As the leaves begin turning, the PGA Tour leaves Chicago and heads to Atlanta for the culmination of the FedExCup Playoffs. While all eyes are already on those 30 players making preparations for the Tour Championship, it’s important to reflect on how we’ve gotten here.
Last week, the top-70 in FedExCup points vied for the right to head to East Lake for the PGA Tour’s final stop. While many of the world’s best proved they belonged, plenty find themselves at home this week thinking about 2017-18 season.
With that in mind, there were plenty of fantasy players who were left reeling — and a few who spent this Monday morning celebrating.
Here’s a look at those who are packing their bags for Atlanta — and those who are spending their Monday looking in a mirror:
Marc Leishman — I’ve long been a champion of Aussie Marc Leishman, who has collected top-5’s in multiple majors, won multiple times on tour and is name that is just now being added to lists of best players yet to win a major following his route at the BMW Championship. Leishman, who now controls his own destiny this week in Atlanta, lead from flag to flag and finished the week at 23-under. His triumph in Chicago was the third of his career and second in 2017.
Justin Rose — After playing less than stellar golf for much of the season (his runner-up to Sergio Garcia at the Masters notwithstanding) Justin Rose has got things figured out and has played some stellar golf the last four weeks in the FedExCup Playoffs. Rose rode four rounds of 68 or better to a runner-up at the BMW Championship, vaulting him to 8th in FedExCup Points heading into East Lake.
Jason Day — Like Justin Rose, Jason Day has found himself on a lot of disappointing lists following his play in 2017, but he has begun to find form just in time for the Tour Championship in Atlanta. Days’ season has not been nearly as much a struggle as Rose or Rory McIlroy, but for a guy who is used to winning — and winning multiple times — Day could certainly use a solid finish to build some momentum for 2018. Day, who finished 4th at the BMW Championship, enters East Lake 18th in FedExCup points.
Patrick Cantlay — Okay, okay — the odds of Patrick Cantlay winning the FedExCup are slim to none. But that doesn’t mean anyone should take anything away from the fact that Cantlay, who began the season trying to play as many times as he could on sponsors exemptions, has pointed his way into the Tour Championship following a T-9 at Conway Farms.
Jordan Spieth — I, for one, am shocked that Jordan Spieth still hasn’t won during these FedExCup Playoffs. Spieth, who entered the playoffs trailing only Justin Thomas in the momentum department, finished runner-up in the first two playoff events, but has “only” mustered top-10’s in the last two. Spieth, who is no stranger to cashing $10 million checks, controls his own destiny this week in Atlanta as the No. 1 seed in FedExCup points.
Rory McIlroy — Finally — the dismal, dim, damn-disappointing 2017 PGA Tour is over for Rory McIlroy and all those who love him and continue to bet on him every week. I’ll continue to bed on Rors in 2018, but not having him to choose from next week will certainly help me — and you. Because now I can’t recommend you start him.
Louis Oosthuizen — Well, this entire post season has stood as a reminder of how poor my fantasy choices have been the last month of two of the season. From a pure points standpoint, it hasn’t been the end of the world — but they also haven’t been lighting the world on fire. Case in point? Louis Oosthuizen — my early sleeper choice to come in and win the FedExCup. Unfortunately for Shrek and I, his run kind of fizzled out after leaving Boston Labor Day weekend. Oosthuizen looked to be headed to Atlanta most of the week, but was bounced by Jason Dufner late on Sunday.