This weekend marks the end of the PGA Tour season as 30 players vie for the FedEx Title in Atlanta. The Tour Championship is played at Eastlake GC and while it is easy to pull for the standard stars in Rory McIroy, Tiger Woods or Phil Mickleson, now is a good time to show that Northwest pride in putting your hopes behind Robert Garrigus. Eastlake is always a great opportunity for anyone, but a Garrigus triumph would provide a pleasant topping to his year.
The 35-year-old Garrigus, who attended Crescent Valley High School in Corvallis and also won the 4A State Championship there, currently resides in 20th place in the chase for the FedEx Cup. Only those in the top five (McIlroy, Woods, Nick Watney, Mickelson and Brandt Snedeker) are assured the title with a win. Hence, if Garrigus should pull off the victory and being somewhat distant from the top to start the tournament, he would need some help to win the overall Cup points. If momentum counts for anything, his chances are better than most coinciding with a T-4 at the BMW Championship (last tournament played in the playoffs). Although he finished T-71 at The Barclays and T-42 at The Deutsche Bank Championship (the other two playoff events), relatively average finishes, he did improve his position in the standings going from 31st to 20th .
With an overall scoring average of 70.61, Garrigus has six Top-10 finishes this season as compared to three in 2011. In 23 events entered (26 last season), he has compiled 11 Top-25 finishes while ending in second place three times (only once in 2011). His career appears to be on the upswing with a world ranking rolling in at number 45. Long hitters such as Tiger and Phil (twice) have won the Tour Championship. With Garrigus having an average driving distance of 310.3 yards and his first appearance at Eastlake, this bomber should fit in well on such a layout. Furthermore, with solid putting at the BMW (draining a 60 and 35 footer in the final round), he appears to getting all the pieces of the puzzle in the right place at the right time.
Every golfer looks for the landmark victory which springboards their career to newer heights. The Tour Championship, albeit the end of the season, provides the ideal venue for such an occurrence. Garrigus is in perfect position. Here’s hoping that northwest flavor kicks it up a notch and takes the title.
Short Putt: Portland native Ben Crane finished 66th in FedEx Cup points and did not qualify for the season ending Tour Championship.
Short Putt: Although Eastlake concludes the regular season, the Ryder Cup (Europe vs. USA) will be played September 28th - September 30th.