PARAMUS, N.J. (AP) — Kenny Perry’s eyesight is back to normal two weeks after a scratched and infected cornea knocked him out of the PGA Championship.
However, he was still a bit fuzzy on the retooled FedEx Cup points picture on the eve of The Barclays, the PGA Tour playoff opener at Ridgewood Country Club.
“What I think is kind of a bummer is, if I don’t play well these three weeks, I won’t be in the Tour Championship,” Perry said Wednesday.
“I mean, I’ve had a great year, and I think that’s not right. I don’t think that’s fair at all for me to win three times and be kicked out of the Tour Championship, but I’ve kind of been kicked out of all of the tournaments anyway. I won the Memorial and that didn’t get me in the U.S. Open.”
With top-seeded Tiger Woods sidelined by a knee injury, Perry is effectively the leader with 99,500 points. Phil Mickelson is second at 99,250, followed by British Open and PGA winner Padraig Harrington at 99,000. Lee Janzen, the last of the 144 qualifiers, has 92,070 points — only 7,430 behind Perry.
Last year in the inaugural playoffs, the gap between No. 1 and No. 144 was 15,300 points. The winner Sunday will get 11,000 points — 2,000 more than a year ago — and $1.26 million from the $7 million purse.
The top 120 players after The Barclays will be eligible for the Deutsche Bank Championship in Norton, Mass. The field will then be cut to 70 for the BMW Championship in St. Louis and to 30 for the Tour Championship in Atlanta.
“It looks to me like what I did this whole year didn’t matter and I don’t think that’s right,” Perry said. “I think there should be some kind of system to where it favors the guy that’s had a good year. I mean, you don’t see the guys in like baseball, if they have had a mediocre year, they are not going to get in the playoffs. I don’t see any other format where the guy who has just kind of gotten through the year has a chance to win it all. I just don’t think that’s the way to do it in my opinion.
“I think it should favor the guy who has played well throughout the year, but it’s not going to be in effect this year at all. I think you’ll see somebody come deep and out of the pack that could actually win this thing, if I understand it correctly. I may not understand it correctly. I don’t know. I really don’t understand it anyway.”
The 48-year-old Perry withdrew at Oakland Hills because of the eye problems — caused by a warped contact — after a first-round 79.
“This is my third pair of contact lenses in my left eye, third one of the week, and it feels real good and I’m seeing pretty good out of it,” Perry said. “I’m excited and it doesn’t hurt. I don’t have any pain. My vision is good again.”
He didn’t need great sight to see that A.W. Tillinghast-designed Ridgewood is a long and demanding layout at 7,319 yards and a par of 71. The tree-lined course’s three par 5s measure 588, 626 and 594 yards and there are four par 4s over 465 yards.
“It’s a very long golf course. It’s definitely going to be a ball-striker’s week,” Perry said. “Driving it in the fairway is a premium. … But the driver is the strength of my game. When I’m on with my driver, I don’t miss many fairways.”
The event is at Ridgewood after 41 seasons at Westchester Country Club. Next year, the tournament will shift to Liberty National in Jersey City.
“I like Westchester. I think it’s a great golf course,” Mickelson said. “I do feel as though Ridgewood is a step up in quality. It’s just a wonderful golf course. I’ve always loved going to Westchester, but this course really has a major championship feel. It’s a Tillinghast, same designer as Winged Foot; same designer I believe as Baltusrol, very similar feel, and it has that Northeast, major championship feel.”
Mickelson noted a big difference between Ridgewood and Winged Foot, the site of his final-hole meltdown in the 2006 U.S. Open.
“The 18th hole doglegs right, not left, so that’s a nice change,” he said.
Steve Stricker won the playoff opener last year at Westchester, birdieing four of the last five holes to beat K.J. Choi by two strokes.
“The rough is up and spotty in some spots where it’s real gnarly and laying all over the place,” said Stricker, 21st in the standings with 97,300 points. “It’s going to be difficult if you hit it in the rough. And the greens provide a challenge, too, because they are pretty severe in some spots and difficult.”
Divots: Bob Tway withdrew Wednesday to caddie for son Kevin at the U.S. Amateur. Kevin Tway, a freshman at Oklahoma State, won his first-round match Wednesday at Pinehurst. … Ridgewood also was the site of the 1935 Ryder Cup, 1974 U.S. Amateur (Jerry Pate), 1990 U.S. Senior Open (Lee Trevino) and 2001 Senior PGA (Tom Watson).