Sep 25, 2011; Atlanta, GA, USA; Bill Haas celebrates winning both the FedEx Cup and the TOUR Championship at East Lake Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Liles-US PRESSWIRE

It's Playoff Time For Golf

The PGA Golf Playoffs start Thursday with The Barclays, and will be played at the famed Bethpage State Park Black Course in Farmingdale New York. Bethpage Black was designed by well known course designer A.W. Tillinghaust, and was opened in 1936. The Black Course is the toughest of the five courses at Bethpage and is the first public Golf Course to host a U.S.Open in 2002 which was won by Tiger Woods. The U.S.Open returned here in 2009, and rain delayed tournament was eventually won by Lucas Glover.

Bethpage Black is a par 71 layout and plays to 7468 yards. The course rating is at 78.1, and the slope is 152. This course is not quite as tough as what we witnessed at Kiahwah Island a couple of week ago, but close. Tiger Woods was the only golfer to finish under par in 2002, and the tournament was deemed to be one of the most difficult US Opens in history.

The course record of 64 was set during the 2nd round of the 2009 US Open by Lucas Glover. The tees are Bermudagrass, the fairways Kentucky Bluegrass/Zoysiagrass, and the green Bentgrass/perinial ryegrass. The course is heavily bunkered and getting to the correct spot on the greens require an accurately placed tee shot in the fairways.

The toughest hole at this layout is the 389yard par 4 15th hole. It has been shortened since the US Open, but still plays to a 4.599 stroke average, which is a half stroke over par. This hole is a nightmare for a golfer needing a birdie. In 2009, it rendered no eagles, only 17 birdies, and 234 pars. It did however collect 134 bogeys, 32 double bogeys, and four other type scores of something over a double bogey.

The Barclays will tee off just after 7AM on Thursday morning with 125 of the worlds best golfers. The top five golfers in the points standings are Tiger Woods, Jason Dufner, Rory McIlroy, Zach Johnson and Bubba Watson. Jason Bohn was the final golfer to make the tournament. Some of those that missed the cut line were Jhonatton Vegas at 126, and Y.E. Yang at 127. Getting in at 105 was Ryder Cup Captain Davis Love III.

The top 100 players from The Barclays will proceed to the Deutche Bank  Championship next week. There are no alternates for this tournament, only those who are already qualified can play. The winner of each of the playoff events will get a 2500 point bonus before proceeding to the next leg. Points won during the playoffs are added to the golfers totals brought into the playoffs.

This should be a great tournament with a field of World Class players, and an urgency to win every weekend. If you like golf, be sure to catch this series of tournaments. The winner of the final event, The Tour Championship wins an additional $10 Million Dollars of a $35 Million Dollar bonus pot, the runner up gets $3 Million, third place $2 Million and etc. The FedEx Cup winner also receives a 5 year exemption on the tour.

Bill Haas is your defending FedEx Cup Champion, and Dustin Johnson is the defending Champion at The Barclays. Enjoy!!

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Tags: Bethpage Black Dustin Johnson FedEx Cup Playoffs PGA Rory McIlroy Tiger Woods

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