FedEx Cup Standings 2012: Breaking Down Top 5's Tour Championship Chances
This makes their goal simple: win the upcoming tournament. If they do, they will win the FedEx Cup title with no questions asked.
All five competitors enjoyed solid years, but closing strong can be a different animal. The pressure, expectations and their play will all impact their championship hopes.
Let's breakdown the title chances of these five golfers.
McIlroy is ranked No. 1 entering the action at East Lake Golf Club, but history is working against him. The last two No.1s entering this tournament failed to take home the title, and this is his first TOUR Championship appearance.
He's won four tournaments this year, including three of the last four. He's on top of his game, and he's hitting his stride at the right moment.
If the pressure doesn't get to him, McIlroy will be tough to beat. He's facing an experienced field, but you can't beat talent.
Momentum is on his side. It's hard not to call him the favorite entering the four-day finale.
Woods is a two-time FedEx Cup champion, but he hasn't earned the honor since 2009. He's playing better than he has in a long time, and is definitely McIlroy's biggest threat.
He finished third at the Deutsche Bank Championship and tied for fourth in the BMW Championship. He's won three tournaments this year, one less than McIlroy.
The kinks are gone from his swing, and he's closer to the "old" Woods than he ever has been.
Woods is not the same player he was when he won at East lake in 2007, but it's fun to picture him hoisting the trophy this year. He's worked extremely hard to find himself again, and it would be a fitting conclusion to an underrated year.
Watney was No. 1 in the standings after winning The Barclays, but he's fallen back a bit in recent weeks. That's partially because of his play, but it has a lot to do with McIlroy.
He's only won one tournament this year, but Watney is a dangerous player. He hit his stride from late June to early August, and he could find that form again.
Watney is probably less favored than the two golfers ranked below him, but don't count him out. He's proven how talented he is throughout the year, and one solid four-day stretch is all he needs to erase all recent struggles.
Mickelson was irrelevant for most of the summer, but he has found his swing. Top-five finishes in the Deutsche Bank Championship and BMW Championship make this former FedEx Cup champion a dangerous adversary.
People may be counting Lefty out, but he's playing very well. He's cut down on his silly mistakes, and he's been more accurate off the tee.
If this success continues, you will see Mickelson chasing the crown in the final round. He's a bloodthirsty competitor, and that can't be underestimated.
Who will win the TOUR Championship?
Experience and momentum are both on his side at East Lake.
Snedeker was playing outstanding golf before the BMW Championship arrived. He struggled there, finishing tied for 37th overall.
Prior to that, we saw Snedeker's skill. He finished second in The Barclays and sixth at the Deutsche Bank Championship. He only won one tournament this year, but he's No. 5 in the standings for a reason.
The former PGA Tour Rookie of the Year will be dangerous. He's an excellent putter, and one of the best in the game at recovery shots.
If he can hit more fairways than usual, Snedeker will be in it until the end.
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