Plenty up for grabs at FedExCup finale

Jason Day has seemingly won every tournament for the past two months. He will be the favourite to take home the FedExCup with a victory at this week's Tour Championship.
Jason Day has seemingly won every tournament for the past two months. He will be the favourite to take home the FedExCup with a victory at this week's Tour Championship.PHOTO: REUTERS

More than US$10 million is at stake for Day and Spieth at season-ending Tour C'ship

ATLANTA • It is a numbers game at this week's Tour Championship, with numerals one, three, five and 10 dominating conversation at East Lake Golf Club.

The tournament brings together the top 30 players on the FedExCup points list. But, besides the nearly US$1.5 million (S$2.1 million) first prize on offer in this fourth and last event of the play-offs, there is much more at stake.

The No. 1 ranking in golf, which now belongs to red-hot Australian Jason Day, is yet again up for grabs.

Day, winner of four of his last six events and five overall this year, ascended to that coveted perch atop world golf with his spectacular win at last week's BMW Championship.

  • THE NUMBERS IN PLAY

  • 1

    The world No. 1 ranking is at stake

  • 3

    The contenders for the top spot are Jason Day, who this week supplanted Jordan Spieth, who in turn toppled Rory McIlroy last month

  • 5

    Either Day, Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson or Bubba Watson can emerge victorious from the golf season's play-offs with the FedExCup

  • 10m

    The bonus in US dollars that awaits the FedExCup winner

But the title of golf No. 1 has been passed around like a hot potato between the Big Three of four-time Major winner Rory McIlroy, Masters and US Open winner Jordan Spieth and PGA Championship winner Day in recent weeks.

This event could settle the issue for the rest of the year.

Meanwhile, the top five players in the FedExCup list - Day, Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson and Bubba Watson - can clinch the play-offs title and the US$10 million bonus should they win the elite Tour Championship event, which begins today.

Besides those significant numbers, there is also the Player of the Year award at stake in a season where Day's extraordinary finish has set up a duel with Spieth for the coveted award voted on by their PGA Tour peers.

"Of course it's between Jason and Jordan and someone with the first letter of a 'J' will win it," 2013 FedExCup winner Stenson said.

"I would still wait until this week is over before I would put my final vote on that. I think it comes down to what happens this week."

Players Championship and Deutsche Bank Championship winner Fowler, who like Day (27), Spieth (22) and McIlroy (26) is a member of the emerging under-30 set, agrees it is a two-man race for Player of the Year.

"We have a tough decision between the two of those guys," said the 26-year-old.

Stenson, who is without a tournament victory this year, would claim the US$10 million prize with a win or by finishing second or third if the other leading contenders finish down the list at East Lake.

"There's no one that's playing great and is sky-high on confidence and no one with a bunch of Majors and no one hits it 330 off the tee, so it shouldn't be that hard," Stenson joked, in pointed reference to Day, Spieth and McIlroy. "But if I finish second or third and win the overall title, you won't see me leaving here crying. I know that much. Not out of sadness anyway."

REUTERS

TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP
Day 1: StarHub Ch204, tomorrow, 1am

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 24, 2015, with the headline 'PLENTY UP FOR GRABS AT FEDEXCUP FINALE'. Print Edition | Subscribe