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PGA Tour: Fedex Cup Analysis and Predictions

In September, the NFL season has started, the MLB and MLS seasons are heading to the playoffs, and European soccer has kicked off in full-speed. However, everyone seems to forget about the end of the golf season to see who will win the Fedex Cup.
The Fedex Cup playoffs has been a great event to watch with dominant performances from the best like Tiger Woods in 2007 and 2009 or the most unbelievable shots such as Bill Haas in 2011 at Eastlake on hole 17 from the water to win after being out of the top 50 after Deutsche Bank.
The Fedex Cup Playoffs kicks off with the Barclays in late August and then Deutsche Bank in the first week of September. Now, there are two more tournaments left; BMW Championship and the Coco-Cola Championship in Eastlake, Atlanta, Georgia.
After Deutsche Bank, the top 10 looks like this:

1. Jason Day
2. Jordan Spieth
3. Rickie Fowler
4. Henrik Stenson
5. Bubba Watson
6. Charley Hoffman
7. Zach Johnson
8. Dustin Johnson
9. Jim Furyk
10. Patrick Reed
This playoff was started in 2007, and out of the 8 winners, 6 of them were in the top 10 after Deutsche Bank. In the 4 majors, Jordan Spieth won the Masters and U.S. Open, Zach Johnson won the British Open, and Jason Day won the PGA Championship. However, the Players Championship was won by Rickie Fowler which nicknamed “the 5th major” for being scored the same way as the other four. To win the Fedex Cup playoff, it comes down to who wins the last tournament: the Coca-Cola Championship in Eastlake. Here are is the top 10 performances at Eastlake last year:

1. Jason Day: T4th
2. Jordan Spieth: T27th
3. Rickie Fowler: 8th
4. Henrik Stenson: Cut
5. Bubba Watson: 14th
6. Charley Hoffman: Cut
7. Zach Johnson: 21st
8. Dustin Johnson: DNP (personal problems)
9. Jim Furyk: T2nd
10. Patrick Reed: T19th

Henrik Stenson, Charley Hoffman, and Dustin Johnson were the only three golfers from the top 10 to not play in the tournament the previous year; however, Henrik Stenson won the Coca-Cola Championship the previous year, and Dustin Johnson did not play because of personal issues.

The reason Charley Hoffman and Henrik Stenson did not play because in the Fedex Playoff was because after each playoff tournament a list of golfers are cut based on their point standings. After the Wyndham Championship, the last tournament before the playoffs, the best 125 golfers qualify for the playoffs. The list gets cut down by tournament from 125 to 100 to 70 to 30 golfers. Meaning, Jordan Spieth finished at the bottom of the leaderboard at Eastlake last year.

To pick the winner, I chose to pick which golfers were the best at these certain golf stats from pgatour.com throughout the year: Driving Accuracy Percentage, GIR percentage, Sand Save percentage, Scrambling in Rough RTP Score, and Overall Putting Average.

Best Drivers: Zach Johnson, Henrik Stenson, and Jim Furyk
Best Approach to Green: Henrik Stenson and Jason Day
Best Scrambling from Rough: Henrik Stenson, Jim Furyk, and Jordan Spieth
Best Putter: Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler
Best Scrambling from bunker: Jordan Spieth, Rickie Fowler, and Zach Johnson

Even though most of the winners come from the top 10, here are some of the outliers that have a chance a strong chance to win the playoff:

Billy Horschel, 67th: won BMW and Coca Cola last year after being outside top 20 before both tournaments.

Hunter Mahan, 52nd: Played phenomenal last year and has had success in the past at East Lake.

Robert Streb, 12th: Even though, has struggled in the last two tournaments a bit, he has been one of the most consistent golfers this season.

Rory McIlroy, 17th: Finished in the top 10 for 12 of his 17 tournaments; came in second last year at Eastlake.
Brandt Snedeker, 18th: Is not consistent on getting GIRs, but is very skilled around the green to save his score. Won Eastlake in 2012.

Via Getty Images
Via Getty Images

After all of that analysis, my three favorite golfers to win are Jason Day, Henrik Stenson, and Rickie Fowler. All three of them have had success at Eastlake in the past and are playing extremely well as of late. I like Day’s chances over the Stenson and Fowler to win it all because Stenson was unable to keep his lead at Deutsche Bank. Also, Fowler has had success at Eastlake, but he has been unable to overcome hole #6 on a consistent basis which has killed his score in the past. Everyone has a great chance to win the playoff, but Day definitely has the best. Look for him to finish off his great season with another trophy to his name.

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Golf, Other Sports

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