Only 30 golfers make it to the Tour Championship every year at East Lake. Fewer than that have a realistic chance of winning the FedEx Cup. The reason for this is that the points are reset following the BMW Championship and staggered out so that the top five or 10 or 15 players all have a much better shot at getting enough points to not only win the Tour Championship but also take the FedEx Cup.
Only the top five are guaranteed to win both if they take the four-day event at East Lake, but most of the top 15 would have a really good chance depending on what other players do. The bottom 15, though? Not so much. For example, the 30th-ranked golfer in the FedEx Cup standings (currently Patton Kizzire) would have to win the Tour Championship and see all of the following things happen.
- Bryson DeChambeau finish two-way T29 or worse
- Justin Rose finish T9 or worse
- Tony Finau finish in a three-way tie for 3rd or worse
- Dustin Johnson finish 3rd or worse
- Justin Thomas finish in a three-way tie for 2nd or worse
- Keegan Bradley finish T2 or worse
- Brooks Koepka finish T2 or worse
So as you can see, everyone technically has a chance at $10 million and the FedEx Cup, but not everyone has a chance at $10 million and the FedEx Cup. We saw this play out last year when Xander Schauffele, ranked No. 26 coming in, won the Tour Championship but finished third behind Thomas and Jordan Spieth in the final FedEx Cup rankings. He still took home $2 million, but $2 million isn’t $10 million.
With that in mind, here are nine golfers who have the best chance at winning the Tour Championship and mammoth prize that goes with it.
The Englishman’s history here (top 10 in five of six appearances), recent form (top 10 in seven of nine events worldwide) and his position (No. 2 in the current FedEx Cup rankings) make him a very easy top choice to win this year’s FedEx Cup. (Current rank: 2)
He’s not in his personal best form, but he finished second here last year and controls his own destiny. Bet against J.T. in a big money moment at your own risk. (5)
He has been so close here so many times — most notably in 2016 when his $10 million hopes hung in the hands of Ryan Moore and Kevin Chappell, neither of whom came through as Rory McIlroy took the tournament and the cash. (4)
My only concern is that he’s emotionally spent. We’ve seen guys win a few events early in the playoffs in the past and not have the goods late. He’s young enough that this may not matter, but I trust the three ahead of him more than I fully trust him. (1)
The last of the five that controls his own FedEx Cup destiny with a win at East Lake. He only has one win in his PGA Tour career, but this would be a pretty timely (and financially beneficial!) place to grab No. 2. (3)
He more or less controls his own destiny, and as it turns out Koepka might be pretty good in big time events with a lot on the line! How hilarious would a resume that includes just five wins with four of them being worth a combined nearly $20 million? (7)
I love him in this spot, and how incredible would it be if the namesake of the Billy Horschel Rule — invented after the 2014 Ryder Cup — also missed the 2018 Ryder Cup after winning FedEx Cup? (9)
Two top fives in the last six years here, although they both came quite a while ago. This whole season and playoffs have been awesome for him, and this would be the perfect capper. He finished T6 two weeks ago at the BMW Championship. (11)
He would need some help — like, quite a lot of help — but if DeChambeau and Rose slip up at all, McIlroy has won here before. As long as DeChambeau finishes in the bottom half of the field and the rest of the top five finish outside the top five of the Tour Championship, the door is open for guys like McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood and, ahem, Tiger Woods. All three of those guys are playing great golf and could sneak through the back door and swipe an eight-figure knapsack from the leaders. (17)