The big boys are gone.
Off to count their money, lick their wounds, or in the case of Vijay Singh, possibly off to lick their money.
|Here's hoping Annika Sorenstam gets the going-away tournament her career merits in late November. (Getty Images)|
But last week's big-money Sunday was a hardly the tour's denouement, although the misleading marketing of the Tour Championship has somehow escaped the attention of the fraud division of the Federal Trade Commission. The event does not represent the tour's season finale.
There are seven more events remaining on the calendar, including tournaments in golf-savvy locales such as Florida, New York and Texas. But the Fall Series, which the tour marketing machine treats like afterbirth, isn't the lone reason to continue watching leaderboards and news dispatches through the remainder of 2008.
There's at least as much happening off the carefully coiffed grass, given the financial landscape of the times, the celebrity of players and the increasingly interconnected nature of the game. So while PGA Tour players are fighting it out to retain or reclaim their 2009 tour cards, there's plenty of angst to go around.
A look at the most compelling storylines that should develop through the fall:
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Ride a mile in my shoes
In what represents one of the most emotional stories in recent golf annals, Miami native Erik Compton has been cleared to use an electric cart while participating in the first stage of PGA Tour Qualifying School later this month in Florida.
Similar to Casey Martin, the former Georgia standout petitioned to use the cart because of a medical condition via the Americans with Disabilities Act. In this case, it's one of the most compelling, mind-boggling reasons anyone could ever imagine. Earlier this year, the former Nationwide Tour regular received his second heart transplant.
Compton, 28, has also been given a waiver to take a banned substance needed to keep him alive, beta blockers, during the qualifier, set for Oct. 21-24 in Key Biscayne. He had his second donor heart implanted May 20 after suffering a near-fatal heart attack late last year. He had his first transplant at age 12 and later became the top-ranked junior in the country.