Rory McIlroy targets FedExCup Series
‘I came close a couple of years ago but didn’t quite get the job done,’ says world number one
Rory McIlroy holds the British Open Claret Jug trophy on the Old Trafford pitch during half-time of Manchester United’s Premier League match against Swansea City at Old Trafford. Photograph: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Rory McIlroy’s bucket list is getting smaller but one unfulfilled wish is to win the FedExCup Series and therefore be crowned the PGA Tour champion.
The 25-year-old, world number one, affirmed as much in the immediate aftermath of his US PGA Championship victory at Valhalla in Louisville, Kentucky.
“I think first and foremost, my priority is the FedExCup. I came close a couple of years ago but didn’t quite get the job done. I feel like my game’s in good enough shape that I can keep this run of golf going and try and win that.”
That process begins on Thursday when the Ulster man tees it up in the Barclays at Ridgewood Country Club in New Jersey, the first of four tournaments in the FedEx pathway to crowning a champion.
Ordinarily it is the top 125 players in the standings who earn the right to try and secure one of the 100 places on offer for next week’s Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston but there are just 122 playing as Dustin Johnson (leave of absence), Jason Dufner (neck) and Steve Stricker (family reasons) will not be replaced in the field.
The FedExCup Playoffs consist of four events, The Barclays, Deutsche Bank Championship, BMW Championship and the TOUR Championship with 2,500 points, five times the PGA Tour regular season reward, up for grabs on a weekly basis.
After next week’s Deutsche Bank Championship the field is reduced to 70 players, no cut, in Chicago, with Atlanta hosting the tour championship finale for the top 30 players.
There is a points reset ahead of the Tour final.
McIlroy leads second-placed Jimmy Walker by 89 points but with such a glut of points on offer the world number one will need a high finish to retain his pre-eminence.
Each tournament will have an $8 million (€5,988.000) purse – the winner’s share is $1,440,000 (€1,077,840) – in addition to the $35-million (€26,194,000) FedExCup bonus pool, which offers a cool $10 million (€7,484,000) for the champion.
McIlroy’s pursuing a fourth successive win to supplement a victory streak that includes two Majors, the British Open and the US PGA and the WGC Bridgestone Invitational.
Run of success
The last player to win four-in-a-row was Tiger Woods, a run of success that straddled 2007 and 2008.
McIlroy didn’t play in the Wyndham Championship, preferring instead to take a week off, that included a trip to his beloved Old Trafford last Saturday – he is a season ticket holder at Manchester United and occasionally forces his dad Gerry (a Man City fan), to accompany him for the derby matches – where he paraded the Claret Jug before an approving audience.