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Woods, Mickelson showdown in offing

Sept. 12, 2007 at 9:56 PM

ATLANTA, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- The fourth and final tournament in the PGA Tour's playoff experiment begins Thursday amid expectations of a Tiger Woods-Phil Mickelson showdown.

The Tour Championship will be played at the East Lake Country Club despite problems with the course's bent grass greens.

High temperatures and little rainfall all but wiped out the greens and emergency measures were used to make the putting surfaces playable. The greens look splotchy, but have putted fairly well during the practice rounds.

"They are closer to being good than they are bad," said Mark Calcavecchia, one of the 30 players competing in the $7 million tournament. Also at stake is bonus pool money as part of the FedEx Cup, a season-long points race that concludes with this tournament.

Only three players have a realistic chance at the $10 million top prize in the points competition. Woods leads with 112,733 points with Steve Stricker at 109,600 and Mickelson at 108,613.

A win by Woods or Stricker would give them the FedEx Cup title no matter what the other one does. Mickelson would claim the Cup with a victory and a finish of third or worse by Woods.

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