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Woods expected to win the Fed Ex Cup

The FedEx Cup points race features a $10 million payoff in September kicks off Thursday in the season-opening Mercedes-Benz Championship on the Plantation Course at Kapalua, Hawaii, where Stuart Appleby will try to win for the fourth consecutive year.

Tim Finchem has modeled the new schedule after NASCAR's Nextel Cup "Chase for the Championship".

The changes came after Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson began claiming a few years ago that the PGA Tour season was too long.

"It's an unknown since the year has been kind of switched around, but I'm going to try to figure out a way to get my schedule so I can peak for the major championships," said Tiger Woods, who announced Friday that he will not play at Kapalua for the second consecutive year.

"I have to have enough energy to peak for the majors and have enough energy for the end of the year. It's going to be interesting. The end of the year is going to be very hectic. We're going to be playing a lot of golf."

The best two players in the world are not motivated by money, as they showed when both passed on the Tour Championship last November. Neither one will be at Kapalua, either.

"I don't know anything about it," Couples said. "For a million dollars, I couldn't tell you what tournaments are in the FedEx Cup. I don't know why anyone would be excited about it. If I'm really playing well at the beginning of (2007), then I'll worry about it.

"I'm 47, not 30, and I don't really have a shot at winning $10 million and I can sit here and downplay it. Do I want to be in it? Yeah, because that will mean I've had a good year. I'm not going to win the FedEx Cup, but I still think I can win Augusta, and if I do that, then that will be a heck of a lot better than winning the FedEx Cup."

As dominant as Woods has been, it will be a shock if anyone else walks off with the big check at the end of the season.

"If Tiger Woods doesn't win, it'll be because he doesn't play enough," Couples said. "You know, if Tiger Woods wanted to win any of this stuff, he would figure out a way to do it.

"But I don't see him playing; I don't know, six, seven or eight weeks to win the FedEx Cup. I can guarantee you one thing: He'll be ready to win the U.S. Open and the British Open and Augusta and the PGA."

To date, Tiger Woods has 12 major titles to his credit, including the British Open and the PGA Championship last season, and each one he wins inches him closer to Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 who was once thought to be untouchable.

 

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