The final event of the 2016-17 PGA Tour season is upon us. Who will win the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup title? We asked our experts.
Alan Shipnuck: DJ is going to win. After being a bust in the majors he’s highly motivated to salvage what, in the spring, looked like would be a season for the ages. If he takes the Tour Championship that’s five big-time victories, plus the FedEx Cup and a stranglehold on the top spot in the World Rankings. That’s a damn good year.
Sean Zak: Jordan Spieth is going to win. I’ve come to the conclusion that any course that doesn’t drastically favor the bombers is a course that favors Spieth against the entire field. That’s what East Lake seems to be. Statistically speaking, he’s played almost as well as he did in 2015 (when he just so happened to win at East Lake). His worst rounds are par, his best rounds five or six under. There is no more logical answer here.
Josh Sens: I’m with Spock, I mean, Zak, here: Spieth is the highly logical choice. Certain courses may favor certain horses, but golf always favors the hottest player, and with the possible exception of Justin Thomas, no one has played better golf over the span of the season than Spieth. Of course, any of the guys within reach of the title could catch fire this week and snatch it away, but Spieth is the odds-on favorite for good reason.
Jeff Ritter: JT has been the season’s best player start to finish, and that PGA Championship win has added some swagger. I think he might see himself as an underdog this week, and have a hunch he’ll rise to the head-to-head pairing with his buddy Jordan and cap a POY season with a win.
Joe Passov: Jordan Spieth will win the 2017 Tour Championship. He’s the only past winner in recent memory who’s entered, and he also has a runner-up at East Lake. It’s a venue that doesn’t over-reward the bombers. And I think while Spieth is happy for his pal Justin Thomas’s successes, the competitor in him wants to beat JT out for POY.
Josh Berhow: Go with the hot hand, right? That means Marc Leishman makes it two victories in a row and picks up one giant payday.
Alan Bastable: I’m all in on Duf, the last man in the field. For him to win the $10 mil, lots needs to happen, of course — he needs to win and then have Spieth finish 29th or worse, Thomas in a three-way tie for sixth or worse, Johnson T4 or worse, Leishman T3 or worse, Rahm in a three-way tie for second or worse and Fowler T2 or worse — but just imagine if he won the “playoffs” with just one top-15 finish over four events. It might be just enough silliness to convince the Tour to blow up the format.
Dylan Dethier: Gimme Kevin Chappell. I liked his moxie in the final round at the Valero, where he shot 68 on a tough day and birdied the 72nd to win by one. He likes East Lake — he lost in a playoff in his debut here last year — and he’ll be fired up for revenge. Plus, at 30-1, Chappell is going to bring you a nice return Sunday evening. Oh, and Spieth takes care of business with another top-five finish to claim that $10 mil. La di dah.