Plenty at stake in season-ending Tour Championship

Tue Sep 22, 2015 4:58pm EDT
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By Larry Fine

ATLANTA (Reuters) - It is a numbers game at this week's Tour Championship, with numerals one, three, five and 10 dominating conversation at East Lake Golf Club.

The Sept. 24-27 Tour Championship brings together the top 30 players on the FedExCup points list, but besides the nearly $1.5 million first prize on offer in this fourth and last event of the playoffs, there is much more at stake.

The number one ranking in golf, which now belongs to red-hot Australian Jason Day, is yet again up for grabs.

Day, winner of four of his last six events and five overall in 2015, ascended to that coveted perch atop world golf with his spectacular win at last week's BMW Championship, where he blew away the field.

But the title of golf number one has been passed around like a hot potato between the Big Three of four-times major winner Rory McIlroy, Masters and U.S. Open winner Jordan Spieth and PGA Championship winner Day in recent weeks and this event could settle the issue for the rest of 2015.

Meanwhile, the top five players in the FedExCup list - Day, Spieth, Rickie Fowler, Henrik Stenson and Bubba Watson - can clinch the playoffs title and $10 million bonus should they win the elite Tour Championship event, which begins on Thursday.

Besides those significant numbers, there is also the Player of the Year award at stake in a season where Day's extraordinary finish has set up a duel with Spieth for the coveted award voted on by their PGA Tour peers.

"Of course it's between Jason and Jordan and someone with the first letter of a 'J' will win it," 2013 FedExCup winner Stenson told reporters on Tuesday.   Continued...

Sep 20, 2015; Lake Forest, IL, USA; PGA golfer Rory McIlroy lines up a putt on the 18th hole during the final round of the BMW Championship at Conway Farms Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports