There are seven players who could reasonably win the FedEx Cup. Here’s how they stack up.
Okay, technically there are 30 players who can win the FedEx Cup this week at East Lake in Atlanta to take home an extra $10 million, but the chances of Charl Schwartzel, who comes into the Tour Championship in 30th place, winning are slim to none.
Allow me to break down what would need to happen for the former Masters champ to take home the title. First, he would have to win this week. Sure, that’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility. But then, he would need Dustin Johnson to finish 29th or worse … out of 30 players.
If that weren’t enough, he would then need Patrick Reed to finish in a three-way tie for sixth or worse, Adam Scott to finish in a tie for fourth or worse, Jason Day to finish in a tie for third or worse, Paul Casey to finish in a three-way tie for second or worse and Rory McIlroy to finish tied for second or worse. And there’s no “or” with all of those options. Schwartzel needs every single one of those things to happen and while anything can happen in golf, I’m going to go out on a limb here and bet that things don’t go down that way.
Now, I could sit here and run you through every single scenario like that (and trust me, there are scenarios like that all the way up the ladder from Schwartzel to Bubba Watson to Phil Mickelson and everyone else in between), but it’s quite rare that someone from outside the top seven or eight in points going into East Lake ends up taking home the FedEx Cup title.
That’s not to say that it’s impossible, as Jim Furyk had everything go his way from the 11th position in 2010 to win, but it would be extremely surprising if one of these top seven didn’t walk away with the trophy on Sunday evening.
7. Jordan Spieth
Jordan Spieth knows how to win at East Lake. He proved that only a year ago as he dominated the field and cruised to a four-shot victory over Danny Lee, Justin Rose and Henrik Stenson to claim his fifth victory of the season and win over $11 million … on just that day alone.
He’ll have a little more work to do this time around as he comes into the Tour Championship in seventh place in the FedEx Cup standings, sitting 1,040 points back of the top spot after the points were reset following the BMW Championship.
Following two wins in the regular season, the fourth-ranked player in the world has shot a combined 23-under par in the first three FedEx Cup playoff events, finishing in a tie for 10th at The Barclays, a T-21 finish at the Deutsche Bank Championship and ninth at the BMW. He hasn’t made as many key putts as he did a season ago but if he gets it rolling, the 2015 FedEx Cup champion could be a real threat.
For Spieth to defend his FedEx Cup championship, he’ll need to once again win the Tour Championship and also have Dustin Johnson finish in a three-way tie for second or worse and Patrick Reed tie for second or worse. That’s easily doable for the former number one player in the world.