The FedEx Cup will be decided at the 2013 Tour Championship, as 30 golfers battle for the $10 million prize. With the standings far from decided and a champion yet to be crowned, the pressure is high in Atlanta, Ga.
The question is, who could upset Tiger Woods?
The system has its flaws, as Woods should be far ahead of every golfer on the PGA Tour. He has three more victories than the second-leading player and ranks second in Top-10 finishes, creating the logical belief that Woods will finish No. 1.
Instead, it's a final tournament fight-to-the-finish that Woods is poised to lose.
Woods opened up with a birdie-free 73, good for three over par, and lost momentum. In turn, Woods fell nine strokes off of the lead after the first round.
While he was undeniably the best in the world in 2013, Woods may not be the one to win the FedEx Cup.
Zach Johnson, United States of America
Zach Johnson of the United States of America didn't start the Tour Championship with a great performance, but he remains in the hunt. He shot a one-under-par 69, finding birdie on Nos. 9, 11 and 12, but did strike bogey on Nos. 1 and 18.
In the end, he was within five strokes of the lead and is a genuine threat to win the FedEx Cup.
Johnson entered this tournament in fourth place in the FedEx Cup, 509 points off of the lead. He's already made one improbable leap, winning the BMW Championship and going from 27th to fourth in a matter of four rounds of golf.
With a strong enough performance here, Johnson could be the man to emerge with a $10 million check.
Johnson will need to find more consistency in order to close out and win this event, but the promise is there. He settled down on the back nine and went off for three birdies on a stretch of four holes, and after watching him win 10 career PGA Tour titles, it's become clear that he can do it all again.
Don't write Johnson off until his final shot is documented.
Adam Scott, Australia
Adam Scott entered the 2013 Tour Championship in third place in the PGA Tour FedEx rankings, sitting 230 points behind Tiger Woods. With two victories and six Top-10 finishes, including a win at the 2013 Masters, Scott has entered the ranks of the elite.
At the Tour Championship, he set himself up for a $10 million payday with a five-under opening round to finish within one stroke of the lead.
Scott struggled on the front nine, shooting a one-over 36 with two bogeys and one birdie putt. From 10 to 16, however, Scott birdied six of the seven holes that he played and set himself up for FedEx Cup glory.
All in all, it was an example of the consistency that has made Scott a star:
When he's on, few in the world can match Scott's level of play.
Scott certainly has what it takes to grind this victory out, as he's done twice in 2013 alone. Scott has shined under pressure, winning a playoff at Masters 2013, and will be in the running for the championship by season's end.
Within one stroke of the lead, Scott is a legitimate threat to the FedEx Cup crown.
Henrik Stenson, Sweden
Henrik Stenson is currently ranked second in the FedEx Cup standings and first at the 2013 Tour Championship. He shot a magnificent opening round, hitting six under par and converting five birdies in a six-hole span from Nos. 2 to 7.
Plain and simple, Stenson couldn't have played any better on the front nine:
As a result, Stenson is in prime position to win the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup standings, despite owning four fewer victories and one fewer Top-10 finish than Tiger.
Stenson is known for his driving accuracy, ranking fifth on the PGA Tour at 70.48 percent of fairways hit, according to PGATour.com. He's also No. 1 in the world in greens in regulation percentage at 71.57, and ranks No. 3 in Top-10 finishes, per PGATour.com.
Most importantly, he's in the driver's seat at the Tour Championship.
Stenson still has to finish the final three rounds, and there's absolutely no guarantee that he'll end up winning. Multiple players are within three strokes, though even with a bogey on 16, he put forth seven birdies.
As of this moment, however, Stenson is in control of his own destiny.
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