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February 15 2011

7:22 PM

FedExCup Update: Northern Trust Open

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Chris Condon/PGA TOUR
Retief Goosen makes his season debut this week after two consecutive top-20 FedExCup finishes.
MORE FEDEXCUP: Complete standings | Weekly Leaders Just six events into the PGA TOUR season and there has already been much action in the race for the FedExCup. Three players have had the season points lead and five have occupied the No. 2 position already on the young season. Look for more shuffling near the top with a strong field assembled this week. Scheduled to tee it up at Riviera Country Club are 25 of the 30 players who competed in THE TOUR Championship presented by Coca-Cola in 2010. BIG SEASON DEBUTS: Three of last year’s top 10 in the final FedExCup standings (Luke Donald, Retief Goosen and Paul Casey) will be making their 2011 PGA TOUR season debuts this week at the Northern Trust Open. That trio occupied spots 2-4 behind champion Jim Furyk at East Lake and each of them finished inside the top 10 of the 2010 FedExCup standings after starting the playoffs ranked between 22nd and 27th. Donald has the best track record of the group at Riviera Country Club, posting finishes of P2, T6 and T3 the last three years. BEST NEW ARRIVAL: James Driscoll, who finished 133rd in the FedExCup standings last year and earned his TOUR exemption through q-school, made his first move in the 2011 campaign this week. After missing the cut at Torrey Pines, Driscoll tied for 13th at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am to earn 59 FedExCup points and make his debut in the standings at No. 99. BIGGEST MOVERS: Tom Gillis was the week’s biggest mover, jumping from 93rd to 20th in the FedExCup standings on the strength of his best career finish – a solo third at Pebble Beach. Gillis had three top-10 finishes last season, including a tie for fifth at the Deutsche Bank Championship that propelled him to a 43rd-place finish in the final FedExCup standings. Bryce Molder (111th to 47th) and Steven Bowditch (122nd to 58th) each moved up 64 spots after top-10 finishes at Pebble Beach. NOTABLE DROPS: Robert Garrigus, who lost a playoff to Jonathan Byrd at the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions fell out of the top 10 for the first time this season, going to 12th. Since that event, Garrigus has missed three cuts and was 7-under through three rounds at Pebble Beach before withdrawing. The biggest falls this week were Chad Campbell and Jim Furyk, who entered the week in 71st and tied for 72nd respectively before each fell 17 spots. Furyk missed the cut at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am while Campbell was inactive. Furyk, Campbell and Garrigus are all in the field this week. MORE ON LAST WEEK’S WINNER: D.A. Points jumped from No. 26 to No. 2 in the standings with his victory at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. Points is off to one of the TOUR’s better starts this year, making the cut in all four starts and notching three top-20 finishes. He’s currently No. 3 in scoring average, totaling 55-under-par in his 17 rounds this year.
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