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Rory McIlroy on brink of $10m FedEx bonanza

by Sean Goff | September 20, 2012
Rory McIlroy

GOLD-EN BOY : McIlroy is closing in on a $10m pay day but dreams of Olympic gold  (pic: Inpho)

By Sean Goff | Golf

Rory McIlroy heads 30 players in the $5.6m Tour Championship at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta today. It’s the final leg of the FedEx Cup.

World No1 McIlroy is on the brink of a $10m bonanza after winning two of the first three events that count towards the FedEx Cup in the final tournament before the Ryder Cup showdown at Medinah from Sep28-30.

But Tiger Woods is ready to pounce and is stalking the Irish British European star in the FedEx standings ahead of the final tournament in the series. His top five finishes behind McIlroy at the Deutsche Bank Open in Boston and the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick have kept him in the hunt.

Woods has finished second at East Lake four times and will go head-to-head with Rory again today. Playing with the young pretender to his throne seems to bring out the best in Woods who has posted the lowest score in six out of the eight rounds they’ve played.

McIlroy MBS

Woods needs to beat McIlroy to leapfrog him in the FedEx standings and pick up a $10m bounty of his own which – apart from his winning smile – should see him become golf’s most eligible bachelor again.

Barclays winner but Ryder Cup reject Nick Watney is third in the FedEx standings behind Woods with Phil Mickelson in fourth place and Brandt Snedeker in fifth.

Four-time Major winner Mickelson has won at East Lake twice (2000, 2009) so shouldn’t have to cut short any more family breaks (like he did before Royal Lytham) to get his Mojo working at this course. A good performance here could set Leftie up for a barnstorming Ryder Cup.

Brandt Snedeker didn’t drop a shot in the first two rounds of the Open Championship but then dropped quite a few, eventually finishing third to Ernie Els after Adam Scott’s final four-hole collapse.

Second to Watney at the Barclays and sixth to McIlroy at the Deutsche Bank Open his FedEx challenge stumbled at the BMW Championship where he finished tied for 37th. Snedeker finished T16th here last year.

Ryder Cup wildcard Jim Furyk won this tournament in 2010 and with it the FedEx Trophy.  Doesn’t (really) need to justify his Ryder Cup selection but a win here would put any question of his inclusion to bed. Until he tees off at Medinah.

McIlroy is going for a hat-trick of wins on Tour but there can be no slip-ups from the Holywood star in a field that has 22 winners in it.

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