September 21 2013
By Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
ATLANTA -- The season-long competition for the FedExCup has now come down to a mere 18 holes on Sunday at East Lake Golf Club.
Win the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola and Henrik Stenson, who leads by four, will earn the $10 million bonus as well as the tournament's $1.44 million first prize. The Waterford crystal and gleaming silver Tiffany trophy will look pretty darn good in his Orlando home, too.
The Swede, who will start the final round at 11 under, came to East Lake ranked second to Tiger Woods in the FedExCup -- one of five players who could earn the hefty bonus with a TOUR Championship win. He's making his debut in the Playoffs finale and trying to join Bill Haas (2011) as the only players to pick up the dual victories in their first appearances.
Stenson, though, has a reasonable chance to win should he even finish in the top three. And he could finish as low as a two-way tie for sixth to have a mathematical shot.
But Stenson isn't sweating the possibilities. He's just focused on building a lead that reached nine strokes on Saturday before he bogeyed three of his last five holes --- the rest will take care of itself.
"It's going to be up to the other guys to try and catch up," Stenson said. "If I can keep the ball in play and keep on giving myself chances, you know, I'm not the one who has to make the extra birdies."
TOP FIVE: Woods would need the comeback of all comebacks to win the FedExCup for the third time. He's 14 strokes behind and tied for 26th. ... Adam Scott, who was so ill he needed an IV before he teed off, started Saturday's third round four strokes behind Stenson. The Aussie, who counts the Masters in his two TOUR wins this year, shot 74 in the third round and has fallen back into a tie for 10th, nine strokes behind Stenson. ... Zach Johnson, who came to East Lake ranked fourth in the FedExCup after his win Monday at the BMW Championship, is tied for fourth at 4 under. He can still earn the FedExCup if he overtakes Stenson on Sunday. ... No. 5 Matt Kuchar has struggled this week and finds himself 25th at 2 over and 13 strokes behind Stenson.
BIGGEST MOVERS: Dustin Johnson came to East Lake as the last man in at No. 30 in the FedExCup. He's 7 under and four strokes off Stenson's lead, which has boosted Johnson 23 spots in the rankings. He has a mathematical shot to win the FedExCup with a win in the TOUR Championship, but six other dominoes have to fall. ... Steve Stricker has only moved up three spots in the projections to No. 3 but is now among the five who control their own destiny. Stricker is alone in third at 5 under and can win the FedExCup with a win at the TOUR Championship (to be completely correct, provided Woods finishes out of a two-way tie for second or better).
QUOTABLE: "Of course I want to win two. If I can't win two, I'll be very pleased to win one. If I'm winning nothing, it will probably be not so sweet from this position. But I didn't have anything when I came here, so we'll see what we'll leave with." Henrik Stenson