Jason Day and Adam Scott are eyeing off golf’s most lucrative prize this week, the FedEx Cup trophy.
Courtesy of finishing in the top-5 FedEx Cup rankings Adam Scott and Jason Day are in control of their own destiny heading into this week’s PGA Tour Finale, the TOUR Championship.
In theory, any golfer from the 30-man field this week at East Lake Golf Club can win the FedEx Cup trophy and the $10 million prize that comes with it. However, all but the five top ranked players will need to rely on other players’ scores if they win this week.
Scott and Day are the only two Australians in the field this week, but ranked third and fourth respectively, one of them can walk away with the $1,530,000 first prize, and the FedEx Cup trophy (+ $10 million) no matter where anyone else finishes. And you have to like their chances this week even with Dustin Johnson (ranked 1st), Patrick Reed (2nd) and Paul Casey (5th) occupying the other top-5 places around them.
Scott in particular has been in great form finishing in fourth place in each of the three previous FedEx Cup playoff tournaments. As usual, Scott has been getting tee to green beautifully and while his putting has been good, he has lost ground to the winner each week on the greens.
“My game’s been very consistent this year, and that’s felt good. So I feel like I come into every tournament knowing that I have a chance to compete. The putter’s been up and down, and that affects my result the most, I think, ultimately,” said Scott at the pre-tournament press conference.
“I could get into my scrambling a little bit as well, but I don’t know whether that’s as much chipping or putting that’s affecting that. But generally, I’m playing well, and the confidence is there. I play consistently well week after week. So I feel quite calm and confident that I’m going to play well this week.”
Day’s build-up to the season-ending event has been interrupted with injury. The world number one was forced to withdraw from the BMW Championship in the middle of the final round after he tweaked his back putting a tee in the ground, but Day made it clear while there huge prize money on offer, he is playing to win this week and etch his name into the trophy.
“I’d much rather have my name on the trophy, and that’s just me personally because how much is enough? We all have money, but I don’t have my name on the FedExCup trophy, and that’s what I really want,” said Day.
“I know that I can only control what I can control, and today I’m going to do the best I can prep-wise. Obviously, to a limited effect with how things are going with my back.”
While Day’s management team told reporters the withdrawal was a precautionary one and not for any serious injury, Day does have a chequered history when it comes to staying healthy and it will be interesting to see how Day responds this week.
But it’s not like Day hasn’t managed to rally in the face of adversity before. We tend to think that Day plays his best golf coming off an injury, just as golf experts, and bloggers like me begin to doubt his ability to win.
It likely Day or Scott will be in the middle of the action come Sunday at East Lake. We wouldn’t be surprised to see both trying to get their hands on golf’s most lucrative trophy.