Kuchar in Driver's Seat in FedEx Cup Playoffs

Matt Kuchar's sudden-death victory over Martin Laird in last week's Barclays put the Georgia Tech grad in a great position to win the FedEx Cup playoffs.

The win was Kuchar's third overall on the PGA Tour, and it couldn't have come at a more propitious time. With nine top-10 finishes this season prior to his latest win, Kuchar already secured a spot on the 2010 U.S. Ryder Cup team, which will be trying to retain the Cup when it goes against the 12-man European squad early in October at Celtic Manor in Wales.

Because of his Barclays win, Kuchar is also guaranteed a spot in the 30-man Tour Championship September 22-26 at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, a place with which he's very familiar.

"I'm excited," said Kuchar about playing Tour Championship for the first time. "It's been No. 1 on my goal list of what I'd like to accomplish for my year on the PGA Tour for a number of years. I've wanted to get to East Lake. It's a home game, and it's a course I know. To lock it up is a great feeling."

With the win at The Barclays in Paramus, N.J., Kuchar earned 2,500 FedEx Cup points. He leads the standings, 1,365 points ahead of Steve Stricker.

Next up for Kuchar is the Deutsche Bank Championship outside Boston, the second of the four playoff events.

Laird will also be there. Despite losing a three-stroke lead last Sunday at Ridgewood Country Club, the runner-up finish moved the Scot from No. 95 to No. 3 in the FedEx Cup points list.

The 72-hole Deutsche Bank Championship at the TPC Boston in Norton, Mass., is unusual for the PGA Tour in that it will be played Friday through Monday - instead of the usual Thursday-Sunday format - over the upcoming Labor Day weekend.

Since its inception, the Deutsche Bank Championship has raised nearly $17 million for the Tiger Woods Foundation and New England-area charities. Stricker, who finished second in last year's FedEx Cup to Woods, is the defending champion.