The PGA Tour Playoffs are underway at The Barclays at Liberty National in Jersey City, New Jersey, and several Nike Golf athletes are poised to make a run at winning The FedEx Cup. There is obviously a clear frontrunner in the field — Tiger Woods has a 1,200+ point lead on Steve Stricker in second place. But with 2500 points for a win in each playoff event, combined with the points reset before The Tour Championship, anyone in the top 10 at that event has a very good chance of winning the cup (all players have a mathematical chance of winning the cup with a win at East Lake — see an explanation of the points system here at pgatour.com).
Here are the FedEx Cup regular season point totals for all Nike Golf athletes’ in the top 255 heading into the first playoff event at The Barclays:
Tiger Woods 1 3,431 pts
Lucas Glover 5 1,742
Stewart Cink 15 1,225
Paul Casey 18 1,161
Anthony Kim 29 957
Justin Leonard 39 838
Bo Van Pelt 46 743
Stephen Ames 70 592
K.J. Choi 92 492
David Duval 149 274
Carl Petterssen 154 258
Kris Blanks 168 202
Brendan Todd 181 154
Bob Tway 211 56
From this list we see these three Nike Golf athletes having a very good shot at winning the cup:
Tiger remains the favorite to win the FedEx Cup. His game seems to be in fine shape, but he will need to keep his (sometimes wayward) driver and especially his putter under control in order to bring home the hardware.
U.S Open winner Lucas Glover now knows what it feels like to win a major event. Lucas has played well all year — combine the confidence that he can perform under pressure at the highest level with high finishes in the playoff events and he might be your FedEx Cup Champion.
Ditto for Stewart — your Champion Golfer of the Year now knows he can produce winning results in a world-class event. Look for him to perform well in the playoff events — if he’s able to produce a high finish or a win at The Tour Championship, you may be looking at him holding the trophy .
Two other athletes also have a good chance to win — Justin Leonard and Anthony Kim. Justin had (in order) T7, T7, T17 and T10 finishes in last year’s playoff events, and he finished 8th overall. In 2008 Anthony had T12, T27, and two T3 finishes to end up 4th overall. Both Justin and Anthony will need high finishes again this year, especially in The Tour Championship, to make up the initial regular season point deficit and come away as the overall champion. I’d like to add Paul Casey to this list, but a rib injury has him sidelined this week at The Barclays (he’s out here in Arizona resting and rehabbing), and it’s yet to be seen if he’ll play next week at the Deutche Bank.
There’s an exciting four weeks of golf ahead (well, five with the break before the Tour Championship), and we look to see at least a few of Nike Golf’s athletes finishing high in — if not at the top of — the final 2009 FedEx Cup results.