RORY MCILROY LEADS the field heading into this week’s Tour Championship in Atlanta, but all 30 golfers can walk away with the coveted FedEx Cup.
Northern Irishman McIlroy, who won the Deutsche Bank Championship and the BMW Championship, has been the dominant player in the first three of the four play-off events but the format of the competition means he could still miss out on the title and the $10 million jackpot.
All points accumulated to date have been reset according to the standings, giving all 30 men in the field a chance of winning the title.
The top five golfers — McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Nick Watney and Brandt Snedeker — are all assured of clinching the FedEx title with victory at the East Lake Golf Club.
If someone from outside the top five wins the tournament, then the permutations become more complex with the overall winner dependant on the results of other players.
World number one McIlroy has been in irresistible form of late and is in pole position. After clinching the second major of his career at the US PGA at Kiawah Island, the 23-year-old went on to finish 24th at the Barclays before back-to-back wins at the Deutsche Bank and BMW.
“The more you put yourself in position and the more you win and the more you pick up trophies, it feels like this is what you’re supposed to do,” he said. ”I don’t think I am quite there yet, but I’m getting to that stage where I’m thinking, ‘this is what I should be doing. I should be lifting a trophy at the end of the week’.
“I feel like it’s just coming to me naturally. I just want to try and keep this run going and keep the confidence level up where it is.”
Fans will be treated to a blockbuster pairing on the first two days of competition with McIlroy and Woods grouped together in the final tee time tomorrow. Woods, who won the inaugural FedEx Cup in 2007 and was successful again two years later, has been in solid form recently and although he has struggled to fire in the final rounds he is still getting himself into contention.
The former world number one is also a winner at East Lakes so will head into the tournament full of confidence he can achieve victory and complete a stunning return to the top of the sport. Mickelson also has a great record in Atlanta with victories in 2000 and ’09, while playing partner Nick Watney roared into contention with his win at the Barclays and should not be discounted.
Former British Open champion Louis Oosthuizen, who has a string of top 10 finishes to his name, has the best chance of winning the jackpot outside of the top five.