The 2011 Tour Championship Preview: Leaderboard

THE US PGA Tour end of season playoffs began with 125 golfers but that number has now been whittled down to 30 for the final event, the Tour Championship at the East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta.

All 30 players have a mathematical chance of winning the season long FedEx Cup but only the top five are assured of winning the cup and the US$10 million that comes with it if they win the event this week.

All the rest have to rely on the performance of others.

Take Australia’s Geoff Ogilvy, who has performed some amazing feats in the past couple of weeks just to get into 24th spot and still be in contention.

Firstly, he needs to win and then he needs the current top five – Webb Simpson, Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, Luke Donald and Matt Kuchar – to all perform poorly.

“Webb Simpson must finish 17th or worse, which is probably not going to happen, you wouldn’t think,” Ogilvy mused this week. “Dustin Johnson has to finish sixth or worse. Justin and Luke have to finish fourth or worse, which isn’t going to happen because Luke doesn’t finish out of the top three anymore, does he?”

But winning this tournament is a big prize in itself.

“I’d love to win this golf tournament,” Ogilvy said. “That would be nice because people are forgetting this one of the tour’s special golf tournaments – The Players Championship, the Tour Championship, the Tournament of Champions. It’s still the Tour Championship, and it would be pretty special to have a Tour Championship on your mantle.”

Not to mention the fact that the Victorian’s playoff performances have now earned him a definite spot on Greg Norman’s Presidents Cup team.

So have compatriots and fellow playoff partners Jason Day (currently 6th) and Adam Scott (19th).

The other Aussies involved this week, John Senden (9th thanks to his second placing last week) and Aaron Baddeley (27th) have this one further opportunity to impress Norman and gain a captain’s pick.

So does Presidents Cup stalwart Vijay Singh, in the field this week in 23rd spot.

Also increasing the pressure for those involved is that the FedEx bonus monies go all the way down the field, with the runner-up securing a US$3 million boost, third receiving $2 million and so on.

It should be a fascinating tournament with the par 70, 7154 yard course providing a stern test of golf.

The 2011 Tour Championship will be telecast live in Australia on Fox Sports. 1st Round Friday 3 – 8am; 2nd Round 3 – 8am; 3rd Round Sunday 3 – 8am; Final Round Monday 2am to 8am.

2011 Tour Championship Leaderboard

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