After many weeks of speculation, the FedEx Cup 2017 has now been wrapped up, with Justin Thomas taking his first career win in the playoffs. Although Justin didn’t win the final championship, he put in a good enough performance, and accrued enough points in the playoffs tournaments, leaving him more than 600 points ahead of Jordan Spieth. It’s great news for Justin’s career, and we can now start to speculate about how far this player will go. With some other surprising performances from the tournament, there’s a lot to think about as we get ready to wind down and prepare for the next PGA Tour season.
Playoffs: Justin Thomas Asserted Himself as a Top Golfer
A number of people had picked Jordan Spieth to win the FedEx Cup playoffs this year. Some had favored Dustin Johnson. While, Justin Thomas was always in contention, he wasn’t always being named as the clear favorite, which seems strange if you look at his record from the season. Justin Started off the season winning at the CIMB Classic, beating Hideki Matsuyama by three strokes. Again, at the SBS Tournament of Champions, he bet Matsuyama by the same margin. Justin then went on to win the Sony Open in Hawaii in January, the PGA Championship in August, and the Dell Technologies Championship (his only 1st place in the playoffs) in early September. Justin showed consistency all throughout the year, and this is definitely what helped him to stay ahead of Jordan Spieth in the playoffs rankings.Thomas has been a complete revelation this year, and he should become a betting favorite in the next season. It’s not just his consistency that makes him a fun and often rewarding bet, but it’s also the way that he plays. He can perform well under pressure, which we have seen numerous times throughout 2017. His playing has elevated him to 4th place in the Official World Golf Ranking, after being placed 22nd at the end of 2016. His wins throughout this year, as well as his 12 Top 10 finishes, mean that he’s going to be an important player to watch when the 2018 PGA Tour season gets underway.
Xander Schauffele Surprised Everyone at the TOUR Championship
Xander Schauffele made his way to the final round of the FedEx Cup playoffs, and surprised everyone by winning at the TOUR Championship. For a player than is just 32nd in the Official World Golf Ranking, this is a huge achievement, and it will be a massive boost to Schauffele as he prepares for the 2018 season.Schauffele hasn’t been consistent this year, but he has delivered at the times when it matters the most. He placed T5 at the U.S. Open earlier this year, and won at The Greenbrier Classic. His win at the TOUR Championship puts him in elite company, and it will be exciting to see how much he can build on this momentum in 2018. For a young golfer that only experienced his first win in 2017, winning at the final event of the FedEx Cup is a huge achievement. Schauffele was worried about keeping his PGA Tour card earlier this year. With this result, it’s clear that the rookie is going to be in the Tour for 2018.Schauffele was somewhat lost for words after winning the TOUR Championship. He told the media “My hands were shaking so much. I’m still kind of in shock.” He continued, “I’m a little speechless. I thought I’d missed the putt to win the tournament and fortunately it just lipped in. I was very relaxed for most of the day and got really nervous when I saw the leaderboard on 16.”
Rory McIlroy Had a Disappointing Finish, and Season as a Whole
Rory McIlroy was still an outside favorite going into the FedEx Cup playoffs, but optimism from fans didn’t ultimately translate into results.McIlroy finished 58th in the FedEx Cup rankings, although he still remains 6th overall in the Official World Golf Rankings. In 2017, he didn’t win a single tournament, and only managed to finish six times inside the Top 10. He was T4 at The Open Championship, T4 at the World Colf Championships-HSBC Champions Tournament, and T4 at the Arnold Palmner Invitational. This year was always going to be difficult, as McIlroy came back from injury recovery. Things just haven’t seemed to go his way this year, which is in stark contrast to him winning the FedEx Cup in 2016. In 2018 McIlroy will have a new caddy, and will come well rested and ready to again start building on his career achievements so far. It’s notable that he’s not the only player to have hit a slump this year. Jason Day also had a year to forget. Ranked 7th in the Official World Golf Rankings, the Australian failed to win a tournament this year, although he did come a close runner up at the AT&T Byron Nelson tournament. His next best were 4th at the BMW Championship, and T5 at the AT&T Pebble Beack Pro-Am. Day also had problems with his caddy this year, parting ways with his long serving caddy, coach, and mentor.
Final FedEx Cup Standings
The PGA Tour will be back underway in early October, beginning with the Safeway Open at the Silverado Resort and Spa in Napa, California. Until the new season starts, here are the final top 10 players from this year’s playoffs.
- Justin Thomas – 5 Wins in 2017
- Jordan Spieth – 3 Wins in 2017
- Xander Schauffele – 2 Wins in 2017
- Dustin Johnson – 4 Wins in 2017
- Jon Rahm – 1 Win in 2017
- Marc Leishman – 2 Wins in 2017
- Rickie Fowler – 1 Win in 2017
- Hideki Matsuyama – 3 Wins in 2017
- Justin Rose – No Wins in 2017
- Brooks Koepka – 1 Win in 2017