The race for the FedEx Cup has come down to the final day with plenty left to be settled. Here are notes and nuggets to whet your appetite for Sunday’s finish to the Tour Championship:
• Rory McIlroy can become the newest member of the $10 million club on Sunday with a victory at the Tour Championship and lock up his status as this year’s PGA Tour Player of the Year. But if the bloated paycheck was going to keep the Ulsterman up at night the stress wasn’t showing. “This is nothing compared to going into the final round of a major with the lead,” he said.
The Ulsterman can also become the first player since David Duval in 1997 to win three consecutive starts ending with the Tour Championship.
• Tiger Woods can collect his third FedEx Cup trophy with a victory. He could also cash in with a sixth-place finish or better depending on what McIlroy and the other top-5 players on the points list do on Sunday.
• Brandt Snedeker, fifth in points entering the week, can also collect the check with a victory. Perhaps more important than the $10 million, however, a victory would silence critics who questioned U.S. Ryder Cup captain Davis Love III’s decision to make him a pick for next week’s matches.
• Nick Watney, currently 29th out of a 30-man field, is projected to finish fifth in the FedEx Cup standings and collect $1 million. Not a bad haul for a playoff run that featured a victory (Barclays), T-20 (Deutsche Bank Championship), T-45 (BMW Championship) and TBD (Tour Championship).
• Justin Rose can win but only if he gets some help from those ahead of him on the points list – including McIlroy finishing 17th or worse and Woods no better than a three-way tie for fifth.
• Love can get a sneak peek at a few potential Sunday pairings for next week’s Ryder Cup via the final-round pairings at East Lake – including Snedeker and Rose in the day’s anchor group, Luke Donald and Zach Johnson , and Phil Mickelson and Sergio Garcia.
• Ryan Moore, who is alone in third place two strokes back, can collect his first Tour title since 2009.
• John Huh, the only rookie to advance to the Tour Championship, will likely wrap up the Rookie of the Year race. Four rookies have made it to the finale in the FedEx Cup era – Keegan Bradley (2011), Marc Leishman (2009), Andres Romero (2008) and Snedeker (2007) – and all were voted the year’s top newcomer.
• Steve Stricker, who has struggled with back-to-back 73s and is tied for 22nd, can become the all-time playoffs leader for top-10 finishes (currently he has 10) if he rallies on Sunday.