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Green problems cause cancellation of pro-am, less practice

ATLANTA -- The damaged greens of East Lake have improved
enough to allow the 30 players at the Tour Championship to practice
on all but three holes for two days before the opening round, the
tour said Monday.

It was a small step toward restoring credibility to the final
event of the FedEx Cup. The tour previous said players would not be
allowed to hit balls on the green or even walk on them until
Thursday because of severe heat that all but killed the strain of
grass.

Starting Tuesday, they can play a regular practice round except
on the par-3 second, the par-4 13th and par-5 15th. Those greens
will remain off limits.

The pro-am Wednesday remains canceled, although players are
still required to be at East Lake to conduct a clinic and have a
couple of Q-and-A sessions with their amateur partners.

"We are working diligently to improve and present the golf course in the best condition possible for next week's tournament," said PGA Tour executive vice president Henry Hughes in a statement. "While restricting players' practice rounds and canceling the pro-am is not an ideal scenario, we felt this was the best decision in order to allow us a few more days to prepare for the greens for the event."

Tiger Woods, who leads the FedEx Cup standings going into the
final event, and second-ranked Steve Stricker are the only players
who can capture the FedEx Cup and its $10 million prize by winning
the Tour Championship.

Phil Mickelson, at No. 3, could claim the cup by winning at East
Lake as long as Woods finishes lower than second place by
himself. K.J. Choi and Rory Sabbatini also have chances of winning
the cup.

The tour said Monday that Aaron Baddeley, at No. 6, is alive
only if Woods withdraws or is disqualified.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.