The 2014 FedEx Cup playoffs start this weekend with The Barclays at Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey. Here are three early-round groups to watch:
Fowler is coming off one of the best major championship cycles in golf history for someone who didn't win, with four top 5s and two runner-ups. As well as he's played in the majors, he's still without a PGA Tour victory this season. Kaymer has two huge wins at The Players and U.S. Open but has struggled in limited in action since his second career major victory. In three starts since the U.S. Open - the British Open, WGC-Bridgestone and PGA Championship - he's gone 70th, T-56, MC. Scott, meanwhile, is the defending Bayclays champion, having won last year at Liberty National.
Nos. 1, 2 and 3 in the FedEx Cup standings have been grouped together. McIlroy enters the postseason with back-to-back-to-back victories at the Open Championship, WGC-Bridgestone and PGA Championship. Not a bad little run. Jimmy Walker, like McIlroy, has won three times this season - the events just took place a little longer ago and were a little less major. Walker, who led the points race nearly all year, was supplanted at No. 1 by McIlroy despite having played 10 more events. Finally, Watson has won twice this year - at Riviera and Augusta - but has shown little since a third-place finish at the Memorial, with his best finish a tie for 16th in six subsequent starts.
This would have been Nos. 4, 5 and 6 in the FedEx rankings, except No. 6, Dustin Johnson won't be competing and has been replaced in this group by No. 7 Garcia. Kuchar, Mr. Steady, has one win at the RBC Heritage and a whopping 10 top 10s. Furyk has eight top 10s of his own but hasn't won since the 2010 Tour Championship and let a golden opportunity to take the Canadian Open slip away. Garcia put forth strong performances at the Open Championship and at the WGC-Bridgestone but was twice turned away by McIlroy. Crazy at it seems, Garcia has just one Tour victory since his 2008 Players Championship - the 2012 Wyndham. Call this the ultimate close-but-no-cigar group.