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Area golfers try to climb money list

Now that Jim Furyk has pocketed the giant FedEx Cup payoff and it's Ryder Cup week, it's easy to overlook the Viking Classic in Mississippi this week, the start of the PGA Tour's Fall Series.

Two guys who need this late stretch of tournaments are locals Johnson Wagner and Mathew Goggin, both of whom will be trying to play themselves up the money list to lock down their playing status for next year.

Wagner is 157th on the money list, one spot ahead of Goggin. Both are playing to get inside the top 125 to assure full tour access next year. One big week over the final five events could salvage the season for both players, who have struggled with consistency this year.

The Ensure Classic at Rock Barn this weekend has its strongest field ever, headed by Fred Couples and Bernhard Langer. Russ Cochran, who's won the last two Champions Tour starts, is in the field, as is defending champion Jay Haas, Hale Irwin, Tom Kite, Hal Sutton, Nick Price, Fred Funk and Mark O'Meara, among others.

TJim Anthony, the founder of the Cliffs Communities, said last week that construction is moving forward on Tiger Woods' High Carolina course near Asheville. Settlement of a lawsuit over a trout stream forced some minor rerouting, Anthony said, but he still expects the course to open in the fall of 2012,

Anthony said bulldozers are working on shaping the ninth, 10 and 18th holes, and Woods is expected to visit the property next month and do a private clinic for property owners.

TThe Charlotte 49ers men's golf team is ranked 10th this week in the latest Golfweek/Sagarin ratings. That puts the 49ers ahead of every ACC school in the poll.

TCharlotte's David Mobley is back in The Golf Channel's latest reality show, "Big Break: Dominican Republic."

Mobley, a former world long drive champion, was previously part of the "Big Break: Michigan" and returns to the show that debuts tonight. Host of his own Sunday morning radio show, Mobley will again keep things interesting on "Big Break."

OBSERVATIONS

TU.S. Ryder Cup captain Corey Pavin has banned tweeting by his players while they're in Wales.

Not that I'm a big fan of tweeting, but it seems an unnecessary step by a captain whose tenure has had a few rough edges. They're grown men, after all.

From his early statements that he wasn't sure he'd pick Tiger Woods to the Jim Gray dust-up to the tweeting thing, it feels like Pavin has made things more difficult than they had to be.

And then there's the team uniform story. Pavin's wife, Lisa, took an active role in designing the outfits but, according to early reports and photos, the Sunday uniforms are all black. So much for the red, white and blue, unless you're counting the predominately white linen belt that goes with the outfit.

TIf I'm making first-day pairings for the American side (it starts with best-ball matches Friday morning, alternate-shot in the afternoon), I'm putting Phil Mickelson and Dustin Johnson together, Tiger Woods with Steve Stricker, Jim Furyk with Hunter Mahan and Matt Kuchar with Stewart Cink.

That keeps rookies Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson and Jeff Overton on the bench with Zach Johnson for the first matches, but they can play in the afternoon.

Would Pavin break up the Woods-Stricker pairing that both want and that worked so well at the Presidents Cup? He might, though he should definitely start with it.

I don't see Pavin putting Johnson and Watson together in alternate shot, but I could see one paired with Mickelson.

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