It all comes down to this, the Tour Championship presented by Coca-Cola. The culmination of the PGA TOUR season happens this week at the Historic East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia. The top 30 players on the FedEx Cup points list from the entire season have earned their spots at East Lake and will compete for golf’s biggest prize, the FedEx Cup trophy and a ludicrous $10 million bonus.
So what can we expect when the best of the best tee it up with all that cash and glory on the line? Fireworks to say the least. Here is our preview and predictions for the final event of the 2017 PGA TOUR season.
Hot takes for the TOUR Championship
The Jordan Spieth show continues
Spieth has been on a roll during the playoffs. After heartbreaking runner-up finishes in the first two events, I very wrongly predicted that he would cool off and stumble at the BMW. Boy was I wrong. He used a weekend charge to finish in the top 10 yet again, cementing his position at the top of the FedEx Cup rankings heading into the Tour Championship. The rest of the field better watch out. He is playing outstanding golf and comes into the final event with great vibes. It’s a course he loves, and his record shows that. He has a win here (in 2015 when he captured the FedEx Cup) and another runner-up finish. If plays anywhere near his best this week, it’s his tournament to lose.
Watch out for Kevin Kisner
A month ago, Kisner was one of the hottest players on the planet. He is coming off of his most consistent year on tour, and though he has struggled the past month, the course sets up perfectly for him. He loves playing on Bermuda grass and the course isn’t long enough for him to be outslugged by his longer competitors. He may well turn around his game and contend as he loves playing on the biggest stages.
Rickie Fowler has long been criticized for not winning enough with the talent he possesses. He has still had a remarkable career thus far by any standards, but could it be better? Sure. He comes into East Lake at sixth in the FedEx Cup rankings, and that could easily be better. He has played very well throughout the playoffs. He didn’t capitalize last week but he didn’t lose the tournament, Marc Leishman won it. Leishman won a week after squandering a chance to win. This week look for Rickie to do the same.
Patrick Cantlay may not be a household name yet, but he should be, and will be soon. He was a “can’t miss” superstar in the making when he turned professional but has battled serious injuries for the past few years. Healthy now, he has had a remarkable year. In just TWELVE events, he earned enough FedEx Cup points to qualify for the Tour Championship. That’s gotta be some sort of record. Don’t expect him to win the Tour Championship, but don’t be surprised if he contends and wins multiple titles next year.
Matsuyama’s struggles continue
Hideki Matsuyama is in the record books for the wrong reasons… he is the first player in the top spot of the FedEx Cup playoffs at the beginning of the playoffs to not secure a spot in the top 5 heading in to the Tour Championship. He just can’t get putts to drop and is uncharacteristically missing shots he’s not used to missing. Hopefully the game turns back up for the President’s Cup, but don’t expect it to show up this week.
Dark horse pick: Tony Finau
The bomber from Utah is playing some seriously good golf these days. He played his way into his first Tour Championship not just with his usual long drives, but with a sharp short game and a hot putter. He’s playing with house money and his fearless mindset could easily vault him into contention.
In a surprise to nobody, Jordan Spieth claims the title and FedEx cup
I’d love to make a dark horse pick for a winner here, but it’s just not in the cards. Spieth’s game is far too sharp right now and he treats this like the fifth major. We know how he plays in the majors. He will make more birdies, and less bogeys than the field. That’s a sure fire winning combo. The worst part for us golf fans? He won’t even care about the $11.5 million payout. Must be nice…