At eighth in FedExCup standings, David Toms is a sure contender for the FedExCup trophy.
It was a year ago that David Toms began playing like David Toms.
You know, the scrappy little guy who's always elbowing his way up to the table
with the big guys. Never a long hitter, Toms managed to carve out a winning
path in a game that's often dominated by the bomb-and-gouge crowd. He's always
been the "Little Engine Who Could," resolutely chugging up the hill
and refusing to give in.
It's just that David Toms quit being that guy for a few years. It wasn't his
fault, nor was it from lack of effort; a series of injuries finally began to
catch up with him. And once you crest that 40-year-old hill on the birth
certificate, it becomes more difficult to recover from soreness -- or sometimes
even get a good night of sleep.
But fans got a sneak peek at the Old Toms a year ago at the Wyndham
Championship, when he posted his first top-10 of the season. He did it by
playing his tail off and shooting a 64 in the final round, which was good
enough to lose to Arjun Atwal by one shot. Ah, but that week seemed to indicate
that Toms was closer to returning to the form that enabled him to play in three
Presidents Cups and three Ryder Cups.
The recovery came full circle this spring. He showed signs early, tying for
fifth at the Mayakoba Golf Classic and tying for third at the Arnold Palmer
Invitational. That set the stage for THE PLAYERS Championship, where he lost a
heartbreaker to K.J. Choi in a playoff.
Instead of being deflated by the loss at TPC Sawgrass or being satisfied that
he had nearly come full circle, Toms chugged ahead to the Crowne Plaza
Invitational at Colonial and won his first tournament since 2006. After his
victory, Toms entered the interview room and said, "I'm not dreaming, am
I? This is actually happening, right? I didn't know if this day would ever come
He wasn't done, either. He tied for ninth at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational
and last week tied for fourth at the PGA Championship on an Atlanta Athletic
Club course that was very long, very penal and very difficult.
"I've played well the last couple weeks on two hard golf courses and
finished in the top 10 both weeks against strong fields," he said.
"It gives me a lot of confidence. I'm looking forward to Greensboro as
well as a place I like, so hoping to get a tournament there under my belt
heading into The Barclays and seeing if we can keep it going."
Toms has now placed himself back in the public consciousness with his fine play
this year. He ranks eighth in the FedExCup standings, far better than a year
ago when he was barely inside the top 100 when the Playoffs began. Toms has a
great chance to return to East Lake for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola
after missing the big finale last year.
He's also put himself back on the Presidents Cup roster. He's seventh on the
points list and a virtual cinch to be on the U.S. team that competes in
Australia later this fall. He can't wait to return to international
"Man, you know, every year that they have one that I'm not on, I know what
I'm missing," Toms said. "It's a great experience, having been on
them before. It's a lot of work to get back there, but it's definitely worth
the time and effort and the hard work to be a part of."
Toms has never shied away from the hard work and, now that he's healthy again,
he must be considered a contender to win the FedExCup. There are guys with a
higher world ranking, many others who hit it farther, and a few with a resume
to match Toms. But one would be foolish to discount his chances on the eve of
the Playoffs, particularly on the anniversary of his return to national