Can you imagine telling someone a year ago that Tiger Woods (who could hardly swing) would make the Tour Championship 2018 but Jordan Spieth (who had just won The Open and lost a playoff event in a tiebreaker against Dustin Johnson) do not? That’s where we are 12 months later, as the last 30 golfers in the FedEx Cup standings will arrive in East Lake next week.
With that as our starting point, I wanted to take a look at some superlatives by the end of this season. Most of the top 30 are their usual suspects from Rory McIlroy, Dustin Johnson and Justin Thomas, but there are some surprises (and disappointments). Let’s take a look at the last 30 (and some outside it) as the PGA Tour season 2017-18 comes to an end before the Ryder Cup in Paris.
Biggest surprise: Bryson DeChambeau: It would be easy to go with Tiger Woods here (I’ve written a lot about him already), but the fact that DeChambeau is ranked number 1 in the last tournament is a little shocking to me. I thought (and thought) that he is a really good player, but I never expected him to be number one in the FedEx Cup standings at any point in his career.
The biggest disappointment: Jordan Spieth: Surprisingly, this is the first time Spieth has missed the Tour Championship (where he has an incredible record) as a professional. When any of your caliber -generally great, three times an important winner- loses the event that ends the season, it will always be a disappointment. Even more so because he could have done it with a decent final round in the BMW Championship.
Biggest jump – Hideki Matsuyama: He started the playoffs in 76th place, but slipped to No. 27 after three consecutive top-15s to start the playoffs. It would take a miracle for him to win the FedEx Cup, but getting to East Lake is a great victory for him after a year of inactivity.
Biggest drop – Chesson Hadley: After starting the playoffs in 24th place, Hadley dropped to 44th place after finishing T56, cut and T61 in all three postseason events. It was still a great season for him, but they were not very good playoffs.
“Wait, did he?” Award – Patton Kizzire: After winning two events before the end of January, he missed 10 of his next 21 cuts and managed only one. However, those two victories in November and January finally brought the day to Kizzire (barely, while finishing) 30th in the standings).
More than winning – Cameron Smith: The Australian receives a “wait, he’s in the top 10!” I agree with me since he is one of the two golfers among the top 17 who did not win on the PGA Tour this season. After starting the playoffs in 53rd place in the ranking, he placed himself in a position where he could easily walk away with $ 10 million or more with a hot week in East Lake.
More than losing – Dustin Johnson: He has been the best player on the PGA Tour all season. It has not even been really that close. After three postseason events, including a T24 without incidents in the BMW Championship, it has dropped from No. 1 to No. 4 in the standings and risks giving up another control of the season’s biggest windfall.
Underestimated season – Tony Finau: No, he did not win, but Finau is ranked number 7 in the Sagarin ranking, which is a better indicator of how many golfers you have defeated in the year. In addition, winning is overrated.
Overrated season: Bubba Watson: He is ranked number 8 in the final, but ranks 36th in Sagarin’s ranking, just behind Beau Hossler and just ahead of Adam Hadwin. Look, there is an art to winning, and doing it three times in a year is not a joke, but it has not been consistently good throughout the year. Watson only has six top 10s (with three of them being victorious!) In the season.
The biggest nightmare of the PGA Tour: Tony Finau wins $ 10 million without wins: I am not encouraging Finau to win the first eight-figure prize by not winning a single event in 2017-18.
Course: East Lake Golf Club
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Month played: September
To par: −23 Tiger Woods (2007)
Length: 7,346 yards (6,717 m)
Date founded: 1987