Despite finishing tied for 22nd at The Barclays, Rory McIlroy is still in a good position to contend for the FedEx Cup title. Hunter Mahan's two-stroke win at Ridgewood Country Club in Paramus, New Jersey vaulted him to the top spot in the standings.
The event was the first in the FedEx Cup playoffs, and thus, it carried major weight in the points standings. Coming in, McIlroy was No. 1 on the strength of his recent run and nine top-five finishes this season.
As of right now, McIlroy is in second place. He trails Mahan by 466 points. Click here to see the full standings.
Hunter Mahan wins Barclays Open at -14. This is 1st PGA TOUR event Rory McIlroy entered & didn't win since June 15th. pic.twitter.com/73eo5mEedI— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) August 24, 2014
Breaking news. Literally. Hunter Mahan's trophy reportedly broke on way to interview room. "I don't know what you're taking about," he says.— Jason Sobel (@JasonSobelGC) August 24, 2014
That may sound like a lot, but when you consider Mahan jumped from 62nd place to first with his win Sunday, it's clear McIlroy could move right back into the top spot with a win at the Deutsche Bank Championship in Norton, Massachusetts.
Action begins there August 29.
Like The Barclays, and the two other tournaments remaining on this season's schedule before the Ryder Cup at the end of September, the Deutsche Bank Championship is worth 2,500 FedEx Cup points.
With a total of 7,500 points still up for grabs, every player in any field is a major threat.
Players to Watch in Norton
A dreadful third-round cost Henrik Stenson a chance to contend Sunday in Paramus, but he's the defending champion in the Deutsche Bank Championship.
Stenson might be the best player in the world to never win a major, though you'd get some arguments from Lee Westwood fans. He's always a threat to win the high-stakes tournaments.
With proven success at the event, it's easy to look at Stenson as a player who could make a Mahan-like leap in the standings.
If Stenson wins, he'll have 3,367 points in the standings, which would put him 90 points ahead of Mahan.
Quite obviously, the man who seemingly solidified himself as the best player in the world over the last two months has to be accounted for in any tournament.
He'd easily move ahead of the rest of the world with a win.
McIlroy was good in Paramus but not nearly as great as he'd been at the U.S. Open, The Open Championship and the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. Can he kick his game back into high gear this week?
Predicting the FedEx Cup Champion
McIlroy isn't going to win in Paramus, but as long as Mahan doesn't capture his second tournament in a row, McIlroy will likely be one win away from regaining the lead.
Because of how well he's been playing of late, you'd be foolish to think McIlroy won't win at least one of the final three tournaments on the schedule.
He's the pick to win the FedEx Cup title.