FedExCup update: Rose heads into final round as projected No. 1
September 22, 2018
By Cameron Morfit , PGATOUR.COM
Justin Rose’s approach yields 5-foot birdie putt at TOUR Championship
ATLANTA -- Each of the top five players in the FedExCup standings is guaranteed to win the FedExCup with a victory at this week's TOUR Championship. In addition, there are certain scenarios for winning the FedExCup should someone outside the top five win the tournament.
TOUR Championship leader Tiger Woods is Nos. 2 in the projected FedExCup standings. (He is currently credited with the 2,000 points that come with a victory).
Here's a look at how each top-5 players fared during Saturday's third round at East Lake.
1. Bryson DeChambeau, 66, T21 (projected 3rd in FedExCup): After a couple of off-kilter rounds (71-75), the FedExCup leader found something with a third-round 66 that could have been even better had he not missed a 6 ½-foot birdie try on 18. DeChambeau hit 8/14 fairways, his most accurate performance off the tee so far this week, which led to the highlight of his round: After finding the short grass off the 17th tee, he hit his 100-yard approach shot into the hole for eagle.
2. Justin Rose, 68, T2 (projected 1st): It was a bogey-bogey start for Rose, but he came back with a birdie at the par-4 third hole, then birdied the fifth and sixth to serve notice that he wouldn’t be going away quietly. He and Rory McIlroy (66) are three behind Tiger Woods (65), but it’s Rose who in the driver’s seat for the FedExCup, which he stands to win as long as he doesn’t finish outside the top five in the TOUR Championship. After hitting 9/14 fairways Saturday, Rose is second in the field in driving accuracy. His Achilles’ heel in the third round: He was 28th (of 30) in Strokes Gained: Putting.
3. Tony Finau, 67, T6 (projected 4th): Finau, who is playing in his second TOUR Championship, hit just 5/14 fairways, which is usually the kiss of death at East Lake. Still, he kept his round together with the putter, figured out an alignment issue on the back nine, and came in with a 31 for a 3-under 67. He did his media obligations and then immediately went to the range after an off-day from tee to green that could have been much worse. “Putting-wise,” he said, “I had my A-plus game.”
4. Dustin Johnson, 67, T8 (projected 5th): Johnson birdied four of his last six holes Saturday and was solid in every facet: 8/14 fairways, 12/18 greens in regulation, 28 putts and well in positive numbers in Strokes Gained: Putting. His best round of an otherwise blah week, all in all not the finish he wanted after leading the FedExCup standings for much of this season.
5. Justin Thomas, 70, T8 (projected 6th): Still at 4-under for the tournament and going in the wrong direction in the standings in his bid to become the first FedExCup champion to successfully defend his title. He doubled the par-3 15th hole and had to birdie the last two for an even-par 70. Thomas could not practice full shots coming into the tournament due to a right wrist injury, which he suffered in the last round of the BMW Championship, and is in negative numbers in Strokes Gained: Putting.
Here’s a look at the top 5 in the projected standings:
1. Justin Rose (2nd in FedExCup), 2,780 projected points
2. Tiger Woods (20th in FedExCup), 2,219 projected points
3. Bryson DeChambeau (1st in FedExCup), 2,160 projected points
4. Tony Finau, (3rd in FedExCup), 1,887 projected points
5. Dustin Johnson (4th in FedExCup), 1,576 projected points