Straight from PGA Tour.com ~ How to win the FedEx Cup!


Scenarios: What the final 30 need to win

Each of the 30 players in the field at next week’s TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola has a chance to win the FedExCup. There are thousands of possibilities that would allow each player to win, especially when ties are taken into account. However, for simplicity some likely scenarios are shown below.
FedExCup.jpg

Any of the top five players will win the FedExCup with a win at the TOUR Championship. The remaining 25 players can still win, but must get help from players at the top of the standings.

The scenarios below are not all-inclusive but do give an indication of some possibilities for each player to win the FedExCup.

Asterisks denote a finish combination that results in a tie in the final FedExCup points standings, in which case the winner will be decided in a sudden-death playoff immediately following completion of THE TOUR Championship.

FEDEXCUP: Tracker | Top 5 history | Reset points | Point distribution | Standings | Guidebook | Bonus money

Scenarios to win the FedExCup
No. 1 Rory McIlroy
• If he wins the TOUR Championship he wins the Cup
• Has a reasonable chance of winning with a top-5 finish
• Can finish as low as 29th and still have a mathematical chance of winning
No. 2 Tiger Woods
• If he wins the TOUR Championship he wins the Cup
• Has a reasonable chance of winning with a top-3 finish
• Can finish as low as a 3-way tie for 6th and still have a mathematical chance of winning
No. 3 Nick Watney
• If he wins the TOUR Championship he wins the Cup
• Has a reasonable chance of winning with a 2nd place finish
• Can finish as low as T-4 and still have a mathematical chance of winning
No. 4 Phil Mickelson
• If he wins the TOUR Championship he wins the Cup
• Has a reasonable chance of winning with a 2nd place finish
• Can finish as low as T-3 and still have a mathematical chance of winning
No. 5 Brandt Snedeker
• If he wins the TOUR Championship he wins the Cup
• Can finish as low as a 3-way tie for 2nd and still have a mathematical chance of winning
No. 6 Louis Oosthuizen
• Wins the TOUR Championship
And …
• Rory McIlroy (No. 1) finishes T2 or worse
• Can Finish T-2 and still have a mathematical chance of winning the Cup
No. 7 Dustin Johnson
• Wins the TOUR Championship
And …
• Rory McIlroy (No. 1) finishes in a 3-way tie for 2nd or worse
• Tiger Woods (No. 2) finishes T-2 or worse
No. 8 Lee Westwood
• Wins the TOUR Championship
And …
• Rory McIlroy (No. 1) finishes 3rd* or worse
• Tiger Woods (No. 2) finishes T-2* or worse
• Nick Watney (No. 3) finishes 2nd* or worse
*Tie for the FedExCup
No. 9 Zach Johnson
• Wins the TOUR Championship
And …
• Rory McIlroy (No. 1) finishes in a 3-way tie for 3rd or worse
• Tiger Woods (No. 2) finishes 3rd or worse
• Nick Watney (No. 3) finishes T-2 or worse
• Phil Mickelson (No. 4) finishes 2nd* or worse
*Tie for the FedExCup
No. 10 Jason Dufner
• Wins the TOUR Championship
And …
• Rory McIlroy (No. 1) finishes 5th or worse
• Tiger Woods (No. 2) finishes in a 3-way tie for 3rd or worse
• Nick Watney (No. 3) finishes in a 3-way tie for 2nd or worse
• Phil Mickelson (No. 4) finishes in T-2 or worse
• Brandt Snedeker (No. 5) finishes 2nd* or worse
*Tie for the FedExCup
No. 11 Bubba Watson
• Wins the TOUR Championship
And …
• Rory McIlroy (No. 1) finishes T-6 or worse
• Tiger Woods (No. 2) finishes T-4 or worse
• Nick Watney (No. 3) finishes T-3 or worse
• Phil Mickelson (No. 4) finishes in a 3-way tie for 2nd or worse
• Brandt Snedeker (No. 5) finishes T-2 or worse
No. 12 Sergio Garcia
• Wins the TOUR Championship
And …
• Rory McIlroy (No. 1) finishes in a 3-way tie for 6th or worse
• Tiger Woods (No. 2) finishes T-4 or worse
• Nick Watney (No. 3) finishes T-3 or worse
• Phil Mickelson (No. 4) finishes in a 3-way tie for 2nd or worse
• Brandt Snedeker (No. 5) finishes T-2 or worse
No. 13 Steve Stricker
• Wins the TOUR Championship
And …
• Rory McIlroy (No. 1) finishes T-7 or worse
• Tiger Woods (No. 2) finishes T-4 or worse
• Nick Watney (No. 3) finishes T-3 or worse
• Phil Mickelson (No. 4) finishes in a 3-way tie for 2nd or worse
• Brandt Snedeker (No. 5) finishes T-2 or worse
No. 14 Keegan Bradley
• Wins the TOUR Championship
And …
• Rory McIlroy (No. 1) finishes T-8 or worse
• Tiger Woods (No. 2) finishes T-4 or worse
• Nick Watney (No. 3) finishes T-3 or worse
• Phil Mickelson (No. 4) finishes in a 3-way tie for 2nd or worse
• Brandt Snedeker (No. 5) finishes T-2 or worse
No. 15 Luke Donald
• Wins the TOUR Championship
And …
• Rory McIlroy (No. 1) finishes 9th* or worse
• Tiger Woods (No. 2) finishes 4th* or worse
• Nick Watney (No. 3) finishes T-3 or worse
• Phil Mickelson (No. 4) finishes in a 3-way tie for 2nd or worse
• Brandt Snedeker (No. 5) finishes T-2 or worse
*Tie for the FedExCup
No. 16 Matt Kuchar
• Wins the TOUR Championship
And …
• Rory McIlroy (No. 1) finishes in a 3-way tie for 9th or worse
• Tiger Woods (No. 2) finishes in a 3-way tie for 4th or worse
• Nick Watney (No. 3) finishes T-3 or worse
• Phil Mickelson (No. 4) finishes 3rd or worse
• Brandt Snedeker (No. 5) finishes T-2 or worse
No. 17 Carl Pettersson
• Wins the TOUR Championship
And …
• Rory McIlroy (No. 1) finishes in a 3-way tie for 10th or worse
• Tiger Woods (No. 2) finishes in a 3-way tie for 4th or worse
• Nick Watney (No. 3) finishes in a 3-way tie for 3rd or worse
• Phil Mickelson (No. 4) finishes 3rd or worse
• Brandt Snedeker (No. 5) finishes T-2 or worse
No. 18 Jim Furyk
• Wins the TOUR Championship
And …
• Rory McIlroy (No. 1) finishes T-11 or worse
• Tiger Woods (No. 2) finishes 5th or worse
• Nick Watney (No. 3) finishes in a 3-way tie for 3rd or worse
• Phil Mickelson (No. 4) finishes 3rd or worse
• Brandt Snedeker (No. 5) finishes in a 3-way tie for 2nd or worse
No. 19 Bo Van Pelt
• Wins the TOUR Championship
And …
• Rory McIlroy (No. 1) finishes T-12 or worse
• Tiger Woods (No. 2) finishes 5th or worse
• Nick Watney (No. 3) finishes in a 3-way tie for 3rd or worse
• Phil Mickelson (No. 4) finishes 3rd or worse
• Brandt Snedeker (No. 5) finishes in a 3-way tie for 2nd or worse
• Louis Oosthuizen (No. 6) finishes T-2 or worse
No. 20 Robert Garrigus
No. 20 Robert Garrigus
• Wins the TOUR Championship
And …
• Rory McIlroy (No. 1) finishes in a 3-way tie for 12th or worse
• Tiger Woods (No. 2) finishes 5th or worse
• Nick Watney (No. 3) finishes in a 3-way tie for 3rd or worse
• Phil Mickelson (No. 4) finishes 3rd or worse
• Brandt Snedeker (No. 5) finishes in a 3-way tie for 2nd or worse
• Louis Oosthuizen (No. 6) finishes T-2 or worse
No. 21 Adam Scott
• Wins the TOUR Championship
And …
• Rory McIlroy (No. 1) finishes 13th* or worse
• Tiger Woods (No. 2) finishes 5th* or worse
• Nick Watney (No. 3) finishes in a 3-way tie for 3rd or worse
• Phil Mickelson (No. 4) finishes 3rd* or worse
• Brandt Snedeker (No. 5) finishes in a 3-way tie for 2nd or worse
• Louis Oosthuizen (No. 6) finishes T-2 or worse
*Tie for the FedExCup
No. 22 Ernie Els
• Wins the TOUR Championship
And …
• Rory McIlroy (No. 1) finishes in a 3-way tie for 13th or worse
• Tiger Woods (No. 2) finishes T-5 or worse
• Nick Watney (No. 3) finishes in a 3-way tie for 3rd or worse
• Phil Mickelson (No. 4) finishes T-3 or worse
• Brandt Snedeker (No. 5) finishes in a 3-way tie for 2nd or worse
• Louis Oosthuizen (No. 6) finishes T-2 or worse
No. 23 Hunter Mahan
• Wins the TOUR Championship
And …
• Rory McIlroy (No. 1) finishes 15th* or worse
• Tiger Woods (No. 2) finishes T-5 or worse
• Nick Watney (No. 3) finishes in a 3-way tie for 3rd or worse
• Phil Mickelson (No. 4) finishes T-3 or worse
• Brandt Snedeker (No. 5) finishes in a 3-way tie for 2nd or worse
• Louis Oosthuizen (No. 6) finishes T-2 or worse
*Tie for the FedExCup
No. 24 Justin Rose
• Wins the TOUR Championship
And …
• Rory McIlroy (No. 1) finishes 17th* or worse
• Tiger Woods (No. 2) finishes in a 3-way tie for 5th or worse
• Nick Watney (No. 3) finishes in a 3-way tie for 3rd or worse
• Phil Mickelson (No. 4) finishes T-3 or worse
• Brandt Snedeker (No. 5) finishes in a 3-way tie for 2nd or worse
• Louis Oosthuizen (No. 6) finishes T-2 or worse
*Tie for the FedExCup
No. 25 Webb Simpson
• Wins the TOUR Championship
And …
• Rory McIlroy (No. 1) finishes 19th* or worse
• Tiger Woods (No. 2) finishes in a 3-way tie for 5th or worse
• Nick Watney (No. 3) finishes 4th or worse
• Phil Mickelson (No. 4) finishes T-3 or worse
• Brandt Snedeker (No. 5) finishes in a 3-way tie for 2nd or worse
• Louis Oosthuizen (No. 6) finishes T-2 or worse
*Tie for the FedExCup
No. 26 John Huh
• Wins the TOUR Championship
And …
• Rory McIlroy (No. 1) finishes 21st* or worse
• Tiger Woods (No. 2) finishes 6th* or worse
• Nick Watney (No. 3) finishes 4th* or worse
• Phil Mickelson (No. 4) finishes T-3 or worse
• Brandt Snedeker (No. 5) finishes in a 3-way tie for 2nd or worse
• Louis Oosthuizen (No. 6) finishes T-2 or worse
*Tie for the FedExCup
No. 27 Rickie Fowler
• Wins the TOUR Championship
And …
• Rory McIlroy (No. 1) finishes 23rd* or worse
• Tiger Woods (No. 2) finishes T-6 or worse
• Nick Watney (No. 3) finishes T-4 or worse
• Phil Mickelson (No. 4) finishes T-3 or worse
• Brandt Snedeker (No. 5) finishes in a 3-way tie for 2nd or worse
• Louis Oosthuizen (No. 6) finishes T-2 or worse
*Tie for the FedExCup
No. 28 Ryan Moore
• Wins the TOUR Championship
And …
• Rory McIlroy (No. 1) finishes 25th* or worse
• Tiger Woods (No. 2) finishes T-6 or worse
• Nick Watney (No. 3) finishes T-4 or worse
• Phil Mickelson (No. 4) finishes T-3 or worse
• Brandt Snedeker (No. 5) finishes in a 3-way tie for 2nd or worse
• Louis Oosthuizen (No. 6) finishes T-2 or worse
*Tie for the FedExCup
No. 29 John Senden
• Wins the TOUR Championship
And …
• Rory McIlroy (No. 1) finishes 27th* or worse
• Tiger Woods (No. 2) finishes in a 3-way tie for 6th or worse
• Nick Watney (No. 3) finishes T-4 or worse
• Phil Mickelson (No. 4) finishes T-3 or worse
• Brandt Snedeker (No. 5) finishes in a 3-way tie for 2nd or worse
• Louis Oosthuizen (No. 6) finishes T-2 or worse
*Tie for the FedExCup
No. 30 Scott Piercy
• Wins the TOUR Championship
And …
• Rory McIlroy (No. 1) finishes 29th* or worse
• Tiger Woods (No. 2) finishes in a 3-way tie for 6th or worse
• Nick Watney (No. 3) finishes T-4 or worse
• Phil Mickelson (No. 4) finishes T-3 or worse
• Brandt Snedeker (No. 5) finishes in a 3-way tie for 2nd or worse
• Louis Oosthuizen (No. 6) finishes T-2 or worse
*Tie for the FedExCup
Chicago Golf Guy’s 2 Cents: 
I am a firm believer that if Rory plays like he has been playing the last four weeks then there is no stopping the Rory McIlroy frieght train.  Please keep your hands and feet in the car at all times, and hang out for that $10 millinon dollar check.  However, anyone in the top four can win the Tour Championship and win the FedEx Cup.  That is why it is so important to be in the top 4 or 5 because without that placement going into the final stretch of the PGA Tour Playoffs you reduce your chances to win.  And by reduce I mean that you have to win and have other players finish in certain spots in order for you to win the FedEx Cup.  For example, last years winner Bill Hass had to have the top five players finish in all sorts of places in order for him to end up on top.  I am a firm believer that our FedEx Cup winer will come from the top four spots:  Rory, Tiger, or Phil ( I don’t think Watney has it in him).  What a finish??!!! If you would have said at the end of the year we are going to have Rory, Tiger and Phil, the three most popular and dominante players in modern golf, are going to have one tournament to decide this ultimate winner…well it makes for a great TV Movie on the Golf Channel.

3 Comments

  1. There are a few errors in this, I’m pretty sure, which I will explain. I’ve already emailed and phoned the Tour to report these errors, but so far no reply. They probably have thousands of feedback comments per day and may be forced to basically ignore them if they don’t have the manpower or right people in place to sort between B.S. comments and real helpful feedback.

    Basically, the errors are with the statements regarding #2-#6 and how low they can finish and “still have a mathematical chance of winning.” The way to figure this out is to take the reset points going into the tournament and then look at the playoff points awarded during the tournament.

    The reset points table can be found here: http://www.pgatour.com/2012/fedexcup…set/index.html

    The playoff points table can be found here: http://www.pgatour.com/2012/fedexcup…set/index.html

    So…from these two tables one can figure out that the lowest POSSIBLE number of points to win the Fedex Cup is 2710. This is determined by the reset points of #30 which is 210 plus the points for winning the tournament…2500. Someone has to win…right? And whoever wins will end up with 2710 or more points.

    So…the statement that Rory has a chance of winning if he finishes in 29th is correct. If he finishes in SOLO 29th, he would get 210 points, which added to his 2500 reset points would give him 2710 points…the same as #30 (Scott Piercy) would have if he won the tournament. So…the small mathematical possibility of Rory winning with a solo 29th finish would require that Scott Piercy wins the tournament and then Rory beats Scott in a sudden death (I think) playoff for the Fedex Cup.

    The errors are for players #2-#6. Starting with Tiger Woods (#2) the statement is made that he “Can finish as low as a 3-way tie for 6th and still have a mathematical chance of winning” Now lets look at the numbers. He has 2250 reset points. If he finished in a 3 way tie for 6th he would get (500+450+425) / 3 = 458.33 points. This would give him 2708.33 points for the Fedex Cup competition, which is just shy of the 2710 that is the lowest possible winning total.

    Following the same logic, if #3, Nick Watney finished in a two-way tie for 4th he would have only 2650 points.

    If #4, Phil Mickelson finished in a two-way tie for 3rd, he would end up with only 2675 points.

    If #5, Brandt Snedeker finished in a 3 way tie for 2nd, he would have only 2683 points.

    If #6, Louis Oosthuizen finished in a 2 way way for 2nd, he would have only 2650 points.

    In every case…these point totals fall short of 2710, which is the least possible number of points to win the Fedex Cup.

    If you doubt my analysis, just look at what the scenario says for #30, Scott Piercy:

    No. 30 Scott Piercy
    • Wins the TOUR Championship
    And …
    • Rory McIlroy (No. 1) finishes 29th* or worse
    • Tiger Woods (No. 2) finishes in a 3-way tie for 6th or worse
    • Nick Watney (No. 3) finishes T-4 or worse
    • Phil Mickelson (No. 4) finishes T-3 or worse
    • Brandt Snedeker (No. 5) finishes in a 3-way tie for 2nd or worse
    • Louis Oosthuizen (No. 6) finishes T-2 or worse

    Note that the comments for Scott Piercy winning are exactly the same regarding players #1-#6 as has previously been listed for each of these players having a mathematical chance of winning. The prior statements about #2-#6’s mathematical chance of winning and the analysis of what it would take for Scott Piercy to win can’t both be right…they a contradictory.

    So…I think the correct statements regarding #2-#6 are as follows.

    #2 Tiger Woods can finish as low as a 2-way (not 3-way) tie for 6th.
    #3 Nick Watney can finish as low as solo 4th (not T4).
    #4 Phil Mickelson can finish as low as solo 3rd (not T3).
    #5 Brandt Snedeker can finish as low a a 2-way (not 3-way) tie for 2nd.
    #6 Louis Oosthuizen can finish as low as solo 2nd (not T2).

    If anyone can help to get this message into the right hands at the PGA Tour (or have any comments) that would be great.

      1. Bill:
        I’m glad you’re impressed:) I was a math major in college and have dealt with numbers my whole life…lots of Lotus 123 and then Excel spreadsheets:) The math here wasn’t really very difficult. I was just curious about how they determined when someone had a mathematical chance of winning, so I went to the PGA Tour website and figured it out…probably all in about 30 minutes.

        I was expecting my analysis to agree with their statements and was surprised to find out that they didn’t in the case of players #2-#6. Then I left feedback on the PGA Tour website but got no response. I finally got to the right guy by searching for PGA Tour people on the LinkedIn website. I left several people a message that I noticed some “potential” errors and someone gave me the email address whose department was responsible for the web article.

        He got back to me and agreed that there were errors and that my calculations and revised statements were correct. He said they will fix the article, but since I showed them there were errors for #2-#6 he said they were first going to double-check all their other statements. He sent me a large .pdf file which must have originally started out an an Excel spreadsheet. They calculate the possible final Fedex Cup points for each player by considering 10 way ties for each place…e.g. a 10 way tie for 2nd, 10 way tie for 3rd, etc. all the way down to a 2 way tie for 29th. I could see from this .pdf file that they had their numbers correct on this spreadsheet but they had made a mistake in taking some of the key information from it to the web article.

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