FedEx Cup: SB Nation’s Playing Through predicts Tour Championship winner

ATLANTA — The final tournament of the PGA Tour regular season is here. The top 30 players in the FedEx Cup standings have arrived at East Lake Golf Club and will battle for the FedEx Cup.

The Tour Championship is unlike any other tour event. It has a unique format predicated on where players sit in the standings.

Whoever enters the week ranked first begins the tournament at 10-under par. Scottie Scheffler holds that title this year, as he did last year too.

Scheffler will go off in the final group Thursday with Viktor Hovland, who is ranked second. Hovland will start the championship at 8-under.

Starting scores then dwindle down the leaderboard, depending on where players are ranked, which is perfectly articulated in this graphic:

With so much on the line this weekend, we want to hear who you think will win. Let us know who you will believe will win the FedEx Cup?

With this in mind, let us now reveal who SB Nation’s Playing Through staff has selected to win the FedEx Cup in Atlanta:

Kendall Capps – Editor

Even though he is starting seven strokes back of Scheffler, I am going with Xander Schauffele to win the Tour Championship and FedEx Cup.

Only Tiger Woods has statistically ever played East Lake better than Schauffele. He owns this course. He won the 2017 Tour Championship, but that was before the tour adopted the current format.

His average score at East Lake: 66.63, more than three strokes under par. He has never recorded an over-par round during the Tour Championship but has shot an even-par 70 three times.

Schauffele’s exquisite scores have led him to finish in the top seven in the past six years, a remarkable feat. Plus, his current form is solid too. He has 11 top 20s over his last 14 tournaments.

By the end of Friday’s round, I think he will have knocked Scheffler’s lead to less than four shots and has a baller Sunday to steal the FedEx Cup.

Xander Schauffele speaks with the media ahead of the Tour Championship.
Photo by Keyur Khamar/PGA TOUR via Getty Images

Jack Milko – Staff Writer

I am going with Scottie Scheffler to win the FedEx Cup. He has the two-stroke advantage over Hovland and will cap off a historic season.

Scheffler has hit the ball better than anyone from tee-to-green in history not named Tiger Woods in 2006, per Justin Ray of The Athletic.

The former Texas Longhorn has gained 2.74 strokes since the beginning of the year. That is an incredible number considering he and Rory McIlroy are the only two players to gain more than 1.6 strokes from tee to green this season.

Plus, Scheffler has revenge on his mind.

Last year, he entered the Tour Championship ranked first in the standings and began the tournament at 10-under, but he lost to McIlroy as he struggled down the stretch on Sunday.

His rounds last year at East Lake: 5-under 65, 4-under 66, 4-under 66, 4-over 73.

Scheffler learned from his mistakes last year, as he gets the job done this time around.

Scottie Scheffler, PGA Tour, BMW Championship

Scottie Scheffler hits a tee shot during the final round of the 2023 BMW Championship.
Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Savannah Richardson – Staff Writer

I am going with the hot hand: Viktor Hovland.

His record-breaking round at Olympia Fields put the rest of the PGA Tour on notice. His 7-under 28 on the back nine was otherworldly, and after watching Hovland play a few holes during Tuesday’s practice round, I can see why he just won the BMW Championship.

He is stripping it.

Hovland has learned how to win this season too.

He defeated Denny McCarthy in a playoff at the Memorial Tournament in June and stormed from behind to take down Scheffler—the number one ranked player in the world—last weekend in Chicago. The young Norwegian can clearly win in multiple ways, as he will race by Scheffler again this weekend at East Lake.

Hovland’s confidence is sky-high too. He might even have the best form of any player at next month’s Ryder Cup, which could spell trouble for the Americans.

Viktor Hovland, PGA Tour, BMW Championship

Viktor Hovland poses with the J.K. Wadley Trophy after winning the 2023 BMW Championship.
Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Luke Robitaille – Producer

He may be six strokes back of Scheffler, but I am going with Max Homa to take home the FedEx Cup.

Homa had one bad hole at the BMW Championship last weekend: the par-4 7th. He made a triple-bogey seven, which completely derailed his confidence. He might have been there at the end if he had executed a better third shot from beyond the green.

Alas, Homa has had a terrific season. He ranks fifth in strokes gained: putting, which will come in handy on the undulating East Lake greens.

Multiple players have talked about the quickness of the putting surfaces this week, and Homa will surely take full advantage.

Plus, he tied for fifth at last year’s Tour Championship, which included an 8-under 62 during the second round. That is the lowest second-round score in tournament history, per the PGA Tour’s official media guide.

Homa has recorded three straight top-10s too, so he is destined to finally break through. He does so this week, winning the biggest tournament of his career to date.

Max Homa, PGA Tour, BMW Championship

Max Homa during the final round of the BMW Championship.
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Who do you think wins the FedEx Cup? Let us know in the comments below!

Jack Milko is a golf staff writer for SB Nation’s Playing Through. You can follow him on Twitter @jack_milko for more golf coverage. Be sure to check out @_PlayingThrough too.

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