An undeniably exciting 2018 PGA Tour season comes to an end this week, but there are still some fireworks left, as the top 30 players in the FedExCup standings convene for the Tour Championship at Atlanta’s East Lake Golf Club.
The field might be small, but the stakes sure aren’t as the Tour finale offers an enormous $9 million purse, with another $35 million will be up for grabs as the season-long FedExCup race comes to a close.
Bryson DeChambeau currently has the best odds of leaving East Lake $10 million richer, but thanks to a points-reset, all 30 players in the field have a mathematical chance of capturing the Cup.
Here are the 15 players we like best:
15. Patrick Reed
The Masters Champion has been surprisingly poor in seven starts since a solo-fourth at the U.S. Open. But he showed some signs of coming around with a T19 at the BMW Championship, where he scored 65 and 64 in the middle rounds.
With the Ryder Cup coming in a week, Captain America is going to be want to be in his best form. He currently ranks 15th in the FedExCup Standings.
World Rank: 14
FedExCup Rank: 15
Last Six: 19, 12, 15, MC, 24, 24
14. Keegan Bradley
Can he stay hot? Bradley ended a long winless streak at the BMW Championship, where he shot a Monday 64 and bested Justin Rose in a two-man playoff. Somehow, he led the field in strokes gained: putting, but given his usual (very poor) putting form, it feels more like an aberration than any kind of expected trend.
The win at Aronimink got him to No. 6 in the FedExCup Standings, which gives him an excellent shot at taking the FedExCup title if he can go back-to-back. This will be Bradley’s first trip to East Lake since 2013, where he finished T12.
World Rank: 31
FedExCup Rank: 6
Last Six: 1, 49, 34, 42, 4, 79
13. Phil Mickelson
Mickelson is the only player in the field who has won twice at East Lake (one of Tiger’s Tour Championship victories was on a different course). After an unimpressive summer, Phil played well in the first two playoff rounds (T15, T12), but was absolutely abysmal in the first two rounds at the BMW, actually holding the last-place anchor position in the 70-man field after 36 holes.
Fortunately, he bounced back well on the weekend, posting rounds of 67 and 66 to rise to T58, so he should be coming into East Lake feeling good about his game, and he will be extraordinarily motivated to put an end to the recent talk that perhaps he was not deserving of a Ryder Cup Captain’s Pick.
World Rank: 25
FedExCup Rank: 14
Last Six: 58, 12, 15, MC, 24, 24
12. Billy Horschel
The 2014 winner of both the Tour Championship and the FedExCup, Horschel has been bringing up memories of that playoff tear with his stellar play in this year’s edition. Horschel played two of the three playoff events (he had to withdraw from the Dell Technologies Championship with an illness), and finished T3 in both.
The often-streaky 31-year-old, has gotten himself to No. 9 in the FedExCup standings in his most recent positive streak, and in his last seven events, he has two rounds out of 28 with scores a above 70.
In the opening round of the playoffs, Horschel led the field in bogeys (just three for the week) and scrambling. Nobody is going to be surprised by Horschel this weekend.
World Rank: 48
FedExCup Rank: 9
Last Six: 3, 3, 11, 35, MC, 2
11. Tommy Fleetwood
As he often does, Fleetwood had enormous highs at the BMW Championship, but struggled to put four good rounds together. After opening with a poor 1-over 71, Fleetwood went on one of the biggest Friday-Saturday tears in recent memory, shooting back to back 62s to get him just two strokes off the lead going into the final round. The Sunday weather cancellation might have halted his momentum some, but his effort on Monday (a 1-under 69), looked completely uninspired.
He is too good to not closely consider in these bigger events, but can he finally stay consistent for a tournament? It probably does not help that he is a first-timer at East Lake, but so was last year’s champion.
World Rank: 12
FedExCup Rank: 19
Last Six: 8, 24, 14, 6, 12, MC
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