The FedEx Cup playoffs are here, and that means there are just 30 guys with a chance to win the biggest monetary prize in all of golf. Let's continue to run down the list, shall we?
Luke Donald's an affable enough fellow, insanely talented and riding a career hot streak. It's put him at the top of the golf world, in numerical terms, at least. But there's this nagging sense that he's there not because of what he himself has accomplished, but because of what others haven't.
He's got an opportunity to change all that this week. Certainly, winning the FedEx Cup won't compare with winning a major (sorry, PGA Tour). But it'll go a long way toward quieting doubters of Donald's ability and validity at the top of the world rankings.
It's not that Donald hasn't earned his ranking. This year alone, he's won the Accenture Match Play, finished second at the Heritage and T2 at Bridgestone, and carded top-10 finishes in 12 of the 17 matches he's played on tour. His playoff record includes a T3 at the Deutsche Bank and a fourth-place finish last week at the BMW, making him the highest-ranking non-winner in the playoffs. That's not bad.
Statistically, he's at the top of the charts in all categories that matter, led by a first-place ranking in scoring average. This, then, is the best possible time for him. Donald, like all the players in the top 5, controls his own destiny: win the Tour Championship, and he's won the FedEx tournament.
Easy, right? If anyone in the field could make it look that way, it's Donald.