The Tour Championship 2012 Preview: Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods Battle For $10 Million Prize

Sep 7, 2012; Carmel, IN, USA; Tiger Woods (left) and Rory McIlroy (right) talk on the 9th tee during the second round of the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick Golf Club. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE

Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Phil Mickelson all enter the TOUR Championship controlling their own destiny in the FedExCup.

The 2012 FedExCup comes to a close this week in Atlanta with the TOUR Championship. The top 30 players in the standings will tee it up at East Lake, the historic home of Bobby Jones. Only five of the 30 players control their own destiny, and those five are some of the biggest names in the game. Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Nick Watney, and Brandt Snedeker would all capture the $10 million Playoffs prize with a win in Atlanta.

McIlroy enters as the favorite after going back-to-back on the second and third legs of the playoffs. He's playing some of the best golf in the history of the game, and has an excellent chance to cap off an amazing month. McIlroy came over to the States at the beginning of August for a 10-week stretch and an opportunity to win his second career major, the $10 million FedExCup, and the Ryder Cup. He'll need to rely on 11 others for that last one, but he's on the doorstep of completing the first two tasks. Rory can finish as low as second-to-last and still have a mathematical chance to win it.

While McIlroy may have a stranglehold on the points standings, Woods can steal the spotlight with a win. His game has been steady and his form consistent, but despite being on the first page of the leaderboard throughout the Playoffs, he still has yet to get a win. It's the first time Woods has played at East Lake since 2009, but he's finished in the top two here an astonishing six times. A win would deliver him his third FedExCup, with the golf legend already boasting playoff wins in 2007 and 2009.

Unlike McIlroy and Woods, Mickelson has been all over the leaderboard over the past month. But he had a strong showing at the BMW and enters the week fourth in the standings. Mickelson is no stranger to success on this East Lake track, winning here twice, including 2009 when he and Woods held up dual trophies on the No. 18 green. Mickelson has been experimenting with an odd putting grip but he's had success with it and appears to be rounding into form for the Ryder Cup. A win would mean his first FedExCup.

It's rare to have so many of the biggest names in the game in the hunt, but Woods, McIlroy and Mickelson are unquestionably the top three stars in golf. All three have the ability to win $10 million and not have to rely on any other complex points scenarios or outside help, which should make for an incredible weekend in Atlanta.

Stay with this StoryStream for all your TOUR Championship updates. Visit SB Nation's golf hub for all your news on the FedExCup and the Ryder Cup.

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