PGA Tour Championship: Who's in contention for $10 million FedEx Cup?

FedEx Cup finale: Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy has enjoyed a terrific run at the end of the 2012 PGA Tour season, winning the last two events. But Tiger Woods and others have themselves in position to capture the FedEx Cup.

Charles Rex Arbogast/AP
Rory McIlroy, of Northern Ireland, watches his tee shot off the second hole during the final round of the BMW Championship PGA golf tournament at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Ind., Sunday, Sept. 9, 2012.

The PGA Tour season comes to a close this weekend in Atlanta with the Tour Championship. Based on a system of accumulated points throughout 2012, the top 30 golfers will tee it up, starting Thursday, for a chance to win the year's final tourney and $1.4 million. The overall points leader after the Tour Championship is completed will take home the FedEx Cup and a $10 million prize.

Rory McIlroy comes into the championship rated No. 1 in the world, especially based on his play over the last month. He won the PGA Championship in August and both the Deutsche Bank and BMW Championships, two of the four season-ending tournaments that make up the FedEx playoffs.

Jim Furyk, a former FedEx Tour Championship winner, says McIlroy is not only the man to watch this weekend, but the following weekend when the US hosts Europe in the biennial Ryder Cup matches outside Chicago.

"He's played phenomenal this year. ... He's right now the present day Tiger Woods, where everyone's eyes are on him," Furyk told the Associated Press.

Tiger Woods won this event back in 2007 and has finished as the runner-up four times. He has won three PGA Tour events in 2012, his best season since his personal life became tabloid fodder and leg injuries robbed him of time on the golf course.

Some observers of the pro golf game say Tiger is still looking for that level of confidence that helped him win 14 major championships, to this point. Former Masters and British Open champ Nick Faldo chimed in, via the Irish Golf Desk and GolfChannel.com.

“He shows flashes of it but he doesn’t finish it off. His weekends have been pretty rough in all the majors. It is going to be very interesting for the players to see how he deals with it," Faldo said.

Other PGA Tour players with a shot at the FedEx title include Nick Watney, who won the Barclays Championship, the first FedEx playoff tournament. Watney's in third place in the FedEx standings, going into this weekend. Phil Mickelson, who's been in contention in the last two FedEx playoff events, is currently in fourth place.

The Tour Championship will be played at East Lake Golf Course in Atlanta, the first golf home of one of the greatest players of all time. Bobby Jones – a former US and British Open champion and one of the co-founders of the Augusta National Golf Club and the Masters tournament – learned how to play the game at East Lake, which opened in 1904.

The Tour Championship will be televised on Thursday and Friday on the Golf Channel, beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern time. NBC will pick up the coverage on the weekend, starting at 2 p.m. Eastern Saturday and 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

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