Who will win the FedEx Cup?

By Golf Channel DigitalAugust 22, 2012, 2:23 pm

The FedEx Cup playoffs begin this week at The Barclays at Bethpage Black. Tiger Woods is atop the points list, with Jason Dufner (skipping the first event) second and Rory McIlroy third. GolfChannel.com writers weigh in with whom they believe will win the sixth edition of the playoffs.


Trying to predict a FedEx Cup champion reminds me of an old saying: “You can pick your friends. And you can pick your nose. But you can’t pick your friend’s nose.”

Amended for the exercise of attempting to call a winner following the upcoming four playoff events, it may instead sound something like this: “You can pick the FedEx Cup. And you can pick a winner. But you can’t pick a FedEx Cup winner.”

With a volatile points system that can see even the lowest-ranked player get hot in a hurry and climb to the top, there are 125 valid choices for the next $10 million jackpot winner. And this year, there are even more variables. Bethpage Black and Crooked Stick, hosts of the first and third playoff events, respectively, have never held regular-season PGA Tour events in the past, only playing host to major championships.

So instead, let’s examine the other two. TPC Boston and East Lake have four common champions since taking their places on the schedule: Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, Phil Mickelson and Adam Scott.

As a fan of redemption stories, I’m going with Scott to be this year’s FedEx Cup champion. He obviously has been in form this summer and after his collapse at the Open Championship, he is still hungry to get into the winner’s circle.

For a guy who has seen success at half of the venues already, he should own plenty of confidence entering this four-event stretch. You can’t pick a FedEx Cup winner? Well, maybe. But I’m going with Adam Scott anyway.


Rory McIlroy wins it all.

When he won the U.S. Open in a rout last year, who really knew if it would be remembered as a one-off fluke.

When he followed up in another runaway victory at this month's PGA Championship, it was confirmation this is a special talent.

He can and will run away like that again and just might do it with the FedEx Cup.

McIlroy started catching fire at the WGC-Bridgestone, the week before the PGA Championship. The big question now is whether he will have another letdown. It doesn't seem likely, not after this summer's swoon, not after he made it clear how he didn't like commentary on how his game went wayward with his priorities and his love life.

McIlroy is a quick study, and while golf is golf, form comes and goes, look for his best form to create more runaways.


The oddsmakers say your 2012 FedEx Cup champion will be Tiger Woods, while those with a flare for the dramatic lean toward heir apparent Rory McIlroy, fresh from his second major walk-off at the PGA Championship, cashing the $10 million lottery ticket.

History, however, suggests it will be a hot hand, not a household name, that will claim the season-long haul – which is why your correspondent is bullish on Carl Pettersson.

Pettersson fits the mold, if not the image of the modern PGA Tour player. At seventh on the FedEx Cup points list entering this week’s post-season opener at Bethpage he is, by any definition, under the radar. Much like Bill Haas was last year.

Haas began his 2011 playoff run 15th on the points list, kept pace with the pack with solid finishes at the first three post-season stops and got up-and-down from the mud adjacent East Lake’s 17th hole to clip Hunter Mahan and win the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup.

Truth is, just two of the top 7 on the season-ending 2011 points list began the playoffs inside the top 15; and in 2010 just three of the final top-10 finishers began the post-season inside the top 10.

The Tour calls it a season-long marathon, but it is in fact a four-week sprint. Pettersson may not have the look of a sprinter, but he’s certainly in the right position, and form, to make his move.


For those wary of the FedEx Cup’s complicated points formula, this year finally offers an easy solution to determine the winner. Tiger Woods will win his third playoffs title, and it won’t be for reasons that require a calculator, ruler or encyclopedia. 

Just consider Woods’ track record on this year’s playoff venues. In two trips to Bethpage Black, he won the U.S. Open in 2002 and tied for sixth in the 2009 Open. Sure, those triumphs were with different swings, different bodies and different mental psyches. But there’s no disputing that when the man steps on the tee and looks out over that big, brawny course, he likes what he sees. 

The same goes for TPC Boston: T-2 in 2007, T-11 in both ’09 and ’10. The Tour hasn’t gone to Crooked Stick in more than two decades, so he’s at no disadvantage there, and with the FedEx Cup and Player of the Year honors on the line at East Lake, do you really think he’ll play poorly there? Not a chance. Finally, determining the winner this year requires logic, not strenuous math.

Day (68) just one back at Australian Open

By Nick MentaNovember 24, 2017, 6:40 am

Jason Day posted a second-round 68 to move himself just one off the lead held by Lucas Herbert through two rounds at the Emirates Australian Open. Here’s where things stand after 36 holes in Sydney.

Leaderboard: Herbert (-9), Day (-8), Cameron Davis (-7), Anthony Quayle (-6), Matt Jones (-4), Cameron Smith (-4), Nick Cullen (-4), Richard Green (-4)

What it means: Day is in search of his first worldwide victory of 2017. The former world No. 1 last visited the winner’s circle in May 2016, when he won The Players at TPC Sawgrass. A win this week would close out a difficult year for the Aussie who struggled with his game while also helping his mother in her battle with cancer. Day’s last victory on his native soil came in 2013, when he partnered with Adam Scott to win the World Cup of Golf for Australia at Royal Melbourne.

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Round of the day: Herbert followed an opening 67 with a round of 66 to vault himself into the lead at The Australian Golf Club. He made six birdies, including four on his second nine, against a lone bogey to take the outright lead. The 22-year-old, who held the lead at this event last year and captured low-amateur honors in 2014, is coming off a runner-up finish at the NSW Open Championship, which boosted him from 714th to 429th in the Official World Golf Ranking. His 5-under score was matched by Dale Brandt-Richards and Josh Cabban.

Best of the rest: Matt Jones, who won this event over Jordan Spieth and Adam Scott two years ago, turned in 4-under 67. Jones is best known to American audiences for his playoff victory at the 2014 Shell Houston Open and for holding the 36-hole lead at the 2015 PGA Championship at Whistling Straits, which was eventually won by Day. Jones will start the weekend five shots off the lead, at 4 under par.

Biggest disappointment: Spieth has a lot of work to do this weekend if he expects to be in the title picture for the fourth year in a row. Rounds of 70-71 have him eight shots behind the lead held by Herbert. Spieth made a birdie and a bogey on each side Friday to turn in level par. The reigning champion golfer of the year has finished first, second and first at this event over the last three years.

Storyline to watch this weekend: The Australian Open is the first event of the 2018 Open Qualifying Series. The leading three players who finish in the top 10 and who are not otherwise exempt will receive invites into next summer’s Open Championship at Carnoustie.

Ogilvy urges distance rollback of ball

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 8:49 pm

Add Geoff Ogilvy to the chorus of voices calling for a distance rollback of the golf ball.

In an interview before the start of the Emirates Australian Open, Ogilvy said a "time-out" is needed for governing bodies to deal with the issue.

"It's complete nonsense," he said, according to an Australian website. "In my career, it’s gone from 300 yards was a massive hit to you’re a shorter hitter on tour now, legitimately short. It’s changed the way we play great golf courses and that is the crime. It isn’t that the ball goes 400, that’s neither here nor there. It’s the fact the ball going 400 doesn’t makes Augusta work properly, it functions completely wrong.’’

Full-field scores from the Emirates Australian Open

Ogilvy used an example from American baseball to help get his point across to an Australian audience.

“Major League Baseball in America, they use wooden bats, and everywhere else in baseball they use aluminium bats,’’ he said. “And when the major leaguers use aluminium bats they don’t even have to touch it and it completely destroys their stadiums. It’s just comedy.

“That’s kind of what’s happened to us at least with the drivers of these big hitters; We’ve completely outgrown the stadiums. So do you rebuild every stadium in the world? That’s expensive. Or make the ball go shorter? It seems relatively simple from that perspective.’’

Ogilvy, an Australian who won the 2006 U.S. Open, said he believes there will be a rollback, but admitted it would be a "challenge" for manufacturers to produce a ball that flies shorter for pros but does not lose distance when struck by recreational players.

The golf world celebrates Thanksgiving

By Golf Channel DigitalNovember 23, 2017, 6:01 pm

Here's a look, through social media, at how the golf world celebrates Thanksgiving.

Lexi Thompson:

Baking time!!

A post shared by Lexi Thompson (@lexi) on

David Feherty:

Jack Nicklaus:

GC Tiger Tracker:

Steve Stricker:

Golf Channel:

Frank Nobilo:

Ian Poulter:

Tyrone Van Aswegen:

Happy Thanksgiving: Biggest turkeys of 2017

By Grill Room TeamNovember 23, 2017, 3:00 pm

Thanksgiving brings us golf's biggest turkeys of the year. Donald Trump, Grayson Murray and a certain (now-former) tournament director headline the list. Click here or on the image below to check out all the turkeys.