As the FedEx Cup playoffs continue this week at Conway Farms Golf Course in Lake Forrest, Illinois, who has the best chance to notch a victory in the third leg of the playoffs. With the top 70 players teeing it up on Thursday morning at the BMW Championship, and only the best 30 moving on, it becomes a win and you’re in, and losers can go home deal. There have been some surprises as we come down the stretch, and I think you can expect some more this week at the Chicago area golf course. Here are the Power Rankings as I see them.
Number 1 Tiger Woods
As long as Tiger Woods is still playing, he has to be the favorite to win on a week-by-week basis. Even though he looked like a lost puppy on Labor Day only to finish T 65 at the Deutsche Bank, he did finish tied for second place at Liberty Nation the week before. How many times this season have we seen the world’s number one golfer be totally confused one week, and win a tournament the following week. So to not keep him at the top of any power rankings would be silly at this point.
Number 2 Henrik Stenson
Most of the time, athletes get hot for a spell, then tend to cool some. Hernik Stenson has pretty much, been hot all summer. His relentless quest for a win finally propelled him to a victory at the Deutsche Bank. When I watched him coming down the stretch on Monday, I saw a man that’s hot at the right time, and has something to prove. I think the 37 year-old Swede wants a FedEx Cup for his mantle, and I don’t see many people with the game to stop him.
Number 3 Graham DeLaet
Graham DeLaet is the epitome of a player that has picked the right time to get hot. The young Canadian has four professional wins as a professional, three of them coming on his home turf on the Canadian Tour, and one on the Sunshine Tour, but think he would love to put a PGA event on his resume. After finishing tied 2nd at the Barclays, and a solid third at TPC Boston, he has shown that he has the game to win at this level. He just needs a little luck to get the job done. He comes to the BMW in fifth place in points, and with a good finish, could control his own destiny at East Lake.
Number 4 Steve Stricker
I wonder who Steve Stricker is trying to fool. He may not go to East Lake? The worlds best “Part Time” golfer looked pretty strong at TPC Boston, and was right there if Stenson had faltered to pick up a win. I think the rest, and time off this year has been good for the 46 year-old from Wisconsin. Stricker played his collegiate golf at a small Illinois school, and being from the area, is very familiar with the wind, and the greens around Chicago. He was one of the biggest movers last week, moving up 20 spots on the points list, and as a betting person will have my money on him foregoing the moose hunt for a chance at a $10 million Dollar paycheck.
Number 5 Justin Rose
The US Open Champion dropped a couple of places down to seventh as he heads to Conway Farms, but a T2 with Graham DeLaet at Liberty two weeks ago, is still a threat to make some noise before the this is over. He needs a victory in one of the last two tournaments to get into the Player of the Year conversation, and being from England, surely knows how to play in the wind. I wouldn’t give up on him just yet, Conway Farms was designed in the tradition of Scottish Links golf courses, and he may very well have a surprise for us this week.
Number 6 Adam Scott
I really wanted to only put five players in my Power Rankings for the BMW Championship, but was also compelled to include the Masters Champion. I had felt he backed into his win at Liberty National, and was not surprised with his T56 finish at TPC Boston. I just don’t think the 33 year-old Australian is playing his best golf right now, and needs to be if he wants to get a big check in Atlanta. He is also in the Player of the Year conversation with Phil Mickelson, and Tiger Woods, but I feel like he needs to make some more noise in the playoffs if he wants to be a true contender for the award that is almost a shoe-in for the five-time winner this year.
Remainder of the Top Ten
To round out ten picks in this ranking, I would have to put Phil Mickelson, Jordan Spieth, Matt kuchar, and 2012 FedEx Cup Champion, Brandt Snedeker on the list as well. Lefty is just too unpredictable at this point to put a wager on, Jordan Spieth lacks the experience, but could prove a tough adversary, and Brandt Snedeker still hasn’t recovered from his medical problems to be a serious threat. Matt Kuchar is a wild-card as well. He can appear, and disappear from the top a leaderboard as quickly as anyone in golf.