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Woods, Mickelson face difficult decisions

8/1/2007 - Golf

With the first-ever FedEx Cup playoffs on the horizon, players are taking this opportunity to hone their skills and move up in the points race.

Speculation has begun as to how much Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson will play leading up to this series of events; especially in the case of Mickelson, who has been nursing a sore wrist for quite some time.

With only three more weeks left until the playoffs, Woods and Mickelson have difficult schedule decisions to make. Our experts voice their opinions in Fact or Fiction.

Tiger Woods will play six of the next seven PGA Tour events.

Bob Harig, contributor, ESPN.com: FICTION. Woods has never cared much for Westchester Country Club, site of the first playoff event, the Barclays Championship. And skipping it will hardly hurt his chances of winning the entire playoff competition.

Jason Sobel, golf editor, ESPN.com: FACT. We already know Woods will compete at Firestone this week and Southern Hills next week, and he recently said that his "intent" is to play all four FedEx Cup playoff events. I'm no math whiz, but that sure seems to add up to six out of seven. Not bad for a guy who usually tends to average about three out of 10 down the stretch.

Ron Sirak, executive editor, Golf World: FICTION. He'll win somewhere and have a spot in the Tour Championship locked up and be able to skip one.

John Antonini, senior editor, Golf World: FACT. At least for this year, I think Woods is going to be a good soldier and play all four FedEx Cup playoff events. He knows how important this series is to the tour and how important his appearances would be to the fans.

Phil Mickelson will play six of the next seven PGA Tour events.

Harig: FICTION. He can change his mind, but Mickelson does not have the Barclays on the schedule listed on his Web site. That means he, too, could be skipping the first playoff event.

Sobel: FICTION. There are already rumblings that Mickelson will shut it down after the PGA Championship to rest his inflamed wrist and avoid further damage. Even if he doesn't disappear from competition completely, expect Phil to take some time off at some point. He's never been a big fall finisher anyway.

Sirak: FICTION. He'll lose interest, especially if he continues to struggle.

Antonini: FICTION. Mickelson may be third in the FedEx Cup points standings, but if he tweaks the wrist again or if he determines that he has no chance to win the series, he'll call it a season early.

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