FedEx Cup Playoffs Preview: The Tour Championship by Coca-Cola

Posted September 18, 2012 by Golficity in News

fedex cup playoffs - tour championshipIt all comes down to this: one tournament, four days, and a whole bunch of FedEx Cup points.  One player will walk off East Lake Golf Course on Sunday with a huge trophy, $10 million in their pocket, and load of bragging rights.

The “almost” 100-year old East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, GA plays as a par 70 and measures as long as 7,319 yards.  It is a fair course but we’re certainly not insinuating that it’s going to be easy.  Unlike previous tournaments such as the US Open at Olympic Club, the rough grass on this Bobby Jones’ favorite track is cut thin; not jeopardizing drives that end up left, right, or long.

Hitting fairways is a major factor to getting to some of the tough greens.  Over the last 4 years the putting average has not been favorable to the players.  It is said that putting wins at East Lake and that will be the true test to raising the Cup.  Three of the last four champions have led their fields in putting.

Of course the field is robust with the top 30 point earners for 2012.  Keep in mind, if any of the top five point leaders win on Sunday, they will mathematically win the FedEx Cup Championship.  Here are Golficity’s Top 5 picks to win the Tour Championship this week.

  1. Rory McIlroy: The FedEx Cup points leader, World Ranked #1 golfer, and possible 2012 Player of the Year enters this tournament in a pretty position.  After winning 3 of his last four starts, McIlroy leads the PGA Tour in both birdie average and adjusted scoring. Rory can finish as low as 29th and still have a mathematical chance of winning.
  2. Tiger Woods:  Won the 2007 FedEx Cup Championship and finished runner-up at East Lake four times.  After finishing third at TPC Boston and T4 at Crooked Stick, he enters the Tour Championship ranked 2nd in points behind Rory McIlroy.  Tiger can finish as low as a 5-way tie for 5th and still have a mathematical chance of winning.
  3. Phil Mickelson:  After suddenly emerging in the playoffs with tremendous play, Phil is amped up to carry his momentum and his new “claw-grip” putter into the final.  Phil won at East Lake in 2000 and again in 2009, but lost in points to Tiger Woods that year.  Phil can finish as low as 3rd and still have a mathematical chance of winning.
  4. Dustin Johnson: Ranked 7th in FedEx Points, DJ is the only player to finish in the top 10 in all three playoff events.  DJ hasn’t broken the top-20 at East Lake, but he’s been playing remarkably well.  If DJ can win the FedEx Cup if he wins on Sunday and Rory McIlroy finishes in a 5-way tie for 2nd or worse and Tiger Woods finishes T2 or worse. 
  5. Brandt Snedeker: Ranked 5th on the list of points, Snedeker can win the Trophy with a victory on Sunday.  One of the best putters on Tour, which could weigh in heavily at East Lake.  Brandt can finish as low as T-2 and still have a mathematical chance of winning.

The weather is supposed to cooperate this week with a dry terrain and 80 degree temperatures.  Winds will be light but the crowds will be heavy this weekend.

Golficity’s Pick to Win the FedEx Cup Playoffs:   Rory McIlroy

2012 PGA Tour Playoff Point Standings for the FedEx Cup:

Rank

 

Player

Events

Points

# of Wins

Points behind Lead

Reset Points

1

Rory
McIlroy

15

7,299

4

 

2,500

2

Tiger
Woods

18

4,067

3

3,232

2,250

3

Nick
Watney

24

3,586

1

3,713

2,000

4

Phil
Mickelson

21

3,420

1

3,879

1,800

5

Brandt
Snedeker

21

3,357

1

3,942

1,600

6

Louis
Oosthuizen

18

3,167

0

4,132

1,400

7

Dustin
Johnson

18

3,097

1

4,202

1,200

8

Lee
Westwood

14

2,726

0

4,573

1,000

9

Zach
Johnson

23

2,576

2

4,723

800

10

Jason
Dufner

21

2,575

2

4,724

600

11

Bubba
Watson

18

2,377

1

4,922

480

12

Sergio
Garcia

15

2,043

1

5,256

460

13

Steve
Stricker

18

2,028

1

5,271

440

14

Keegan
Bradley

24

2,007

1

5,292

420

15

Luke
Donald

16

2,005

1

5,294

400

16

Matt
Kuchar

21

2,002

1

5,297

380

17

Carl
Pettersson

25

1,976

1

5,323

360

18

Jim
Furyk

22

1,966

0

5,333

340

19

Bo
Van Pelt

23

1,950

0

5,349

320

20

Robert
Garrigus

23

1,945

0

5,354

310

21

Adam
Scott

15

1,923

0

5,376

300

22

Ernie
Els

20

1,922

1

5,377

290

23

Hunter
Mahan

22

1,899

2

5,400

280

24

Justin
Rose

18

1,791

1

5,508

270

25

Webb
Simpson

21

1,782

1

5,517

260

26

John
Huh

26

1,640

1

5,659

250

27

Rickie
Fowler

22

1,600

1

5,699

240

28

Ryan
Moore

22

1,568

0

5,731

230

29

John
Senden

21

1,512

0

5,787

220

30

Scott
Piercy

26

1,499

1

5,800

210

 


Want to know more about how the FedEx Cup?  Check out Golficity’s breakdown on How the Fedex Cup Works.

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