was left with an old problem of convincing fans that golf was still relevant after the majors were over.

The FedEx Cup is a season-long points race that culminates with the playoffs, when the points are reset for four tournaments through the Tour Championship. The winner gets a $10 million annuity from a $35 million bonus pool.

Woods is the No. 1 seed and still can win the FedEx Cup despite skipping The Barclays. He is the defending champion at the Deutsche Bank Championship outside Boston, and he is a three-time winner at the BMW Championship outside Chicago. The Tour Championship is held in Atlanta at East Lake, where Woods has twice been runner-up.

There were indications last week that Woods might skip the Barclays, even though he said he "intended" to play them all.

He won the Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone, which played as tough as a major — Woods was the only player to break par. He followed that with a victory at the PGA Championship, which featured 100-degree weather the entire week. Woods said majors are grueling and require more time to recover.

Plus, he has never finished in the top 10 at Westchester Country Club, site of The Barclays.

"This is in no way a knock on Barclays, their new event next week or the new FedEx Cup series, which I fully support," Woods said in his statement. "I just hope that this extra week of rest will rejuvenate me for the final three playoff events and Presidents Cup. It is still my goal to win the FedEx Cup and I am hopeful this will give me the best opportunity to finish the year strong."

Woods was not at Kapalua in January when the FedEx Cup began, with tour officials asking players to deposit their golf ball into the trophy to signal the start of this new era. And he won't be at Westchester for the start of the playoffs.

"We're disappointed that Tiger will not be playing The Barclays next week," PGA Tour spokesman Ty Votaw said. "It's clear from Tiger's statement he remains focused on winning the FedEx Cup. Whether he can do it will be one of the many exciting things our fans will be following over the next four weeks."

Tour officials had suggested that players would have to play all four weeks to have a serious chance at winning.

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