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2012 Barclays Preview: Tiger Woods Tries To End Year Strong

While Woods was has not won a major in 2012, he has won three tournaments this year.

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Tiger Woods didn't win a major this year, but he still has a chance to put himself back in the discussion for best golfer in the world when the FedEx Cup Playoffs begin this week with The Barclays.

With three wins on the PGA Tour, he comes in ranked No. 1 in points. He'll be paired with Rory McIlroy, the winner of the 2012 PGA Championship who is considered by many as the young player most likely to replace Woods.

The Barclays will be played at the Bethpage State Park, which hosted the US Open in 2002 and 2009. Woods won the 2002 Open and a win this weekend would be evidence that he can still win on the most difficult courses on the Tour.

This is the first of four tournaments to end the year that comprise the FedEx Cup Playoffs. The system was set up to boost interest in the last month of the tour, but it's unclear whether it has made any real difference, as winning a major championship is still far more prestigious.

But while it doesn't have the prestige of a major, this is a major-type field (the top 123 golfers on the Tour) in a major-type course, so it should be some high-level golf.

For more coverage of Bubba Watson, Tiger Woods and the Barclays, stay tuned to the SB Nation golf hub.

Photographs by cstreet.us, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.