ATLANTA – Scott Piercy is going to win the FedEx Cup.
Apologies for the lack of a spoiler alert, but the biggest shocker in the six-year history of the playoff series is too exciting to keep under wraps.
Piercy entered the Tour Championship in dead last on the points list of the 30 players in this week’s field, but he’s on the verge of making a worst-to-first turnaround. Following an opening-round 3-under 67 that included a half-dozen birdies sandwiched by a bogey on the first hole and double bogey on the last, he’s in prime position to claim the $10 million first prize on Sunday afternoon.
All he needs is a victory.
And, uh… a few other things, too.
Louis Oosthuizen must finish T-2 or worse. That’s right – a solo runner-up finish wouldn’t be good enough for Piercy, but sharing it would do the trick. Since Oosthuizen already has a pair of solo seconds this year, the chances are against his drive for a third.
Brandt Snedeker must finish in a three-way tie for second or worse. At T-7 through 18 holes, that’s practically a given.
Phil Mickelson must finish T-3 or worse. He’s tied for 12th right now. Done deal.
Nick Watney must finish in a four-way tie for third or worse. He’s currently in last place. Put a check mark next to this one.
Tiger Woods must finish in a three-way tie for sixth or worse. Hmm, currently tied for the lead, he’ll need a classic weekend fade to help out Piercy.
And last but not least, Rory McIlroy – the guy who leads the standings with victories in each of the last two events – must finish dead last of the 30 players teeing it up. No problem!
Cue Lloyd Christmas: “So you’re telling me there’s a chance …”
Saying that Piercy has a “mathematical possibility” of winning the playoffs is like saying that you have a “mathematical possibility” of marrying Kate Upton.
OK, so Piercy isn’t going to win the FedEx Cup.
You know. I know it. He knows it.
“My chances are slim to none – and I think slim's about to leave the building,” said Piercy, currently in a share of third place, one behind the lead of Woods and Justin Rose.
In reality, Piercy’s win came at the last playoff event. A share of 37th place in the BMW Championship secured the final spot in the Tour Championship – and with it, all the opportunities he could ever want.
Already in next year’s Masters thanks to his Canadian Open victory, Piercy is now eligible for the U.S. Open, British Open, Players Championship, WGC-Cadillac Championship, Arnold Palmer Invitational, Crowne Plaza Invitational, Memorial Tournament, AT&T National and CIMB Asia Pacific Classic.
If that doesn’t sound too impressive, consider the fact that Piercy didn’t reach the PGA Tour until four years ago at the age of 30. Now he not only owns a card, but can pick and choose, setting his schedule before the year even begins.
“It's definitely big for me to be here,” he said. “I'm definitely excited to be here. Getting the doors it opens, and just being part of 30 guys from the whole Tour, I think it says a lot to where my game has come from and hopefully going to. I think it's just a stepping stone in the process.”
Someone is going to win the FedEx Cup this weekend. There’s an excellent possibility that someone is named McIlroy or Woods, but all 30 players in the field have a chance to hoist the trophy and receive the ridiculously large paycheck.
Piercy owns the smallest chance of ‘em all. Unless McIlroy turns into a 16-handicap overnight and all the stars align his way, it’ll be impossible for him to claim that title.
But he’s still looking to capture another one.
“If I win, I finish second,” he explained. “It's still a million and a half for first place, and another $3 million for the FedEx, so I'll take $4.5 million. That would be sweet.”