The Tour Championship deserves more recognition.
It may not hold as much prestige as any of the four majors, but to be crowned champion, a golfer must sustain success throughout the entire year, stay high enough in the Fedex Cup standings and then continue to play at an elite level through the "playoffs," eventually coming out victorious in the culminating tournament.
Again, it doesn't match the majors in terms of importance, but in terms of accomplishment, winning the Tour Championship is more akin to winning the NBA Championship or NFL Super Bowl than anything else in the sport.
The top 30 golfers in the FedEx Cup standings after this week's BMW Championship will advance to the Tour Championship, so here's a look at the projected rankings following Saturday's third round play:
Note: A look at the complete standings and projected standings can be found here, courtesy of PGATour.com
It looked like Tiger Woods—entering Conway Farms as No. 2 in the overall standings—could potentially slip another spot or two after a dreadful Friday, but after shooting a five-under 66 on Saturday, he is back at the top of the world.
Hitting shots like these tend to help:
Henrik Stenson isn't quite ready to give up his top spot, though. He entered the week at No. 1 on the strength of an absolutely remarkable two-month stretch—four top-three finishes in his last five tournaments, including a win at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
A four-under 67 on Saturday has him back within striking distance of the top 10 this week.
He's currently projected to end the week at No. 2 in the standings, but he's close enough to track down Woods.
The man of the week, Jim Furyk, who carded a historic 59 on Friday, shot a pedestrian 69 on Saturday but remains in first place for the tournament. A win would bring him all the way to third in the standings after starting the week in 15th.
A seven-under 64 on Saturday has Steve Stricker in second for the week and projected for No. 4 in the overall standings.
Also, Hunter Mahan is projected to end the week in 15th place, which isn't really noteworthy, but I wanted an excuse to show this hole-in-one from Saturday:
On a gloomier note, Lee Westwood's downfall continued on Saturday.
Entering the Week at No. 30 in the standings and projected to advance to the Tour Championship, the man who has become famous for failing to win the big one is currently in a tie for 66th at nine-over.
He is now projected to fall all the way down to 44th in the FedEx Cup standings, thus dropping him out of contention for play at East Lake Golf Course next weekend.