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PGA Tour Confidential: Can Rory McIlroy capture the Tour Championship?

Rory McIlroy
Stan Badz/Getty Images
Rory McIlroy has won three of his last four starts on the PGA Tour.

Every Sunday night, the editorial staff of the SI Golf Group conducts an e-mail roundtable. Check in every week for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors and join the conversation in the comments section below.

RORY OR BUST?
Ryan Reiterman, senior producer, Golf.com: Let's get to this week's main event -- The Tour Championship. The first three playoff events have been awesome. Rory McIlroy has won two straight titles, and three of his last four events. But because of the revamped FedEx points system, he's not a lock to win the FedEx Cup. Will it be a letdown if McIlroy doesn't win the FedEx Cup this week?

Charlie Hanger, executive editor, Golf.com: I'm torn on this one. It does seem crazy that Rory's points are reset and he's got a relatively small lead after everything he's done in the playoffs. But that's also the thing that makes this the most like a real playoff. If the Patriots go 16-0 and lose their first playoff game, they're out. If the Yankees win the division by 20 games and lose in their first series, they're out. Your great season isn't complete until you win the last thing, and that's what this system is forcing Rory to do.

Mike Walker, senior editor, Golf Magazine: Absolutely not. It's a playoff. Each event has to count, and the last event needs to be the most dynamic in terms of giving the 30 who made it this far a chance.

Stephanie Wei, contributor, SI Golf+: It obviously isn't a playoff! As we've seen, you can miss an entire "playoff" event and still win the FedEx Cup. And can anyone read the scenarios? It's way too complicated. Match play at the Tour Championship would lend it more credence.

Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: It will be more weirdness for, all together now, A POINT SYSTEM THAT MAKES NO BLOODY SENSE.

Mark Godich, senior editor, Sports Illustrated: I've got no problem with it, and I bet Rory doesn't either. He's probably relishing the opportunity to complete the hat trick.

Jim Herre, managing editor, SI Golf Group: The playoffs have breathed some life into the Tour Championship, which had been a pretty dead event prior. I don't think it matters who wins.

David Dusek, deputy editor, Golf.com: If Nick Watney wins the Tour Championship, at least he would have won two of the four playoff events to earn the Cup. But if Brandt Snedeker were to win the Tour Championship, he'd take the Cup with just one playoff win. I understand that he would've won the "right" tournament, but it would still seem pretty odd for his one win to trump Rory's two.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below: Do you like the FedEx Cup points system?

CUP PREDICTIONS
Reiterman: Let's hear your picks. Who wins the Tour Championship, and who wins the $10 million?

Bamberger: Rory, and he wins a lot more than $10 million. Which is nice.

Herre: I'm going to take Tiger to sweep. He's been in the picture throughout and is playing well. Plus, it'd be good for the U.S. Ryder Cup effort if he goes in with a big win.

Reiterman: I'll also take Tiger for the sweep.

Hanger: Of course none of us has any idea, but if we're ever going to get one right, this week the odds are in our favor with only 30 guys to choose from. I think Dufner wins the tourney and Tiger takes the Cup.

Godich: And if that happens, Bamberger will really be scratching his head. Rory loses the $10 million to a guy who didn't win a playoff event?

Wei: Wake me when it gets down to the last few holes on Sunday, but only if it's going to be a close call (which it usually is). It's just millionaires trying to pad their bank accounts with another $10 million plus. But I'll pick safe and say Rory and Rory.

Dusek: Phil Mickelson will win both.

Walker: I think Mickelson will take the $10 million, and he'll need every cent to rebuild the Padres.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below: Who will win the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup?

TEACHER AND STUDENT
Reiterman: In an article in the October issue of Golf Magazine, guest editor Johnny Miller says Tiger Woods's people once approached him about helping Woods with his short irons. But Miller says he turned down the offer because he didn't feel like he could give Woods his full attention. A lot of our readers cried foul on Miller. Do you believe Johnny? And if they ever did happen to work together, do you think Miller could really help Woods?

Herre: Early in his career, Woods did have an issue with distance control with his wedges (the problem cropped up again recently). And Miller was one of the best short-iron players ever. You have to take Johnny at his word. He's never been one to make false statements.

Godich: I don't know why Miller would have said it if it wasn't true. Could he have helped Tiger? Probably, but with the whole thing about Tiger's owning his own swing, Johnny would've eventually met the same fate as Tiger's other former swing coaches.

Hanger: I believe it's true. Would Johnny have been a good coach for Tiger? I'm sure Johnny thinks so, but I'm not sure those two egos could've coexisted peacefully.

Walker: The Johnny Miller Project starring Tiger Woods? I'd DVR that, but I'm not sure Miller could help. It seems now like Tiger's issue is confidence, not technique.

Wei: I like Johnny, but I can't see him and Tiger mixing well. I feel second-hand awkwardness just thinking about those two having a conversation.

Bamberger: I believe him, but I'm guessing he conflated it. Tiger's people? It would have been Earl or Butch, and more than likely they were just looking for an afternoon, not a long commitment. I think it looks ungracious, to bring it up now. It's vain. But it's typical of Johnny. He just says ... whatever. And I like him for that.

Godich: The only thing that would've made it better is if Johnny had said, "It's a process, and I just didn't have the time to watch Tiger hit a million balls ... or more."

Dusek: I would not be surprised if it were true, and I don't doubt that Miller could have helped Woods improve his iron play early in his career. Miller was one of the greatest iron players of all time, and that doesn't happen by accident. The real question is whether or not Miller could have "taught" Tiger (or anyone else) rather than simply explained and hoped that Woods could put into practice what Johnny knows.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below: Would you like to see Johnny Miller work with Tiger Woods?

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