Cleat Geeks

Off the Tee: Tour Championship

It all comes down to this.

Nearly an entire calendar year of golf tournaments around the world, an almost week-in, week-out grind to earn points and save strokes, has come down to four rounds, 72 holes of golf contested between 30 players.fedexgolftrophy

One of them will walk away from this weekend’s Tour Championship at East Lake outside of Atlanta atop the FedEx Cup standings, and they’ll take home the FedEx Cup plus a $10 million prize for winning the PGA Tour’s points race.

While a major championship now and always will be the main way greatness in golf is measured, this is still quite a big deal, particularly in recent years since that $10 million prize has been part of the winner’s booty.

“Although I’m disappointed with my play in the Majors, I will have played a lot of good golf this year and that’s the way the game goes,” said Adam Scott, ranked 3rd in the standings going into the week. “I’m trying to get the most out of every opportunity and that would certainly feel like I’ve had a very good year, if I were to win the TOUR Championship.”

“It’s fantastic to make it to East Lake, you get 30 guys, it’s a really nice week for us,” said Jordan Spieth, last year’s FedEx Cup champion. “We play fast, the facilities are wide open, you can kind of just do stuff on your own terms. It’s just an easy week. It’s probably the easiest week of the year, with, obviously, a pretty substantial price at the end of it.”

U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson comes in leading the points and in the best shape, coming off a victory two weeks ago in the BMW Championship.

He’s one of five players who can clinch the $10 million prize with a win this week, no matter what anyone else does, along with Patrick Reed, Scott, Jason Day and Paul Casey.

Reed also has a win in the playoffs, as does Rory McIlroy, who enters the Tour Championship in the No. 6 spot in points.

This is the 10th year for the FedEx Cup series. Only Tiger Woods (2007 and 2009) has won it twice, and just two of the previous winners (Spieth and Brandt Snedeker) are here this time. That means it’s likely for a ninth different winner in the past 10 years.

The side story this week is the race for the final spot on the American Ryder Cup team. Captain Davis Love III will announce his selection at halftime of Sunday Night Football, and the Ryder Cup will take place Friday through Sunday, Sept. 30-Oct. 2, at Hazeltine, Minn.


Tour Championship Picks

It’s a tournament within a tournament, so we’ll pick four guys for the individual tournament this week, as well as who comes out atop the points.

Dustin Johnson – The big-hitting Johnson has taken advantage of the condensed golf schedule this summer by getting on a roll and getting several big wins. This would be the icing on the cake.

Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

Daniel Berger – One of the names on the edge of the Ryder Cup possibilities, a big week would be enormous for Berger. He has more on the line than many this week.

Rory McIlroy – Rory got back in the PGA Tour winner’s circle for the first time in more than a year two starts ago, and this would be a chance at his biggest payday.

Paul Casey – The Englishman was not picked for the Ryder Cup for Europe’s side, and that might be a big mistake. He’s been one of the most consistent players in the playoffs and will be again at East Lake.


FedEx Cup Champion

Dustin Johnson – If he wins the Tour Championship, he gets it for sure. And even if he doesn’t he still has a great chance of having the most points. It would cap a transformational year.

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