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This week in golf

Teeing Off

September 06, 2007|Peter Yoon, | Times Staff Writer

Five things to look for on the professional golf scene:

1 Another week of the FedEx Cup, another week of controversy over players skipping the playoff events. This time, it's Phil Mickelson and Padraig Harrington who will be absent from the BMW Championship at Cog Hill Golf Course in Lemont, Ill. In three playoff tournaments, Woods, Ernie Els and Mickelson have each skipped one. It's also the second time in three weeks that the points leader is sitting out -- Woods in the first week at the Barclays and Mickelson this week.

2 Mickelson is getting the most attention for skipping out, but Harrington's choice is more peculiar, considering he is 24th on the FedEx Cup points list and only the top 30 players after the BMW Championship will advance to the Tour Championship next week at Atlanta. The bubble watch also includes Jerry Kelly, Luke Donald, Arron Oberholser, David Toms, Stewart Cink, Tim Clark, Camilo Villegas, Henrik Stenson and Stuart Appleby -- all ranked between 26 and 36 entering the BMW Championship.

3 Woods will be the obvious favorite this week. In nine Western Open starts at Cog Hill, he has won three times, been second twice and recorded seven top-10 finishes. Other past winners playing this week: Billy Mayfair, Steve Stricker, Robert Allenby, Kelly, Jim Furyk and Trevor Immelman.

4 Woods has committed to playing the next two weeks, but he hasn't yet committed to playing the Grand Slam of Golf, an unofficial event scheduled for Oct. 16-17 in Bermuda. The two-day event is reserved for winners of the four major championships. Woods is expected to announce his decision this week. Furyk would be next in line, followed by Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and Mike Weir.

5 The LPGA visits Arkansas this week for the first time since 1956. It's being used as a tuneup for the U.S. Solheim Cup team as nine of the 12 team members are playing before heading to Sweden for the Ryder Cup-style competition. Paula Creamer, Morgan Pressel and Angela Stanford are the Americans skipping out.

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