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The Barclays 2012 Preview: Hunter Mahan Tries To End Year Strong

It's the beginning of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, and if you don't care about that, the PGA will be very, very disappointed in you.

HUMBLE, TX - APRIL 2: Hunter Mahan hits his second  shot on the second hole during the second round of the Shell Houston Open at Redstone Golf Club on April 2, 2010 in Humble, Texas. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
HUMBLE, TX - APRIL 2: Hunter Mahan hits his second shot on the second hole during the second round of the Shell Houston Open at Redstone Golf Club on April 2, 2010 in Humble, Texas. (Photo by Hunter Martin/Getty Images)
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While Dallas native and former Oklahoma State golfer Hunter Mahan didn't have a great year in the four major championships, he can still cap a strong 2012 season in the FedEx Cup Playoffs, which begin with the Barclays this week.

The FedEx Cup, a series of four tournaments at the end of golf's calendar year, began in 2007. The PGA has been tweaking the event ever since in an effort to boost its profile amidst golfers and golf fans.

There's a hefty $10 million prize going to the winner, but what happens at the bottom of the field may be even more important. The top-125 finishers in the FedEx Cup point race will automatically have their Tour cards renewed for the 2013 season.

That's something Mahan, who won two tournaments in 2012, won't have to worry about as he comes into the Barclays No. 6 in the points race. Mahan is behind only Tiger Woods, Jason Dufner, Rory McIlroy, Zach Johnson and Bubba Watson.

They'll all be in action this week, as golf fans will get at least one last chance to see the best players in the world during 2012.

For more coverage of Mahan and the rest of the field at the Barclays, stay tuned to SB Nation Dallas as well as SB Nation's golf hub.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.