The FedEx winner gets $US10 million to pocket while it is zilch for the 24 golfers who make it on to a Presidents Cup team. That’s all about heart, honor and prestige.
The players know pretty much exactly the results they need to advance from the 70 man field at the Cog Hill Country Club outside of Chicago this week to the 30 player field at the Tour Championship in Atlanta next week.
They also know what it will take to get or maintain an automatic selection in either the US of International Presidents Cup teams.
At one and two in the International team standings respectively are Jason Day and Adam Scott.
They have all the Presidents Cup honor and prestige in the bag, they just need to worry about grabbing the FedEx bonus cash.
Day has had a remarkably successful year, amassing $A3.58 million in prizemoney with runner-up finishes in two of the four majors and nine top 10 finishes from 19 starts on the US tour, second only to World No.1 Luke Donald with 11.
But he still hasn’t had a win this year. The young Queenslander needs a top two finish this week to ensure he is in the top five going into the final in Atlanta.
Players in the top five in Atlanta are masters of their own destiny. Start in the top five and win and you automatically take the FedEx Cup and golf’s richest prize. Start outside the five and you need to rely on other results.
Adam Scott is the only other Australian assured of a starting spot next week. Obviously, the higher he gets in the field this week the better chance he has next week.
The other five Australians involved this week, Aaron Baddeley, Geoff Ogilvy, Allenby, John Senden and Marc Leishman, all need very strong showings to figure in either event.
To progress in the play-offs series Baddeley needs a top 50 finish while Allenby and Senden need top four and Ogilvy and Leishman need top three results to have a chance.
Presidents Cup Selections
Ogilvy moved into the Presidents Cup automatic selection top 10 by a very slender margin this week and needs at least a top 25 spot in the BMW to be assured of retaining it.
The current table looks like this:
Current rank Player Finish needed to potentially move to No.10
10 Geoff Ogilvy 25th
11 Louis Oosthuizen Not in field this week
13 Vijay Singh 9th
14 Aaron Baddeley 6th
15 Robert Allenby 5th
16 Rory Sabbatini 5th
20 Camilo Villegas Win
23 John Senden Win
(Tim Clark in 12th spot is out injured)
“I’m aware I can fall back out but it’s better to start this week 10th than 11th,” Ogilvy said in Chicago this week. “There is nothing I want more than to be automatically in after this week.”
“The more Aussies that make it into the Presidents Cup team automatically, the less Aussies that need to get picked by Greg [Norman] so we could really help each other this week,” he said.
“Anything can happen. Robert (Allenby), Badds (Baddeley) and I could finish top three this week and make it to Melbourne – now that would be something.”
US Presidents Cup Team
The top of the U.S. Team standings has remained relatively unchanged over the past few months, with Matt Kuchar (No. 1), Steve Stricker (No. 2), Dustin Johnson (No. 3), Phil Mickelson (No. 4) and Nick Watney (No. 5) currently leading the way.
Webb Simpson, on the strength of two wins in his last three starts, moved from No. 16 after the PGA Championship to No. 6 currently. Bubba Watson, with two wins earlier this season, is ranked No. 7. All but Stricker and Mickelson will be Presidents Cup “rookies.”
From there, the U.S. standings are incredibly close. Hunter Mahan (No. 8), Jim Furyk (No. 9) and David Toms (No. 10) – all Presidents Cup veterans – are separated by less than 200,000 points. Points are based on money earned since the 2009 Wyndham Championship, with money earned in 2011 counting as double.
With an $8 million purse and no cut this week at the BMW Championship, players all the way down to Charles Howell III at No. 23 still mathematically have a shot at playing their way onto the team.
FedEx Cup Standings
The current FedEx top ten is 1. Webb Simpson, 2. Dustin Johnson, 3. Matt Kuchar, 4. Luke Donald, 5. Brandt Snedeker, 6. Jason Day, 7. Nick Watney, 8. Steve Stricker, 9. Chez Reavie, 10. Phil Mickelson (16. Adam Scott, 25. Aaron Baddeley)
The BMW Championship will be broadcast live in Australia on Fox Sports. 1st Round, 5am – 8am Friday; 2nd Round, 5am – 8am Saturday; 3rd Round, 2am – 5.30am Sunday; Final Round, 2am – 8am Monday .2011 BMW Championship Leaderboard