McIlroy leads FedExCup standings entering TOUR ChampionshipSeptember 11, 2012
PGA TOUR staff
ATLANTA -- Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy remained atop the FedExCup standings following a two-stroke victory over Phil Mickelson and Lee Westwood at the BMW Championship, the third event in the FedExCup Playoffs, as he prepares to make his first appearance at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola next week at East Lake Golf Club. With victories at the Deutsche Bank Championship and BMW Championship, McIlroy is the fourth player to win consecutive events in the FedExCup Playoffs since its inception in 2007, joining Tiger Woods (2007 BMW Championship, TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola), Vijay Singh (2008 The Barclays, Deutsche Bank Championship) and Camilo Villegas (2008 BMW Championship, TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola). McIlroy is competing in the FedExCup Playoffs for the second time after finishing No. 36 and failing to advance to East Lake Golf Club and the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola in 2010.
The 2012 FedExCup Champion will be determined next week when the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola returns to East Lake Golf Club, Sept. 19-23.
McIlroy will look to break a recent trend that has seen the leading player in the FedExcup standings entering the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola fail to win the FedExCup title. In 2011, Webb Simpson held the No. 1 spot in the FedExCup heading to East Lake, but finished a disappointing 22nd in the tournament to fall to No. 2 in the standings. In 2010, Matt Kuchar slipped from No. 1 to No. 2 thanks to a T20 finish at East Lake. Woods (2007 and 2009) and Singh (2008) were both leading the points standings entering the TOUR Championship when they went on to win the FedExCup title.
With a victory, McIlroy would join Chad Campbell (2003), Bart Bryant (2005) and Haas (2011) as the only players to win the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola in their first appearance.
Rounding out the top five in the FedExCup standings and controlling their own destinies at East Lake are Woods (No. 2), Nick Watney (No. 3), Phil Mickelson (No. 4) and Brandt Snedeker (No. 5). The top-five players are guaranteed to win the FedExCup title should they win the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. Woods, who won the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola in 1999 and 2007, and Mickelson, who won at East Lake in 2009, are two of the four past champions in the field. Joining Woods and Mickelson are 2006 winner Adam Scott (No. 21) and 2010 winner Jim Furyk (No. 18). Mickelson, Steve Stricker (No. 13) and Hunter Mahan (No. 23) are the only players to advance to the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola in each of the first six years of the FedExCup.
Defending champion Bill Haas failed to advance to the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola after a T45 at the BMW Championship dropped him from No. 28 in the FedExCup standings to No. 32. Since the inception of the FedExCup in 2007, no FedExCup champion has returned to defend his title, and Mickelson is the only tournament champion to earn his way back to East Lake the next year. He won in 2009 and finished T22 in 2010.
Haas was not the only player to fall out of the top 30 at the BMW Championship and fail to qualify for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. Kyle Stanley, who won earlier this year at the Waste Management Phoenix Open, fell from No. 30 to No. 31 with a T34 at the BMW Championship. While Haas and Stanley were eliminated from the Playoffs, Robert Garrigus played his way in from No. 31 to No. 20 with a T4, as did Ryan Moore, moving from No. 35 to No. 28 with a T10.
John Huh (No. 26), who won for the first time earlier this year at the Mayakoba Golf Classic, is the only rookie to advance to the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. Prior to Huh, four rookies had advanced to the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola since 2007 and each was named PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year: Keegan Bradley (2011); Marc Leishman (2009); Andres Romero (2008); and Brandt Snedeker (2007).
For the first time since 2009, all four major championship winners have qualified for the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola. Masters champion Bubba Watson is No. 11; U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson is No. 25; British Open champion Ernie Els is No. 22; and McIlroy is No. 1.
Please see the attached document for a complete list of the top 30 players in the FedExCup standings who have advanced to the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.
With the points reset that took place after the BMW Championship, all 30 players in the field at the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola have a mathematical chance to win the FedExCup.