After a short but enjoyable trip home I am back in the US for the final leg of the FedEx Cup playoff events.
It is Tour Championship week which means that we are in Atlanta, the home of Coca Cola who sponsor the event.
I missed out on the Tour Championship last year because I played poorly in the playoffs; this year I had a relatively poor year but played well in the last five events and now have a reasonable chance of winning the FedEx Cup.
I traveled on Monday as I have played here a number of times and know the course quite well.
We ended up flying in to Atlanta in the middle of the worst storms for a long time; they have had nearly 25 inches of rain in the past week.
It was so bad when we were arriving that we were sent to Nashville and then back to Atlanta once the weather had past. It was a long day traveling as a result of the delay; I was happy to get to my hotel and get some sleep.
The weather was so bad that the course was closed on Monday so it worked out great the fact I traveled on Monday as I wouldn’t have been able to practice anyway.
The course was closed until noon on Tuesday so that the greens staff could repair the damage that the rain had done. I did some work with Bob Rotella in the morning before the course opened and then I played 13 holes with Brian Gay.
I was amazed when I got out on the course to see how dry it was; the fairways were a little wet but nothing too bad and the greens were bone dry. A couple of years ago they put in a sub-air system under the greens, similar to Augusta, which means that they can dry the greens by sucking the moisture out of them.
Playing the course after all this rain and to see how firm the greens are it is a great advertisement for the sub-air system. The course is playing long as the ball is not running on the fairways but other than that it is in very good shape. T
here is no pro-am at this event as the sponsors prefer us to do a clinic, or breakfast meeting or else a dinner. I always enjoy the pro-am and would prefer to play in one but I have done well in a lot of tournaments that don’t have them as well.
I took it easy in the morning and then did some more work with Bob before playing the back nine with Luke Donald. The back nine has had some length added to it since I played here two years ago. It played tougher than I remember, especially as the greens are firm.
My last three events have got me into sixth place in the FedEx Cup standings; not quite in the magical top five but as close as can be. If I was in the top five it would mean that my destiny would be in my own hands, a win here would mean that I would win the FedEx Cup also.
As it stands now I have to win the Tour Championship and Tiger has to finish worse than second. I can only look after myself so I have to make sure that I am not getting caught up thinking about where everyone else is and what they are doing.
To have a chance of winning the FedEx Cup I know that I have to win the tournament first and then see what happens. I also know that my best chance of winning this week is by staying patient and getting myself into contention with nine holes to play on Sunday.
During my few days at home last week I saw Bob Torrance and did some work with him and since I have been here I have worked with Bob Rotella. I am happy with the work I have done with them both and know that to perform my best I need to do stick to what Bob Rotella and I have worked on this week and every other week we work together.
It is nice to be in a position to have a chance of winning the FedEx Cup coming here. There is a lot of hype about the FedEx Cup and it is all the media want to talk about; it is important to make sure not to get caught up in the hype. I have had a good run in the playoffs so far but that doesn’t mean anything now.
I have played here in East Lake a number of times; I like the course and have shot some good scores on it. Since I played here last in 2007 they have toughened the course up by adding some length and adding the sub-air system to help make the greens firmer.
It is definitely a tougher course now and with the soft fairways it is a big advantage to be a long hitter. I like the fact that it plays tougher, it means that the scoring won’t be low and there will be a premium on the short game.
I play with Heath Slocum at 1.45 in the first round and they will then redraw for the later rounds.