It’s now or never for golf’s best in the chase for the FedEx Cup crown. The 2016 PGA Tour Championship is the final event of the season, as the top 30 players will contest for the title at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta on the weekend of September 22nd-25th.
Predicting outcomes in sporting events is a dangerous business, especially in golf. But nevertheless, let’s look at five players that have a good chance to be on top of the leaderboard Sunday evening.
At this point of the tour season, no one should be surprised that Dustin Johnson is the prohibitive favorite to win the PGA Tour Championship this coming weekend. Every aspect of his game is flawless, which has allowed Johnson to be a contender in nearly every tournament he has played this summer. What has separated him from the competition is his touch on the greens. Johnson is coming off an impressive win at the BMW Championship, which was his third tour victory of the year, and finishing at the top of leaderboard this weekend all but sews up the FedEx Cup for him.
A victory in Atlanta will help Rory McIlroy to secure the No. 1 spot on the world’s players ranking or at worst finish in second. 2016 has been a very frustrating year for McIlroy, as he won the Deutsche Bank Championship only to follow that victory up with a disappointing 42nd place finish in the BMW Championship. McIlroy has imploded numerous times in major championship events this year. His best golf has been played on the European Tour, as McIlroy currently ranks third in the race to Dubai. The one positive that he has going for him this weekend is that McIlroy has played extremely well in the past at the East Lake Golf Club, as he finished second in 2014 and tenth in 2012.
2016 has been a memorable year for Jimmy Walker, as he won the final major tournament of the season, the PGA Championship, which firmly established him on the tour. Walker’s run hasn’t stopped there, as he finished third at the Deutsche Bank Championship and tied for 13th place at the BMW Championship. This weekend, Walker must elevate his game once again and show that he’s unruffled by the pressures that come with playing on the tour. It would be a fitting end to his season if Walker could win the PGA Tour Championship.
Many PGA observers feel Brandt Snedeker is one of the most consistent golfers on the tour, as he has finished in the top ten seven times this season. Plus, Snedeker has won the FedEx Cup in 2012, so a victory in Atlanta will boost his chances of capturing a second crown. Snedeker has been disappointed with his drives off the tee all summer. He’s tried to rectify the situation by working with Butch Harmon on his follow-through. If Snedeker can get his swing into shape, there’s no question he’s a definite threat to win the PGA Tour Championship.
No longer is Jhonny Vegas the golfer with a cool name; instead, he’s the tour professional that has a chance of winning the PGA Tour Championship. Vegas’s season looked bleak as he failed to qualify for the British Open, but his play turned around at the Rio Olympics. Vegas changed his approach by playing smarter and avoid taking risks from the fairway at all costs. It’s a bit of a longshot, but no golfer is hotter than him heading into Atlanta. Vegas can close the deal if he shoots like his round of 60 at the Barbasol Championship or the final round score of 64 that won the Canadian Open.