FedEx Cup Playoffs: Tour Championship Preview
It's all come down to this.
Three playoff tournaments are now in the books as we head into the PGA Tour grand finale in East Lake, Atlanta for the season-ending Tour Championship. Thirty players remain as we look forward to the climax of the 2016/17 points race.
Last year Rory McIlroy managed to win it all by taking the Tour Championship trophy and, with it, becoming PGA Tour Champion for the 15/16 season. Here's a reminder below of his rallying performance:So without further ado, let's look ahead to the final tournament of the 16/17 PGA Tour season.
Venue: East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta, Georgia
Yardage: 7,385 yards
East Lake Golf Club has been the permanent home of the Tour Championship since the inaugural FedEx Cup Playoffs format in 2007.
Playing to a par-70, the nines were reversed last year and will remain so in 2017. This means that the lengthy guarded par-3 that has so often decided the fate of past champions is now the ninth hole.
The reachable par-5 is now playing as the course's finishing hole and provides the opportunity for heightened drama as the finishing touches are applied to this year's season-long FedEx Cup race.
With the pre-East Lake points adjustment for the thirty remaining field, there is a mathematical chance that any could land the $10M bounty with a Tour Championship win.
Last week's BMW Championship winner Marc Leishman has been catapulted up the FedEx Cup rankings into fourth position. He carries great form into the final event of the season after securing a third place at the Dell Technologies Championship just a fortnight previous.
The man who sneaked through to East Lake in 30th position was Jason Dufner, and the five-time PGA Tour event winner could technically, with a combination of great play and good luck, become PGA Tour Champion.
While it's possible that any man could win the Tour Championship, what's more than likely is that a golfer from within the current top ten will land the FedEx Cup title.
Jordan Spieth has been in pole position throughout the playoffs and, despite finishing a full ten shots behind Leishman in Illinois, he will enter the grand finale brimming with confidence. Should the young Texan manage to pick up the trophy, he will be one only the second dual-winner in the history of the tournament - joining Tiger Woods.
Our pre-Northern Trust prediction has the best chance of any.
Catch Spieth's 2015 winner's presentation below:Justin Thomas may be Spieth's only threat when the 2017 PGA Tour Player of the Year is announced in the next few weeks. A strong showing in Atlanta could round off what has been a real breakthrough year for Thomas.
After four early-season victories on Tour, the world number four picked up a maiden major victory at Quail Hollow last month, and the FedEx Cup trophy would be the cherry on the icing on the cake.
From a little further back, Paul Casey has been showing consistent form all year without actually managing to get a win under his belt. He needs a little luck to go his way, but with a win this week things could fall into place for a stellar end of the season for the Englishman.
May seem unlikely, but who predicted Billy Horschel back in 2014?
Who's your 2017 FedEx Cup winner? Let us know in the comments below.