ATLANTA – The litany of scenarios that could unfold this week at East Lake is baffling as it applies to possible FedEx Cup champions.
From Tiger Woods, who enters the finale first on the points list and can finish as low as 29th in the 30-man field and still have a “mathematical chance” to collect the $10 million payout, to No. 30 Dustin Johnson, who needs to win the Tour Championship and have Woods finish outside the top 28 to win the season-long race, all have a surprisingly straightforward path to victory.
After the top 5 players on the point list – Woods, Henrik Stenson Adam Scott, Zach Johnson and Matt Kuchar – some of the more interesting scenarios include Steve Stricker, who could finish second this week and win the cup depending on what the other top players do.
Brandt Snedeker, the first defending FedEx Cup champion to return to East Lake, enters this week 10th on the point list and needs a win and Woods to finish outside the top 5, among other scenarios, to become the first back-to-back winner.
Bill Haas – who began the 2011 Tour Championship 25th in points, won the finale and the FedEx Cup – needs a similar scenario this week at 18th on the list.
The top 5 players can secure the cup with a victory, and No. 2 Stenson can win the cup by finishing as low as sixth place. Of course, just twice in the FedEx Cup era has the Tour Championship winner (Camilo Villegas in 2008 and Phil Mickelson in 2009) not won the FedEx Cup.