LOS ANGELES, September 16, 2013 — After play was rained out Sunday, Zach Johnson won the BMW for his tenth career PGA Tour victory on a sunny fall Monday in Chicago, catapulting him into the coveted Top 5 spots in FedEx Cup standings, setting the stage for a first Fed Ex Cup Trophy and an $11M plus payday.
Johnson chose to skip the first stage of the FedEx Cup Playoffs when he took the week off for his brother’s wedding, he did however get a chance to sneak in a couple practice rounds at the nearby Conway Farms, host to the penultimate event. His extra preparation may have been the difference as he made putt after putt on the final nine holes to win by two strokes over Nick Watney.
The biggest disappointment during the final round had to be Jim Furyk. Last week Furyk was snubbed from the upcoming President’s Cup team by U.S. Captain Fred Couples for the first time in 17 years. This may have a little to do with Furyk’s bizarre meltdown last September that contributed to the gut-wrenching collapse of the U.S. at the hands of the Europeans.
Furyk started this final round tied for the lead before succumbing to an all too familiar Furyk flame out. Captain Freddie’s decision to leave the veteran off the squad no longer seems so controversial.
Jim Furyk’s week, however, was bitter sweet. On Friday, he earned the nickname, “Mr. 59,” by shooting the magical score of 59. To put that score in perspective, there have been over one and half million rounds played in the history of the PGA Tour and only six men have ever accomplished this feat. Legends like Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Ben Hogan, Tom Watson, Sam Snead, even Tiger Woods have never shot a 59.
The top five players going into Thursday’s Tour Championship now control their own destiny. A victory this upcoming week would guarantee the FedEx Cup and an eight figure payday. Joining Zach Johnson in the top five are Tiger Woods, Henrik Stenson, Adam Scott, and Matt Kuchar.
Other players are still in the hunt for the overall season title, but would need a victory as well as a little assistance, from the aforementioned guys ahead of them. Still within shouting distance of the Cup are Steve Stricker, Phil Mickelson, Jim Furyk, Brandt Snedeker, Justin Rose, and Graham DeLaet.
“Local” Luke Donald made a huge run on the back nine Monday, making the biggest move up the standings. Donald leapfrogged 25 players and cracked the top 30 to be included in next week’s finale, the Tour Championship.
Atlanta’s East Lake Golf Club is the host of the Tour Championship. The historic venue was the former home to the legendary Bobby Jones before creating the Masters tournament later in his life. More than a century old and one of the players’ favorite tracks, East Lake Golf Club is now the permanent home to the Tour Championship. Previously, East Lake held such championships as The Ryder Cup and two U.S. Amateurs.
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