The PGA Tour version of the NASCAR points race for the Cup, a Fed-Ex advertising guy's genius move, The Fed-Ex Cup and its single $10 million payday is gaining momentum as the Summer PGA Tour Season kicks in.
Let's see who is on board so far in this elimination tournament format, starting in the Fall.
1. Ernie Els
Fresh off a fantastic US Open and two wins this season, Els is your points leader so far with 1,531 Cup points.
Els is playing very good consistent golf this season, and could be the money leader and eventually Fed-Ex Cup winner with a win later in the season.
2. Jim Furyk
Furyk has an early win this season at the Transitions Championship in Palm Harbor, Fla., plus a win at the Verizon at Hilton Head in April.
Two wins at this time of the season will have you high on most lists. Furyk has 1,391 points.
Playing through family tribulations and lay-offs from golf, Phil has won the Masters, plus two other top three finishes, along with a disappointing but still decent US Open.
Phil could be right there with a win later in the season as well. Phil is at 1,386 points, right behind Furyk.
4. Anthony Kim
Kim, doing even better than I thought, has a win at the Shell Houston Open, and seems to have recovered from a hampering wrist injury.
Other physical issues may hinder him from time to time, but a healthy Anthony Kim was going to be the next Tiger a couple seasons ago. Kim has 1,215 Fed-Ex Cup points.
5. Ben Crane
Ben Crane is a good player, having a great year. A win this season at Torrey Pines at the Farmers Insurance Open very early in the season fueled Crane's confidence with more good finishes in 2010.
There is a good chance Crane can win again. The Fed-Ex Cup, well maybe not. Ben Crane has 1,200 points.
6. Tim Clark
Tim Clark got into the Fed-Ex Cup race in a big way with a win at The Players Championship this season. Tim could be a factor at the Old Course at St. Andrews for the Open.
A major win will give Clark a top seed for sure in the Fed Ex Cup $10 million playoff system. 1,125 points for Clark currently.
7. Camilo Villegas
The South American youngster with the low look at the putting line, and in shape for the long hot days of Summer, Villegas will get another win before fall.
He has a victory this season at the Honda Classic in Palm Beach, Fla., where you guessed it...it's hot. Mr. Villegas has 1,090 points.
8. Robert Allenby
Now, this one did surprises me a bit, but Allenby finishes often and high in PGA Tour play.
Four top-ten finishes, and two in the top three this season, has him high in the money rankings and Fed-Ex points. Allenby has 1,061 points.
9. Dustin Johnson
Oh, what could have been, you have to think, but at least Johnson's got a win at Pebble earlier at the Clambake.
He is still in the top ten in the Fed-Ex Cup standings. Dustin Johnson has 1,052 points.
10. Steve Stricker
Stricker, after a red-hot season as "The Man," without Tiger around, has quietly dropped off the leader boards.
He made millions last season, so complacency is a factor here, even if Stricker is trying to play well.
Maybe he needs to be hungrier? Stricker does have a win at Riviera, but he will have to get it in gear for the summer.
Stricker has 1,050 points, just slightly behind Johnson.
That is your top ten Fed -Ex Cup point leaders, so far this season. Let's see who falls off the list, and who can stay top ten until the Playoff Tournament Events later in the season.
Many players are taking a week off, after a grueling US Open, where I suggested nobody would be under par, and even par would win. Great effort to hang on for the win by Grame McDowell.
Let's see how he does at the Open in July.
Have a fantastic week and I will check in with you from the Travelers on Thursday.
Thomas [NFL Mikee] Moreland