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Devil Ball Golf

Who’s going to carry momentum from East Lake to Medinah?

Jay Busbee
Devil Ball Golf

The Tour Championship wrapped up this past weekend in Atlanta, and to many, it was merely a prelude to this week's main event: The Ryder Cup. Still, there was money, momentum and prestige on the line -- mostly money -- and so let's see how the Tour Championship might have impacted several of this year's Ryder Cup challengers. All of the Americans and most of the Europeans were in attendance, so we can start to make some guesses at momentum:

Riding high: Brandt Snedeker, of course, is carrying huge momentum from his near-flawless victory into the Ryder Cup. His Sunday playing partner, Justin Rose, can also claim some juice from a finish that was very close to Snedeker for most of the weekend. And Luke Donald made a late charge to end up tied for third; that's good news for the Euro squad.

Middle of the road: Several big names missed opportunities to make a significant impact at the Tour Championship, among them Webb Simpson, Bubba Watson and Jim Furyk. Tiger Woods and Dustin Johnson both faltered on Sunday after strong early rounds.

In the ditch: It was a flat-out miserable week for Lee Westwood, who finished the Tour Championship in dead freakin' last place, 25 strokes behind Snedeker. Keegan Bradley, Steve Stricker and Jason Dufner never really got going, all finishing deep in the black numbers. And based on where he started the week, Phil Mickelson's finish at +1 has to be a disappointment. Rory McIlroy also falls into this category; he had the FedExCup in his hands and let it slip away.

Not present: A good chunk of the Euro delegation wasn't in Atlanta. Peter Hanson, Martin Kaymer, Paul Lawrie, Graeme McDowell, Francesco Molinari and Ian Poulter all either missed out on the Tour Championship or decided not to play in it at all. Will the layoff help? We'll see.

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