The regular season on the PGA Tour has come to an end, and the FedEx Cup Playoffs are ready to begin Thursday at The Barclays.
This week marks the beginning of professional golf's postseason, as imperfect as many believe the system to be. Regardless of one's opinion on the FedEx Cup scoring system, it consistently manages to group the best players of the year in a mad-dash for a $10 million winner's purse culminating at the Tour Championship in Atlanta. And, as always, a plethora of storylines are shaping up to help golf fans along the way.
Tiger Woods is back in familiar form as the points-leader heading into this week's tournament at Bethpage Black in New York. Barring a complete breakdown in his game, Woods is basically guarenteed a spot in the first two stages of the current playoff system, which continues next week at the Deutsche Bank Championship near Boston. Tiger is looking to win his third career FedEx Cup championship.
Meanwhile, Rory McIlroy is in pursuit of his first career Cup title and currently sits in third place in the points standings. McIlroy is sure to be considered for Player of the Year honors (along with Woods) thanks to his strong play throughout most of the year, including his win at the PGA Championship earlier this month. Also of note: McIlory is within striking distance of Woods despite having played three fewer events (12 to 15, respectively).
Let's not forget about Jason Dufner, either. The slow-walking alum from Auburn has very quietly made his way into second place in the FedEx standings thanks to two victories this season in 19 events. He has also been one of the most consistent players on tour for more than a year, dating back to the 2011 PGA Championship where he lost to Keegan Bradley in a playoff on Sunday. Dufner is skipping this week's Barclays tournament to earn some much-needed rest, but he very well could overtake both Woods and McIlory for the cup championship when all is said and done.