Off week comes at good time for manyNORTON, MA - AUGUST 31: Brandt Snedeker of the USA plays his shot from the 17th tee during the second round of the Deutsche Bank Championship at TPC Boston on August 31, 2013 in Norton, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)September 05, 2013
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
As well as Henrik Stenson has played the last two months, he could use the rest.
Stenson, who hasn’t finished outside the top 3 in four of his last five starts and won the Deutsche Bank Championship on Monday, has this week off. So do 69 others still alive in the FedExCup Playoffs.
“I was totally out of energy last week,” Stenson said after his victory at TPC Boston. “I don't know how I did it this week. But I need some time off. I need a break. And what could be better than to go on to a week off with this win?”
He’s not alone when it comes to the off week before the BMW Championship in Chicago, though different players have different reasons.
Despite a nagging rib injury and having to take a daily shot of medicine to combat low bone density, Brandt Snedeker played seven weeks in a row.
Though the reigning FedExCup champ won in Canada during that stretch, he has struggled recently, with two missed cuts and zero finishes in the top 25 in his last five starts.
“I’m looking forward to getting home and getting some rest and getting recharged,” Snedeker said. “These are two big events coming up and I’m not playing my best. For me, having two on, two off is nice.”
That’s not always the case, however.
Last season, Rory McIlroy won the Duetsche Bank and BMW Championships in back-to-back weeks when the off week came just prior to the season-ending TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
After the break, McIlroy tied for 10th at East Lake and failed to win the FedExCup.
“It was something that worked against me last year,” McIlroy said. “I almost would have liked to went straight to The TOUR Championship from the BMW, because I was on such a run.
“But you need a rest as well, at some point.”
This year, that rest might benefit McIlroy. He has yet to win this season and though he has played better of late, he is coming off a tie for 47th in Boston, where he had four double bogeys for the week.
The latter has been a disturbing trend of late for McIlroy, who has made 16 double bogeys (or worse) in his last 18 rounds. The extra time off will allow him to get away from the scrutiny and work on his swing with coach Michael Bannon.
For other players, it doesn’t matter when or if there’s a off week -- next year, there won’t be one because of the Ryder Cup.
“It's no different than at any other point,” Adam Scott said. “You play them and deal with them accordingly.
“I take plenty of weeks off during the year and I'll do the same. And hopefully that keeps whatever form I leave Boston with there for when I return. It shouldn't stall your momentum.”
It is a welcome respite, though, with most of the top players having almost no break from The Open Championship in mid-July all the way to East Lake in mid-September.
Then there’s The Presidents Cup, followed by the start of the 2013-14 season two weeks later. There are also international events for some in the coming months.
“I don't know what the easiest flow is, whether it's two on or one off and two back on or it's three and one and a Cup on the backside,” said Tiger Woods, who was bothered by back spasms the first week of the Playoffs. “As long as we get a break in there somewhere.”
Not that Woods, or others, will be completely free of responsibility.
How will Woods spend the off week?
"Pretty much a little school, ballet, dance, T‑ball, soccer,” he said. “I've got a busy week.”
And still a lot of golf to play this year.