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Tiger faces tough playoff series

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Golfer Tiger Woods begins a new chapter at the Barclays tournament today, competing for the first time since his divorce, and scrambling to qualify for the remainder of the FedEx Cup playoff series.

The world number one golfer, who announced his split from wife Elin on Monday, will be in the unaccustomed role of teeing off in the first group on the first tee in today’s opening round due to the fact that he is 112th in the points list.

Playing alongside little-known fellow Americans Cameron Beckman and Troy Matteson at Ridgewood Country Club, Woods also faces the pressure of producing good golf in order to qualify for next week’s Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston.

The top 100 on the points list go through to the second event in the series, with 70 players qualifying for the third, the BMW Championship. The leading 30 then advance to the Tour Championship finale in Atlanta.

The 34-year-old Woods, without a win this season, needs to finish between 50th and 57th to qualify for the next round of a series that pays the final points winner a $10 million bonus.

World number two Phil Mickelson tees off along with Briton Justin Rose and American Jeff Overton.

Ernie Els of South Africa, who has led the FedEx Cup standings for 22 successive weeks, tees off with Americans Steve Stricker and Jim Furyk.

The last time the Barclays tournament was staged at the tree-lined Ridgewood layout in 2008, the event was won by Vijay Singh of Fiji in a playoff against Spaniard Sergio Garcia and American Kevin Sutherland.

The course boasts the 291-yard fifth hole — the shortest par-four on the US PGA Tour — and the lengthy 626-yard par-five 13th. —Reuters

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