FedEx Cup Playoffs: State of Things After the Deutsche

FedEx Cup Trophy, image: golf.com

FedEx Cup Trophy, image: golf.com

The FedEx Cup has become an extremely prestigious event on the PGA Tour since it was first competed for in 2007. A series of tournaments that brings the PGA Tour to its culmination, the competition has been won, unsurprisingly, more times by Tiger Woods than any other golfer, with Woods the only person to win the FedEx Cup on two occasions. The FedEx Cup has recently taken on a particularly supreme importance, since it now determines which 125 golfers retain their PGA Tour cards for the following season, thus displacing the PGA money list in this respect.

The points system which is adopted by the FedEx Cup can be a little confusing for the uninitiated, but all one really needs to know is that four tournaments contribute towards the final FedEx Cup standings, and that the points are particularly heavily weighted towards the final of these, the Tour Championship. Predominantly the winner of The Tour Championship is ultimately crowned the FedEx Cup winner, although this was not the case in 2008 and 2009.

After his exceptional performance is major championships of late, the overwhelming favorite for this year’s FedEx Cup is unquestionably Rory McIlroy. The Irish golfer has sparked talk of a possible Woods-like dominance of professional golf after winning the last two major tournaments at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club and Valhalla. This bumped McIlroy up to four major wins in his career, and already pundits are speculating on whether he can amass a similar tally to the dominant figure of the last two decades, Tiger Woods.

McIlroy himself has stated that such comparisons are premature, but his recent form has been so outstanding that it is hardly a surprise that he currently stands extremely well placed to challenge for this year’s FedEx Cup. Victory for McIlroy in the FedEx Cup would top off what has already been an extraordinary year for the 26 year-old.

With the second tournament of the FedEx Cup having just completed, relative unknown Chris Kirk sits atop the FedEx Cup standings with his win at the Deutsche Bank Championship. McIlroy currently holds the second place spot after a solid fifth place finish. Previous leader and Barclays Champion Hunter Mahan dropped to third in the standings after a disappointing sixty-fourth place finish.

Aside from the prominent name of McIlroy, another strong contender will be the American Bubba Watson, who currently stands fifth on the ranking list. Watson’s game is, of course, uniquely suited to the demands of Augusta, where he has already pulled on two green jackets at the Masters. Other strong contenders for this year’s FedEx Cup include Jim Furyk, who currently lies in eighth position, and another young, talented US player Ricky Fowler, who moved up to tenth.

Nonetheless, due to the way the FedEx Cup is organized, any golfer can potentially shoot to the top of the rankings with an impressive performance any given week. Just ask the leader Chris Kirk, who shot up 16 spots after winning at TPC-Boston.

Brad Pecot

Director of Marketing, Golfballs.com

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