Long Time Coming
Five years, Sixty months, One Thousand Eight Hundred and Seventy Six days, Forty Five Thousand and Twenty Four hours, Two Million…….well you get the point. The amount of time since Tiger Woods has last hoisted a trophy on the PGA Tour. However you want to break down the time in between, no one can deny that Sunday was one of the greatest moments in sports history. It was the greatest comeback story of all time.Tiger led wire to wire and looked like the Unbeatable Tiger from the early 2000s while doing it. Tiger. Is. Back.
He was working his tee shots left to right with his smooth cut, controlling his iron distances on approach shots like no one else can, draining long distance putts and walking them in, and leaving the announcers mystified with the shots he can pull off from “impossible” lies (hardly impossible but that is a whole different article). I could go on for pages about Tiger and his comeback, but this article is about recapping the Tour Championship and answering the question I am sure millions of people had yesterday…..“would Tiger have won the Fedex cup if they put the new rules in this year?”
What a Finish
So, let’s breakdown the Tour Championship and Fedex Cup Final Standings:
Where to start, I touched on Tiger above so let’s look at some of the other interesting storylines from the Tour Championship:
Starting from the bottom, Phil Mickelson, I don’t know whether it was the terrible fitting clothes he decided to wear this week or if his game has fallen off a cliff, but this did not look like the Phil Mickelson the fans have been watching for 20+ years. His short game was average, his putting was worse, and he looked terrible while doing it. 9 times out of 10 that is going to lead to a poor finish for ol FIGJAM, but +13, dead last and 24 shots back of Tiger?? WOOF. I hope fans put their money on Tiger for the Thanksgiving Showdown before this week because Tiger is emerging as a real favorite for that event.
Some of the other notable turds this week were Patrick Reed (28th), Kevin Na (25th) and Bubba Watson (29th) but I don’t think there are too many fans upset about those finishes. There were two surprise poor finishes this week. Mr. Top 10 Tony Finau ho hummed his way around the course for a T15 finish. Not bad, but I think most were expecting him to challenge for the FedEx Cup this week. And, in one of the biggest surprises of the week, Brooks Koepka finished T26 after calling his own number before the tournament started after feeling slighted by the media….Whoopsies.
Getting to some of the more positive storylines of the week. If you are listener of the Drive The Green Podcast you know I have a couple players I am quite fond of. So, it was good to see DJ, who was quiet all week, end up in third place even though his putter and putting style changed every round. His solo 3rd finish was enough to get him back to number 1 in the world status.
It was also really fun watching Rory for 3 of the 4 rounds when he looked like he was back to the player who could dominate a tournament. Then the dreaded final pairing on Sunday jinx thing happened and the driver went squiffy. But still a T7 finish for a guy a lot of people are writing off these days.
There was a couple other under the radar good finishes at East Lake this week Webb Simpson and Hideki Matsuyama both finished T4 even though fans got to see a total of 5 of their shots combined on the weekend. Justin Thomas and Rickie Fowler left the fans wanting more. Both showed flashes of getting into the mix but then would go backwards for a few holes or a few rounds in Rickie’s case. Sooner or later Rickie has to put 4 rounds together in a major or big pressure tournament right guys? Right??
In a somewhat unrelated topic but if I had a gun to my head and had to pick someone to play East Lake and shoot under par or else I would be killed, I think I would pick Xander Schauffele. He has played in the Tour Championship twice and has a win and a T7 finish. I bet Jim Furyk is wishing he could swap out Phil for Xander heading across the pond this week.
I said all week and in last week’s POD “don’t sleep on Billy Horschel” he has won the Fedex Cup before and is sneakily playing really good golf this year. My only critique of his game besides the clubs he plays. It might be time to go by Bill, Will or William because he should be taken seriously moving forward.
I feel like I am forgetting someone. Oh ya, Justin Rose the number 1 player in the world going into this tournament, the guy every golf fan in the world was cheering for to roll his ankle walking up 18 and having to WD. But it was all for not after giving the fans some hope by bogeying 16 to drop into a tie for 6th. Rose Stepped up to 18 needing to birdie and hit the longest drive of the day, then hit a bit of a knuckle ball 7 iron that looked like it was going into the bunker (a bunker DJ could not get up and down from earlier). But the ball took a bounce that defied the laws of physics and ended up on the green where Rose only needed 2 putts to secure a Fedex cup victory. Rose calmly stepped up and did his best Brian Harman impression lagging the putt to a couple inches, tapped home the birdie, apologized to the cameras because he spoiled the storyline everyone was hoping for and cashed a MF’ing 10-million-dollar cheque.