Golf's best tee it up at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, Georgia for the 2012 TOUR Championship beginning on September 20. However, there are two story lines at this tournament. Not only will the winner of the TOUR Championship be crowned, but also the winner of the 2012 FedEx Cup will be decided. It should be a great closing tournament to the main golf year.
Three men, Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson, have received much of the press leading up to the to TOUR Championship. In my opinion these three will probably headline the actual tournament as well. The two previous events of the FedEx Cup Playoffs, The Barclays and the BMW Championship, have seen all three finish in the top five in both tournaments. I am sure that PGA Commissioner Tim Finchem is hoping that this can continue at East Lake.
I would like to see Woods, Mickelson and McIlroy in contention on the weekend. It would be great for golf and make for interesting theater both for the TOUR Championship and the FedEx Cup. Of course, if one of the three were to capture the TOUR Championship, they would automatically claim the FedEx Cup since they are in the top five in FedEx Cup points entering the final playoff event. The same scenario of winning the TOUR Championship and hoisting the FedEx Cup also holds true for the other two men in the top five of the FedEx Cup rankings. Those two players are Nick Watney and Brandt Snedeker. The motivation of these men must also be quite high.
Who is going to win? It is very difficult to win back-to-back on the PGA Tour as Rory McIlroy has done. It goes without saying that to win three consecutive starts on tour would be incredible. We are talking about the world's top ranked player and anything is possible but I don't think that Rory McIlroy will win the TOUR Championship. However, that by no means precludes him from winning the FedEx Cup. There are a multitude of scenarios, but McIlroy has by far the best chance of winning the season long chase.
I think Tiger and Phil are going to play well at East Lake. It is absolutely within the realm of possibility that one of these two will win the TOUR championship. Obviously it would be a great win for either man. Phil Mickelson has had a tough year on tour by his high standards and to win the TOUR Championship, and his first FedEx Cup, would be an incredible achievement for him in 2012. By the same token it would be quite an achievement for Tiger Woods as well. While Woods has had an outstanding year by anyone's measure but his own, winning the TOUR Championship and reclaiming the FedEx Cup could provide the boost that he is looking for going into the 2013 season.
It is difficult to have a dark horse candidate in a field of the best 30 players on the PGA Tour. Yet I probably need to throw out a couple of names for your consideration. I will take Jason Dufner and Dustin Johnson. Both men have had good years on tour and while they have not yet had that signature win, no one will be very surprised when that win does come.
Dwight is an avid golfer. While still relatively new to the game, he plays as often as the weather and his schedule will allow.
More from this contributor:
- Sports & Recreation
- FedEx Cup
- Tiger Woods
- Rory McIlroy
- East Lake Golf Club
- the TOUR Championship