Twenty-four year-old Jordan Spieth has battled his childhood buddy Justin Thomas all year for some of the PGA Tour’s biggest prizes in 2017. He had to do it again at the BMW Championship to retain the number one FedEx Cup position as the playoffs head to Atlanta and the finale’ next week.
Spieth put bookend six under par 65’s on the board at Conway Farms this week to lock up the top spot by 340 points over Thomas and world number one, Dustin Johnson by 691 points.
The top five players on the FedEx list are the only players who can win the FedEx Cup with a win at the Tour Championship with the best odds favoring the player in the number one position.
All three players at the top of the FedEx Cup standings are in the PGA Tour’s conversation for Player of the Year honors(POY) with a victory at East Lake. Justin Thomas has five victories on the year with a major championship, Jordan Spieth has three win with a major and Dustin Johnson has four wins that include two World Golf Championship(WGC) events.
Johnson finished T33 at Conway Farms and was able to retain his third place position after a brilliant 64 on Sunday, but a 71 and 72 in the early going kept him from catching the youngsters at the top.
With his win at the BMW Championship on Sunday, Aussie Marc Leishman moves up from number seven to number four as they head to East Lake and young Spaniard, Jon Rahm captures the fifth and final guaranteed winners spot.
Rahm had sixties on his scorecard all week in Chicago and finished T5 with Matt Kuchar.
With only 30 players in the FedEx Cup standings advancing to the finale’ this week, the real story is the battle of the bubble positions.
Jason Dufner edged out Louis Oosthuizen by one FedEx Cup point for the 30th and last playoff spot. That turns out to be one missed birdie putt during the entire season.
For the youngsters at the bottom of the list, life will be better in 2018 as they will have full membership and full TOUR card privileges. They will be able to set their schedules for next season and be eligible for the majors and all WGC events.
Patrick Cantlay finished in the 29th position and joins Steve Stricker as the only two players in history to make it to East Lake with only 12 starts during the year. Rory McIlroy was able to make it last year with 11 starts, and won the FedEx Cup.
McIlroy also joins a list of previous Cup winners who did not make the Tour Championship after winning it all the previous year. The 2016 champ finished T58 at Conway Farms and fell from 51st on the FedEx Cup list to 58th on the season.
Other notables to come up on the wrong side of the bubble include 2013 FedEx Cup and Race to Dubai Champ Henrik Stenson, Phil Mickelson and 2014 FedEx Cup Champ Billy Horschel.
Pat Perez at age 41 makes his first appearance in the Tour Championship and finished in 11th position.