We are now down to 100 qualifiers for the second FedEx Cup tournament and this stage is often when the best players in the world come out to play. There is no better on recent form than Dustin Johnson. He can confirm his status at number one in the world rankings by winning the Dell Technologies Championship and making huge strides up the FedEx standings. This week’s event runs from Friday to Monday and the fourth round coincides with the Labor Day holiday in the United States.
Professionals who play an individual sport are self-employed and have zero hours contracts. If they don’t play they don’t win prize money and not all pros have million dollar endorsements. The scenario is more brutal in golf because in a regular tournament more than half the players will not win a dime. If a player misses the cut there is no prize money and expenses still have to be paid. The limited field of 100 players this week means most will play over the weekend and earn a cheque. The 36-hole cut reduces the field to 70 players for the last two rounds.
Seventy players and ties will progress to the next event, the BMW Championship. There is no cut so all the competitors will earn money and the 30 points leaders will move on to the Tour Championship. The players with the most points after this event will win the FedEx Cup and $10 million bonus. The total bonus fund for the FedEx Cup is $35 million which is a huge amount even for multi-millionaires. Money is the motivator and all the best players in the world are competing this week except Rickie Fowler and Francesco Molinari.
Elite sportsman can command the highest income and that is the case with musicians and film actors. However, it does seem excessive to give a prize of $10 million but at least a player must come out on top after four qualifying tournaments. In November Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are playing in a winner-takes-all event and there is $9 million up for grabs. However, if it’s a match the public and TV audiences want to see the players aren’t going to complain. The rivalry is still the most intriguing in golf with all sorts of undertones but both players are well into their forties.
Woods and Mickelson have won 19 majors between them but Johnson has only won one. Brooks Koepka has won three of the last seven but Rory McIlroy won the last of his four majors in 2014. Winning the FedEx Cup and a large fortune is all well and good but McIlroy would probably swap 100 million pounds for the US Masters which is the one major he must win to complete the career Grand Slam. Johnson has a good record at this week’s host course at TPC Boston and is the most likely winner.
The course has a par of 71 and is 7,342 yards in length. Experience on the track is more important than one particular skill. Adam Scott won the first event at the venue in 2003 and since then only one winner was playing on the course for the first time. Justin Thomas is the defending champion and he led the field in strokes gained from tee to green. Scrambling and finding greens in regulation are important but a player must have a good all-round game and decent week on the greens to contend.
Johnson was tied 11th last week despite shooting 72 in the third round which took him out of the tournament. He has made all eight cuts at TPC Boston and recorded four top 20 finishes. Johnson has the right blend of course and current form so can win the 2018 Dell Technologies Championship on Labor Day next Monday.