2014 TOUR Championship Preview: The Ringo Starrs
Beatles’ drummer Ringo Starr once endeared himself to a generation of American music fans by proclaiming upon arrival in the United States that he was simply “happy to be here”.
That’s the motif for the last three men in the field of 29 playing for the TOUR Championship title beginning Thursday in Atlanta. Neither Gary Woodland, Brendon Todd, nor Hideki Matsuyama can win the overall FedEx Cup title regardless of how well they do this weekend, but the honor of making it all the way through the grueling four-week playoff, the chance to still win major money and the final tournament of the PGA season, and the right to say they are among the best 29 golfers this season is plenty of motivation.
Here’s Part 3 of our breakdown on the TOUR Championship field:
Just Happy to Be Here (Players who cannot win the overall title, even with a tournament win)
Brendon Todd – Points: 1812; Wins: 1 – Byron Nelson; Top 10s: 7 (one win, Humana Challenge, Valero Texas Open, The Colonial, The Memorial, Quicken Loans National, The Greenbrier); Analysis: Looked great for a 6-week stretch in which he won Byron Nelson and had four other Top 10 finishes in five events. Cooled off at the British Open, and hasn’t had a finish inside the top 35 since. Ace in the Hole: Even if he won the tournament, he’d be two points behind current No. 1 Chris Kirk, so he has nothing to lose.
Hideki Matsuyama – Points: 1780; Wins:1 – The Memorial; Top 10s: 4 (one win, Fry’s.com, Waste Management Phoenix Open; The Colonial); Analysis: The only Asian player to make it this far, the 22-year-old Matsuyama bombed two rounds at Deutsche Bank or he’d have a chance to make some real noise this weekend. Ace in the Hole: He’s 22 years old, only Spieth is younger in this field.
Gary Woodland – Points: 1777; Wins: 0; Top 10s: 4 (CIMB Classic, Farmers Insurance Open, Valspar, Byron Nelson); Analysis: Seemed likely to get cut pretty early, but his he’s finished in the top 30 of all three FedEx tournaments, including 13th at the Barclays. Ace in the Hole: Because of the odd numbers of players in the field (Dustin Johnson done for the season), Woodland gets to play the first two rounds without a partner.