Spieth seeks to join Woods as 2-time FedExCup winner
FOREST, ILL. Jordan
LAKE Spieth needed inspiration heading into the start of the FedExCup Playoffs.
Two close losses are just what he needed.
Now he’s in a perfect spot to join Tiger Woods as the only players to win the FedExCup twice.
“The goal was to try and improve each week through the Playoffs to obviously peak next week,” Spieth said Wednesday, referring to the Playoff finale in Atlanta at The Tour Championship.
Mission accomplished. After a long summer and the grind of the major championship season, which included Spieth’s wild and emotionally draining victory in the British Open at Royal Birkdale, his tank was a bit low heading into the Northern Trust on Long Island in New York, the first event of the lucrative postseason that rewards the FedExCup winner $10 million.
A sluggish first round did nothing to move his needle. But then his putting clicked, and he eventually lost in a playoff to world No. 1 Dustin Johnson. A week later, he finished runner-up to Justin Thomas in the Dell Technologies Championship outside of Boston.
The two second-place finishes moved him into first place in the FedExCup Playoffs standings heading into Thursday’s start of the BMW Championship at Conway Farms Golf Club, the third of four Playoff events.
“I’m looking to obviously stay in the No. 1 spot — that’s my best chance to win the FedExCup starting in Atlanta,” said Spieth, a three-time winner this year. “I’ve been through this process before, which is nice. We’ve got a routine we like to go through, and we know how to kind of conserve energy. These last couple weeks have helped, and the FedExCup is a tremendous accomplishment and achievement and something I’m certainly striving for.”
Spieth, who won the FedExCup in 2015, is in form, is coming off a good week of rest and likes the golf course. Yet he knows this will be a difficult week in the sense that part of his mind will be on next week. Spieth is all but guaranteed to be in the top five in the standings heading into next week’s season-ending tournament. The top five will control their own destiny — if they win at East Lake, they automatically win the FedExCup.
“These Playoffs, if you’re in a very good position going in and you feel like you’re playing well, the first three events can kind of seem a little more difficult because you see the light at the end of the tunnel. You know that East Lake is what really matters and the way these points work, right?” Spieth said. “There’s just such a bigger prize at the end, and that certainly has our attention, the guys in the top five, top 10 of the FedExCup.”
But Spieth said he’ll have no trouble getting motivated this week. First of all, he likes to win. Secondly, two players are right on his heels in the standings. Spieth has 5,071 points, just 27 ahead of Thomas and 421 ahead of Johnson. And if he were to win the last two Playoff events, he could nudge Thomas for Players of the Year honors.
“I’m motivated to stay where I am … because No. 1 is a huge difference from No. 3 as you go into East Lake for the scenarios to win,” Spieth said. “I’m looking to play well.”
Jordan Spieth won the FedExCup in 2015 and will look to do it again next week.