Fedex Cup to deliver exciting finale
The much-maligned Fedex Cup comes to its conclusion this Sunday and this year the best golfers in the field should be the ones fighting for the $10 million winner’s cheque. Bill Haas won from 25th in the standings on the finale in 2011, despite by his own admission playing worse golf than overall leader Webb Simpson, who was derailed at the last. As a knock-out championship the playoffs don’t always reward the best players, an inconvenient truth in golf.
This year, it finally looks like the Cup will get its fitting finale, with three of the best players of all-time housed inside the all-important top five of the rankings. Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Phil Mickelson are joined in this elite group by Nick Watney and Brandt Snedeker. Only this quintet have their destiny in their own hands. Win the Tour Championship and they will win the Fedex Cup.
Here are the top five players and their current standings:
1. Rory McIlroy +400 McIlroy has hit a purple patch since taking his second major, winning three of his last four events and outscoring Tiger head-to-head. He’s a logical favourite but I still have my doubts over his capacity to continually close. On an unfamiliar course where more seasoned campaigners should have an advantage, this is one week where I’ll be opposing him at cramped quotes for both tournament and Cup.
2. Tiger Woods +500 In a year of sustained recovery but no former dominance, Woods has still recorded three wins at challenging venues. Ever since the PGA, though, he has come up short against McIlroy and this is his last chance to salvage Player of The Year honours. Expect his experience and course know-how to prove telling against McIlroy.
3. Nick Watney +3500 The nearly man of the US Ryder Cup team, who found his winning stride too late. Watney has always had the big game to take down golf’s top prizes and perhaps it’s just a matter of time. He has unlocked his best putting stroke again and looks the best value option. Would still claim the Cup with second place, assuming none of the Big Five wins.
4. Phil Mickelson +1250 Old leftie has a marked tendency to prove his talent when most are doubting it. At the PGA, Phil had just one top-10 since May and was in danger of falling outside the automatic Ryder Cup spots. Cue a tied fourth at the Deutsche Bank and a tied second at the BMW. He has hit form at the right time and loves East Lake, where he has stuffed Tiger on more than one occasion.
5. Brandt Snedeker +2500 Snedeker secured his Ryder Cup berth last week and is surely one of the purest rollers of the ball when on the green. His ball-striking has its limitations, he looked like an amateur alongside Adam Scott in round three of the Open, and will hit the buffers this week on a testing track.
Read our PGA Championship guide: 2012 PGA Championship betting