Being consistently good is extraordinarily difficult in sports. It is especially difficult in golf. We don’t have it verbatim but we think it was Rory McIlroy that said, essentially, that variance is good in golf. About 150 players start each tournament and the top sixty (and ties) make the cut and get a check. What he means is it is much better to win one week and miss the cut the next week rather than to finish 30th each week. Money, glory, and FedExCup points are all about winning.
Sidebar One: For the uninitiated, the FedExCup is the season-long contest culminating in the Tour Championship in Atlanta. This year it is September 20-23. The winner of the FedExCup gets $10 million plus, perhaps, over $1.5 million from winning the tournament. End Sidebar One.
Tony Finau has had an excellent year because he is third in the FedExCup standings going into the Tour Championship. He was just selected for the US Ryder Cup team. Being in the top five is crucial because if anyone of the top five win the Tour Championship then they win the FedExCup and that nice eight figure check.
Sidebar Two: Well, it isn’t a check. Brent Snedeker tells the story about being on his banking app so he can see his account balance go to eight figures when the transfer was made. End Sidebar Two.
What makes Tony’s season amazing is that he hasn’t won a tournament all year. In fact, he has only one one PGA tournament, the second tier Puerto Rico Open. The four others in the top five have won either two or three times. Tony turned pro in 2007 but played on minor tours before showing up on the PGA Tour in 2015. He has come up the hard way. We hope he wins the 2018 FedExCup. It would be appropriate if he won the Cup by finishing second at the Tour Championship.