Board Topics: says its strictly coincidence that the programs
ATLANTA - Chris Kirk and Billy Horschel have little in common except a clean card of 4-under 66 at the Tour Championship and their chances at the biggest payoff in golf. Chris Martin Jersey . Kirk and Horschel, the top two seeds going into the FedEx Cup finale at East Lake, played in the final group and traded birdies - neither of them made a bogey - over four hours in steamy weather to share the lead. They need only to win the Tour Championship to claim the FedEx Cup and its $10 million bonus. "Billy has obviously been playing some pretty incredible golf with winning last week and finishing second the week before," Kirk said. "And Ive been doing all right myself." Kirk is a 29-year-old who went to Georgia and plays golf without a pulse. Even when he chipped in from 80 feet on the 17th hole, he simply smiled and bowed his head before slapping hands with his caddie. Horschel is a 27-year-old who went to Florida, brash enough to wear octopus prints on his pants in the final round at a U.S. Open, to flip his cap around backward and to pump his fist for routine pars. They grew up playing amateur golf against each other. They were teammates in the Walker Cup. And they are leading the race to the FedEx Cup. "Were probably two completely opposite people in the sense that he just looks like hes moving very slow and nothing affects him," Horschel said. "I look like Im running around the golf course — literally last Sunday. But Chris and I get along very well. We seem to always play well when were paired together." Horschel won the BMW Championship last week and was seen sprinting off the fairway toward a portable toilet because he couldnt hold it anymore. Kirk won the Deutsche Bank Championship the previous week, and he surprised even himself when twice - a career high - he pumped his fist after making a putt. They didnt have the course to themselves. Masters champion Bubba Watson made seven birdies to offset a few mistakes, such as trying to hit a shot through a gap in the trees. It worked at Augusta National two years ago. His ball clipped a branch Thursday, leading to double bogey. A bogey from the bunker on the par-3 18th hole gave him a 67, leaving him in reasonable shape. Watson was tied with Patrick Reed, Jim Furyk and Jason Day. The top five seeds need only to win the Tour Championship to claim the FedEx Cup. Watson is third. Rory McIlroy is at No. 4, and he didnt hurt himself. McIlroy wasnt at his best, though he made enough birdies and key par saves for a 69 that kept him very much in the hunt. "You can really shoot yourself out of it," McIlroy said. "Even though I didnt play great, I kept it together." Hunter Mahan might have shot himself out of it. Mahan is seeded fifth and opened with a 74. Only one other player in the 29-man field - Geoff Ogilvy, who is just happy to have made it to the Tour Championship - had a worse score. Mahan, one of three captains picks for the Ryder Cup, has broken par once in his last nine rounds since winning The Barclays. Kirk was left off the Ryder Cup team, even though he has two wins this season and had just won a FedEx Cup playoff event the day before U.S. captain Tom Watson announced his three picks. Horschel might be the hottest in golf at the moment. He is prone to go on big streaks like this. They have only one cup in mind, and they took a big step toward it Thursday. "This is my sixth week in a row. I havent played more than three events in a row this year," Horschel said. "But I have no issues with that. Listen, this is the FedEx Cup playoffs. If you cant get yourself in shape and get up for it on a daily basis, they why are you playing this game? "Its our playoffs. Its like the World Series or the NBA championships and NFL playoffs. And were all tired and weve just got to figure how to put it out of our mind and go out and play golf." Horschel has more on his mind than just a $10 million bonus. His wife is expecting their first child in two weeks. He said even if she were to go into labour early, they agreed that he should stay in Atlanta and try to win the FedEx Cup. DIVOTS: Jason Days coach and caddie, Colin Swatton, had to stop after eight holes when his back locked up on him. Days mental coach caddied the rest of the way. ... Cameron Tringale made his debut in the Tour Championship with a 68, but it wasnt his first time at East Lake. He played at Georgia Tech, which has a corporate membership at East Lake. ... The average score was 69.8. Bryse Wilson Jersey . A knee to the thigh might have stung him the most, but his sixth straight double-double made up for the brief burst of pain. Cheap Custom Braves Jersey . That time around, the cage is as much a part of baseballs daily routine as a beer and a hotdog is to a fan in the stands. Coaches, scouts, broadcasters and other media hover, tossing verbal barbs, telling stories and sharing laughs. Occasionally, especially in spring when the atmosphere is relatively laid back, the list of invited guests expands and on this day, Gibbons welcomed two men strongly influential in his life.Albertas two Canadian Football League clubs are teaming up with a non-profit organization to help end domestic violence. The Calgary Stampeders and Edmonton Eskimos are working with the Alberta Council of Womens Shelters in a program aimed at promoting respectful relationships and getting young men stop inappropriate and abusive behaviour. Players from both teams, along with university coaches, are being trained to participate in what organizers hope will be about 50 school and community presentations a yeear. Grant Dayton Jersey. Eskimos quarterback Mike Reilly (RY-lee), who trained for the program, says its important to let kids know that men have the ability to end violence. Carolyn Goard (GORD), a council spokeswoman, says its strictly coincidence that the programs launch comes as the National Football League deals with some players who have been investigated in domestic violence cases. The Alberta Council of Womens Shelters supports 41 sheltering organizations across the province. (CHQR, CHED) ' ' '