By: Brendan Burris ~Staff Writer~
The PGA Tour’s Tour Championship concluded on Sunday, as the final event of the year-long $10 million FedEx Cup was won by Rory McIlroy. The final weekend poses a variety of scoring questions due to the confusing nature of the points system, leaving the Golf Channel to create a so-called “FedEx Cup points expert” on call throughout its broadcast to make it seemingly easier to understand for the casual viewer.
Through all the confusion of FedEx Cup math, one fact is constant: if you begin the Tour Championship in the top five, all you must do to win the FedEx Cup is win the tournament, where the field is only 30 players.
That is all Dustin Johnson had to do, and through 54 holes, it looked like he was the man to capture it all and cap off what has been a banner year for one of the more tried and tested players on the tour. However, an untimely double bogey on the 12th hole on Sunday knocked Johnson out of contention in the tournament and ultimately the FedEx Cup.
McIlroy was able to take advantage of Johnson’s miscues. He needed a win in the Tour Championship and a third or worse finish from Johnson to win it all.
In one of the more dramatic moments of the whole season, McIlroy advanced his game to another level, holing out for an eagle two on the 16th hole and birdieing the par-five 18th to force his way into a three-man playoff with Ryan Moore and Kevin Chappell.
Things got even more interesting from that point on. A win in the playoff for Moore or Chappell meant they would win the Tour Championship, but Johnson would take home the $10 million season-long prize. A McIlroy win and he would take both, an unprecedented $11.53 million payout.
After a four-hole playoff (one hole with all three, three with Moore vs. McIlroy), McIlroy ultimately birdied the par-four 16th, taking home both purses.