Sam Torrance: Five have FedEx Cup fate in their hands but remember Bill Haas – there are no guarantees

 
Sam Torrance
Follow Sam
BMW Championship - Final Round
Leishman will head into this week's Tour Championship full of confidence (Source: Getty)

Five players head into this week’s Tour Championship with their fate in their own hands and it is tough to see the overall winner of the FedEx Cup coming from outside of that group.

American trio Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson, Australia’s Marc Leishman and Jon Rahm of Spain all head to Atlanta, Georgia knowing that victory at East Lake will secure the FedEx Cup title and $10m prize money.

The quintet can control their own destiny. Rickie Fowler, however, who is sixth, knows that winning the Tour Championship may not be enough to claim the overall FedEx Cup gong.

But while Spieth, Thomas, Johnson, Leishman and Rahm are favourites and playing great golf at the minute, there are no guarantees than any of them will win the big prize.

American Bill Haas famously captured the FedEx Cup in 2011 having started the final week of the play-offs and the 30-player event in Atlanta in 25th place in the rankings in terms of points.

Despite his billing, Haas ended proceedings top of the pile, 15 points clear of fellow countryman Webb Simpson after beating Hunter Mahan on the third extra hole of a tense Tour Championship play-off.

One player who will be full of confidence, though, is Leishman following his wire-to-wire triumph at the BMW Championship on Sunday, which saw him jump three places to fourth in the FedEx standings.

It was an outstanding performance from the 33-year-old. As soon as anyone came near him he just made another birdie. He was brilliant and played beautifully. Even when he got into trouble, he would produce an exquisite chip to calm the situation and any nerves.

I was delighted for him. He’s in the top-15 in the world rankings now and seems very much settled in life away from the course, appears happier than ever and that has resulted in him playing some great golf.

It is only two and a half years since his wife Audrey was told she had a five per cent chance of survival after being hospitalised with toxic shock syndrome. She survived and that family unit, with his children, has seen him thrive with club in hand.

England’s Justin Rose was also magnificent at Lake Forest. You look at his four rounds and think ‘how can that not win’ but that just goes to show how good Leishman, who tied for sixth at this year’s Open Championship, was.

To finish five shots adrift of Leishman was no disgrace and I barely saw a bad shot from him all day on Sunday. The 37-year-old is having a great end to the season and he looks back to his best. It’s going to be an intriguing final leg of the FedEx Cup.

A special mention, meanwhile, must go to Sweden’s Anna Nordqvist, who claimed the first women’s Major title by a European since 2013 on Sunday with victory at the Evian Championship. She is special.

City A.M.'s opinion pages are a place for thought-provoking views and debate. These views are not necessarily shared by City A.M.

Related articles