How some big names can still win FedEx Cup

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Earlier this week the PGA Tour made the number-crunching at the Tour Championship a bit easier (or a little less complicated) by outlining the various FedEx Cup scenarios for the 29 players in the field. 

The top five in the FedEx Cup standings – all together now – control their own destiny, which means that Chris Kirk, Billy Horschel, Bubba Watson, Rory McIlroy and Hunter Mahan are guaranteed to capture the FedEx Cup title if they win at East Lake. Simple enough. 

In McIlroy’s case, for instance, he still has a “reasonable chance” of winning the FedEx Cup with a runner-up at East Lake, and he even has a mathematical chance if he finishes as low as T-3, depending on how the others around him fare. That part requires a calculator – and a dry-erase board.  

Here are other FedEx Cup scenarios for some of the biggest names in this week’s field: 

Jim Furyk, No. 7

Wins the FedEx Cup if … he wins the Tour Championship AND Kirk finishes in a three-way tie for second or worse and Horschel is T-2 or worse

Rickie Fowler, No. 9

Wins the FedEx Cup if … he wins the Tour Championship AND Kirk finishes in a three-way tie for third or worse, Horschel is third or worse, Watson is T-2 or worse and McIlroy is T-2 or worse

Adam Scott, No. 12

Wins the FedEx Cup if … he wins the Tour Championship AND Kirk finishes in a three-way tie for sixth or worse, Horschel is T-4 or worse, Watson is T-3 or worse, McIlroy finishes in a three-way tie for second or worse and Mahan is T-2 or worse 

Sergio Garcia, No. 13

Wins the FedEx Cup if … he wins the Tour Championship AND Kirk is T-7 or worse, Horschel is T-4 or worse, Watson is T-3 or worse, McIlroy finishes in a three-way tie for second or worse, and Mahan is T-2 or worse 

Justin Rose, No. 26

Wins the FedEx Cup if … he wins the Tour Championship AND Kirk is T-21 or worse, Horschel is T-6 or worse, Watson is T-4 or worse, McIlroy is T-3 or worse, Mahan finishes in a three-way tie for second or worse, and Jimmy Walker is T-2 or worse (note: at No. 25, Bill Haas is the highest seed ever to win the FedEx Cup, in 2011)

What does all of this mad math mean? Well, for one, your head will throb if you attempt to follow the constant fluctuations in the standings. But basically, for your favorite player to win, he not only has to play well but he also needs some help. It’s best to just sit back and watch the chips – err, the points – fall where they may.