It's Another Day and Another Jason Day Win in the FedExCup Playoffs; Top 30 Set for PGA Tour Championship
Jason Day is at it again. For the fourth time in his last six starts, the 27-year-old Australian emerged victorious on the PGA Tour, this time winning the third leg of the FedExCup Playoffs, the BMW Championship at Conway Farms in Lake Forest, Illinois.
In a tournament that featured 70 of the top players in the world, this tournament was essentially over before it really started. The first two rounds saw Day shoot a a ten-under 61 and an eight-under 63, which allowed him to cruise with a pair of 69's on the weekend to finish at 22-under, six strokes better than second-place finisher Daniel Berger.
Not only did Sunday's win keep him atop the FedExCup points standings, but it also marked a monumental day in the life of Jason Day. For the first time in his young career, Day bypassed Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy to take the number one spot in the world golf rankings, confirming his own prediction he made about himself in 2007. And there's really nobody in the golf world that could argue that he's the best player in the world right now. Spieth still may walk away with the Player of the Year award (it's still hard not to vote for a guy that won the Masters and the US Open), but Day is making a case for himself in that contest as well.
In winning two of the three playoff events, Day has become the clear favorite at this week's Tour Championship, which starts Thursday at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. He'll be joined by Spieth, McIlroy, and the other lucky 27 who made it through to the final tournament of this wrap-around 2014-2015 season. With a win at East Lake, Day automatically wins the FedExCup title and the $10 milion bonus that goes along with it. But there are four others who can win the FedExCup title with a win in Atlanta. He'll have some stiff competition, but with the way that he's been playing, it's hard to think of a scenario where Jason Day doesn't come out on top. But just in case, here's the list of players who will be chasing the best golfer in the world.
I know it seems that Jason Day has already won the FedExCup. With his win at the BMW, he took a 2,288-point lead on second-place Jordan Spieth, and even a win for Spieth that gives him 2000 points wouldn't be enough to surpass Day. What you must remember is that for this final event of the season, points are reseeded, giving all 30 participants a mathematical chance to win the overall title. Here's a few of the scenarios that could play out this weekend.
1. Jason Day: If he wins the Tour Championship, he wins the FedExCup. If he finishes in the top five, he still has a good chance of winning, unless Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson, or Bubba Watson wins at East Lake. He can finish as far down as twenty-ninth out of thirty and still have a chance of winning
2. Jordan Spieth: If he wins the Tour Championship, he wins the FedExCup. If he finishes in the top three, he can still win, as long as one of the others in the top five doesn't win. He's able to finish as low as a two-way tie for sixth and still technically be able to win.
3. Rickie Fowler: If he wins the Tour Championship, he wins the FedExCup. If he finishes in solo second, he still has a decent chance to win, as long as nobody else in the top five wins the tournament. He can only go as low as tied for fourth and still have a chance to win the FedExCup.
4. Henrik Stenson: If he wins the Tour Championship, he wins the FedExCup. Like Fowler, he has a chance of winning with a solo second-place finish. To still have a chance, Stenson can only go as low as tied for third and once again, that's only if Day, Spieth, Fowler, or Bubba doesn't win.
5. Bubba Watson: If he wins the Tour Championship, he wins the FedExCup. If he ties for second and gets some help, he can still win the whole thing.
6. Zach Johnson: The Open Championship winner has to win the Tour Championship and Jason Day has to finish tied for second or lower. If Johnson can get a solo second, he can still win with help.
7. Dustin Johnson: If DJ wins the Tour Championship, Jason Day finishes in a three-way tie for second or lower, and Jordan Spieth finishes tied for second or lower, then Dustin Johnson can win the FedExCup.
8. Charley Hoffman: He has to win the Tour Championship, have Jason Day finish third or lower, have Jordan Spieth finish tied for second or lower, and Rickie Fowler has to finish second or worse.
9. Daniel Berger: If Berger wins the Tour Championship, Day finishes in a three-way tie for third or lower, Spieth finishes third or lower, Fowler finishes tied for second or lower, and Stenson finishes second or lower, then Daniel Berger is the new FedExCup champion.
10. Patrick Reed: If Patrick Reed wants to win the FedExCup, he'll have to win in Atlanta and get help from the entire top five. Jason Day has to finish fifth or lower, Jordan Spieth must finish in a three-way tie for third or lower, Rickie Fowler has to finish in a three-way tie for second or worse, Henrik Stenson must finish tied for second or lower, and Bubba Watson has to finish second or worse. Easy enough, right?
Now, I could keep going, but the scenarios for the other twenty players to win start getting insanely ridiculous. Chances are that one of these guys in the top ten will walk off the 18th green on Sunday as the new FedExCup champion, but that doesn't mean that one of them will win the Tour Championship. Here are the other twenty players competing at beautiful East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.
11. Rory McIlroy
12. Justin Rose
13. Jimmy Walker
14. Robert Streb
15. Hideki Matsuyama
16. Jim Furyk
17. J.B. Holmes
18. Kevin Kisner
19. Danny Lee
20. Scott Piercy
21. Matt Kuchar
22. Paul Casey
23. Brandt Snedeker
24. Steven Bowditch
25. Brooks Koepka
26. Bill Haas
27. Kevin Na
28. Sangmoon Bae
29. Louis Oosthuizen
30. Harris English
And there you have it. With only thirty players, there is no cut at East Lake this week, so golf fans will be able to enjoy four rounds with some of the best players in the world. I now leave it to you. Who walks away with the FedExCup championship and an extra ten million dollars?