While most minds may have already moved to Minnesota for the biennial Ryder Cup matches, there are still 18 more holes to play in the PGA Tour season and a whollllllle lot of cash to give out in Atlanta. The final round of the final leg of the FedExCup Playoffs, the Tour Championship, will tee off just before Noon at East Lake.
The FedExCup has injected a lot of life into what was once a dead and almost meaningless late-season schedule. The last major, the PGA Championship, would end in mid-August, then everyone would look around and mutter, "well, now what?" So while the FedExCup has definitely taken its fair share of potshots over the years, the formula and endeavor is admirable and worth watching.
It doesn't have the resonance of the majors or the other top events in the game, but it's still young -- just 10 years old -- and its prominence will build as the traditions take root and there's more history. This week, however, the FedExCup finale has proceeded quietly while all the hype and focus centers on the Ryder Cup. Having a 12th and final team member TBD on Sunday night didn't help slow down all the Ryder Cup discussion, as every round of those hopefuls gets viewed through that lens.
Given the power that's at the top of the leaderboard, Sunday's final round should take some of that shine back on the season's final round. Dustin Johnson is still on the lead, sharing it at 8-under with Kevin Chappell. Those two will be out in the final pairing again at East Lake, but right behind them is Rory McIlroy, who is now just two shots off the pace. A McIlroy-DJ back-and-forth on the final Sunday of the season would be a perfect way to end it and actually, maybe, possibly, might attract some viewers at the end who are sick of the NFL and its attendant head traumas? Maybe? Please?
NBC will have the final round coverage, expanding their normal Sunday block to go live at 1:30 p.m. ET. There are just 15 twosomes, so the pace of play should be brisk with DJ and Chappell just off before 2 p.m. ET. That sets up a finish just before 6 p.m. ET and then the presentation of that outrageous $10 million bonus check. If DJ or Rory win this instant tournament at hand, then they automatically win the overall FedExCup Playoffs and add that bonus money to their already enormous career earnings.
Here's the full media schedule for Sunday in Atlanta:
Sunday's final-round coverage
Noon to 1:30 p.m. — Golf Channel
1:30 to 6 p.m. — NBC
11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. — PGA Tour Live featured holes stream at 1st/6th/18th holes
Noon to 6 p.m. — Golf Channel/NBC Sports LiveExtra simulcast stream
1 to 6 p.m. — PGA Tour Radio on Sirius-XM (Ch. 92/208 and streamed here)
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