Breakdown of 30 to advance to Tour Championship

Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Nick Watney, Phil Mickelson and Brandt Snedeker will win the FedEx Cup with a win at the Tour Championship.

Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Nick Watney, Phil Mickelson and Brandt Snedeker will win the FedEx Cup with a win at the Tour Championship.

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The 30 participants for this year's Tour Championship have been decided. Advancing to East Lake has plenty of perks, starting with the opportunity to compete for the FedEx Cup's $10 million first prize, in addition to the Tour Championship's $1.44 million winner's check.

The top five players in the FedEx Cup standings can all clinch the Cup by winning at East Lake. Qualifying for the Tour Championship also earns a player starts in next year's Masters, U.S. Open and Open Championship. That gives players plenty to celebrate during this off week. The Tour Championship begins Sept. 20.

Here's a closer look at the 30 participants:

• • •

1. Rory McIlroy

FedEx Cup ranking entering playoffs: 3

Playoffs movement: +2

Playoffs finishes: T-24, The Barclays; Won, Deutsche Bank Championship; Won, BMW Championship.

Tour Championship appearances (since FedEx Cup’s creation): 1st

The skinny: McIlroy has been dominant the past two weeks to take over the top spot in the FedEx Cup. He's 40 under in his past eight rounds, winning both the Deutsche Bank and BMW. The wins were McIlroy's third in his past four starts, a stretch that includes his PGA Championship victory. No matter what happens at East Lake, it seems that McIlroy, 23, has locked up his first PGA Tour player-of-the-year award.

• • •

2. Tiger Woods

FedEx Cup ranking entering playoffs: 1

Playoffs movement: -1

Playoffs finishes: T-38, The Barclays; 3rd, Deutsche Bank Championship; T-4, BMW Championship.

Tour Championship appearances: 3rd

The skinny: Hard to believe, but this is Woods' first appearance at East Lake since 2009. He's a past winner at East Lake. A victory this year would guarantee his third FedEx Cup title. Any player in the top-5 of the FedEx Cup standings can clinch the Cup with a Tour Championship win.

• • •

3. Nick Watney

FedEx Cup ranking entering playoffs: 49

Playoffs movement: +46

Playoffs finishes: Won, The Barclays; T-20, Deutsche Bank Championship; T-45, BMW Championship.

Tour Championship appearances: 4th

The skinny: Watney only had three top-10s before the Playoffs, but his well-timed Barclays win allows him to control his own destiny. "I couldn't ask for a better place to be," he said.

• • •

4. Phil Mickelson

FedEx Cup ranking entering playoffs: 14

Playoffs movement: +10

Playoffs finishes: T-38, The Barclays; T-4, Deutsche Bank Championship; T-2, BMW Championship.

Tour Championship appearances: 6th

The skinny: Mickelson seems to have found his game after months of struggles. Credit 'The Claw' putting grip. Mickelson's last PGA Tour top-15 before the Deutsche Bank came at May's HP Byron Nelson Championship. Mickelson, the 2009 Tour Championship winner, is seeking his first FedEx Cup.

• • •

5. Brandt Snedeker

FedEx Cup ranking entering playoffs: 19

Playoffs movement: +14

Playoffs finishes: 2nd, The Barclays; 6th, Deutsche Bank Championship; T-37, BMW Championship.

Tour Championship appearances: 3rd

The skinny: Snedeker has come up clutch in the Playoffs, finishing in the top six in both The Barclays and Deustche Bank each of the past two years to set up trips to East Lake. His good play this year also helped him secure his first Ryder Cup spot, too.

• • •

6. Louis Oosthuizen

FedEx Cup ranking entering playoffs: 34th

Playoffs movement: +28

Playoffs finishes: T-5, The Barclays; 2nd, Deutsche Bank Championship; T-16, BMW Championship.

Tour Championship appearances: 1st

The skinny: The sweet-swinging South African dueled McIlroy at the Deutsche Bank, allowing him to qualify for East Lake in his first appearance in the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

• • •

7. Dustin Johnson

FedEx Cup ranking entering playoffs: 26

Playoffs movement: +19

Playoffs finishes: T-3, The Barclays; T-4, Deutsche Bank Championship; T-6, BMW Championship.

Tour Championship appearances: 4th

The skinny: Johnson is the only player to finish in the top-10 in the first three Playoffs events this year. That good play convinced Davis Love III to make Johnson a captain's pick for the Ryder Cup. He's made the Tour Championship every year of his career except for his rookie season of 2008.

• • •

8. Lee Westwood

FedEx Cup ranking entering playoffs: 51

Playoffs movement: +43

Playoffs finishes: T-5, The Barclays; T-13, Deutsche Bank Championship; T-2, BMW Championship.

Tour Championship appearances: 1st

The skinny: Westwood is participating in the FedEx Cup Playoffs for the first time. It wasn't easy for the World No. 4. He needed two top-5s to make it to East Lake. He started the BMW Championship at No. 23 in the standings. His T-2 at Crooked Stick was his best PGA Tour finish of the season.

• • •

9. Zach Johnson

FedEx Cup ranking entering playoffs: 4

Playoffs movement: -5

Playoffs finishes: T-38, The Barclays; T-47, Deutsche Bank Championship; T-12, BMW Championship.

Tour Championship appearances: 4th

The skinny: Johnson, the 2007 Tour Championship runner-up, returns to East Lake for the first time since 2010. He shot 60 at East Lake in 2007. He also claimed his only major – the 2007 Masters – in Georgia. His T-12 at the BMW was his best finish since a ninth-place finish at the Open Championship.

• • •

10. Jason Dufner

FedEx Cup ranking entering playoffs: 2

Playoffs movement: -8

Playoffs finishes: DNP, The Barclays; T18, Deutsche Bank Championship; T-28, BMW Championship.

Tour Championship appearances: 3rd

The skinny: Dufner played a light schedule this year – the BMW was just his 21st start, and he skipped The Barclays – but he's in the Tour Championship after winning twice this season. He missed just one cut this year, and finished in the top-10 eight times, third-best on Tour this year.

• • •

11. Bubba Watson

FedEx Cup ranking entering playoffs: 5

Playoffs movement: -6

Playoffs finishes: T10, The Barclays; MC, Deutsche Bank Championship; T-12, BMW Championship.

Tour Championship appearances: 4th

The skinny: The Masters champion hasn’t had much success at East Lake, finishing in the bottom half of the 30-man field each time. This is his third consecutive Tour Championship. He finished in the top-25 in 15 of 18 starts this year.

• • •

12. Sergio Garcia

FedEx Cup ranking entering playoffs: 33

Playoffs movement: +21

Playoffs finishes: T-3, The Barclays; DNP, Deutsche Bank Championship; T-24, BMW Championship.

Tour Championship appearances: 3rd

The skinny: Garcia finished in the top-4 in the first two Tour Championships after the FedEx Cup's creation, but hasn't been back to East Lake since 2008. He's in good form as the Ryder Cup nears. He won the Wyndham Championship, the final event before the Playoffs, and was 3rd at the Barclays.

• • •

13. Steve Stricker

FedEx Cup ranking entering playoffs: 10

Playoffs movement: -3

Playoffs finishes: T-54, The Barclays; T-13, Deutsche Bank Championship; T-26, BMW Championship.

Tour Championship appearance: 6th

The skinny: Stricker is tied for the most top-10s (10) in the FedEx Cup Playoffs, but couldn’t muster the same magic this year. He’s still played in every Tour Championship since the FedEx Cup’s inception. Only two other players (Mickelson, Hunter Mahan) have accomplished that.

• • •

14. Keegan Bradley

FedEx Cup ranking entering playoffs: 8

Playoffs movement: -6

Playoffs finishes: MC, The Barclays; T-13, Deutsche Bank Championship; T-59, BMW Championship.

Tour Championship appearances: 2nd

The skinny: Bradley has made the Tour Championship in each of his first two PGA Tour seasons. He entered the Playoffs on a hot streak, winning the WGC-Bridgestone and finishing third at the PGA Championship, but hasn't brought that form to the FedEx Cup.

• • •

15. Luke Donald

FedEx Cup ranking entering playoffs: 16

Playoffs movement: +1

Playoffs finishes: T-10, The Barclays; T-26, Deutsche Bank Championship; T-28, BMW Championship.

Tour Championship appearances: 4th

The skinny: Donald has finished in the top-3 in each of the past two Tour Championships. Donald, who won this year's Transitions Championship, has finished in the top-10 in seven of 16 PGA Tour starts this year.

• • •

16. Matt Kuchar

FedEx Cup ranking entering playoffs: 9

Playoffs movement: -7

Playoffs finishes: T38, The Barclays; T35, Deutsche Bank Championship; T-54, BMW Championship.

Tour Championship appearance: 3rd

The skinny: Kuchar is one of the most consistent players on the PGA Tour. He posted 12 top-25 finishes in 21 events but didn’t have any in the FedEx Cup playoffs, which explains why the Players champion dropped seven spots in the standings. This is Kuchar’s third consecutive Tour Championship appearance. It’s a home game for Kuchar, who attended Georgia Tech in Atlanta. His home-course experience hasn’t helped too much, though. He finished 20th and 25th in his first two appearances at East Lake.

• • •

17. Carl Pettersson

FedEx Cup ranking entering playoffs: 7

Playoffs movement: -10

Playoffs finishes: T-24, The Barclays; T-57, Deutsche Bank Championship; T-69, BMW Championship.

Tour Championship appearances: 2nd

The skinny: The big Swede finished in the top-3 five times in 2012, including a victory at the RBC Heritage and runners-up at the Sony Open and Shell Houston Open. This will be Pettersson’s first Tour Championship appearance sine 2008. He struggled in the past two events, though. He was second-to-last at the BMW Championship.

• • •

18. Jim Furyk

FedEx Cup ranking entering playoffs: 17

Playoffs movement: -1

Playoffs finishes: MC, The Barclays; T-13, Deutsche Bank Championship; 9th, BMW Championship.

Tour Championship appearances: 5th

The skinny: Furyk won the 2010 Tour Championship and FedEx Cup, but failed to return to East Lake last year. He’s back after six top-10s this year, including close calls at the WGC-Bridgestone and U.S. Open.

• • •

19. Bo Van Pelt

FedEx Cup ranking entering playoffs: 23

Playoffs movement: +4

Playoffs finishes: T-24, The Barclays; T-26, Deutsche Bank Championship; T-10, BMW Championship.

Tour Championship appearances: 3rd

The skinny: This is Van Pelt’s third consecutive Tour Championship appearance. He's quietly collected nine top-10s this year, tied with McIlroy for most on Tour in 2012.

• • •

No. 20 Robert Garrigus

FedEx Cup ranking entering playoffs: 24

Playoffs movement: +4

Playoffs finishes: T-71, The Barclays; T-42, Deutsche Bank Championship; T-4, BMW Championship.

Tour Championship appearances: 1st

The skinny: Garrigus was one of two players to qualify for the Tour Championship after starting the BMW Championship outside the top 30. Garrigus' fourth-place finish at Crooked Stick moved him from 31st to 20th in the standings.

• • •

21. Adam Scott

FedEx Cup ranking entering playoffs: 32

Playoffs movement: +11

Playoffs finishes: 62nd, The Barclays; T-7, Deutsche Bank Championship; T-6, BMW Championship.

Tour Championship appearances: 4th

The skinny: Scott, the Open Championship runner-up, salvaged his third consecutive Tour Championship appearance by finishing in the top-10 in the second and third playoff events.

• • •

22. Ernie Els

FedEx Cup ranking entering playoffs: 11

Playoffs movement: -11

Playoffs finishes: T-54, The Barclays; T-26, Deutsche Bank Championship; T-28, BWM Championship.

Tour Championship appearances: 5th

The skinny: The Open champion finished in the top-10 in three of his four Tour Championship appearances. He missed last year’s Tour Championship after qualifying from 2007-10.

• • •

23. Hunter Mahan

FedEx Cup ranking entering playoffs: 6

Playoffs movement: -17

Playoffs finishes: MC, The Barclays; T39, Deutsche Bank Championship; 70th, BMW Championship.

Tour Championship appearances: 6

The skinny: Mahan is one of just three players to qualify for all six Tour Championships. He lost a playoff to Bill Haas at last year's Tour Championship. Mahan is struggling mightily, though. He shot 80-77 in the BMW Championship’s final two rounds to finish last. His poor play didn’t cost him an East Lake tee time, but it did lead to him missing this year's Ryder Cup.

• • •

24. Justin Rose

FedEx Cup ranking entering playoffs: 12

Playoffs movement: -12

Playoffs finishes: T-46, The Barclays; MC, Deutsche Bank Championship; T-16, BMW Championship.

Tour Championship appearances: 4

The skinny: This will be Rose’s third consecutive Tour Championship appearance. He struggled in the Playoffs, though, after posting consecutive top-5s at the WGC-Bridgestone and PGA Championship.

• • •

25. Webb Simpson

FedEx Cup ranking entering playoffs: 13

Playoffs movement: -12

Playoffs finishes: MC, The Barclays; T-18, Deutsche Bank Championship; T-51, BMW Championship.

Tour Championship appearances: 2nd

The skinny: Simpson made it to last year's Tour Championship after finishing in the top-10 in the first three Playoffs events, including a win at the Deutsche Bank Championship. He didn't repeat that form this year, but he didn't need to after winning the U.S. Open.

• • •

26. John Huh

FedEx Cup ranking entering playoffs: 25

Playoffs movement: -1

Playoffs finishes: T-36, The Barclays; T-51, Deutsche Bank Championship; T-16, BMW Championship.

Tour Championship appearances: 1st

The skinny: Huh, who won the Mayakoba Classic, was the only rookie to qualify for the Tour Championship. That should lock up this year’s rookie-of-the-year award for Huh, who grabbed the last card at Q-School. He was T-27 at Q-School. Now he's 26th in the FedEx Cup standings. Huh had four top-10s this year, including a win at Mayakoba and runner-up at the Texas Open.

• • •

27. Rickie Fowler

FedEx Cup ranking entering playoffs: 18

Playoffs movement: -9

Playoffs finishes: T-24, The Barclays; T-74, Deutsche Bank Championship; T-41, BMW Championship.

Tour Championship appearances: 1st

The skinny: Fowler's poor recent form cost him a spot on the Ryder Cup team, but the bulk of his season – especially one hot streak in May – allowed Fowler to accomplish another goal: he qualified for his first Tour Championship. He’s struggled in the playoffs, though. His T-24 at this year’s The Barclays was his first top-25 in nine playoff events. He's made it to the BMW Championship in all three of his PGA Tour seasons.

• • •

28. Ryan Moore

FedEx Cup ranking entering playoffs: 64th

Playoffs movement: +36

Playoffs finishes: T-24, The Barclays; T-10, Deutsche Bank Championship; T-10, BMW Championship.

Tour Championship appearances: 2nd

The skinny: Moore made 7-foot putts on his final three holes of the BMW Championship to clinch his first Tour Championship appearance since 2010. He was 30th in the projected FedEx Cup standings when arrived at the BMW Championship's 72nd tee, but made birdie to clinch his spot.

• • •

29. John Senden

FedEx Cup ranking entering playoffs: 37

Playoffs movement: +8

Playoffs finishes: T-19, The Barclays; 12th, Deutsche Bank Championship; T-56, BMW Championship.

Tour Championship appearances: 3rd

The skinny: Senden didn't win this year, but the steady Australian used five top-10s to make his third Tour Championship (2011, '09).

• • •

30. Scott Piercy

FedEx Cup ranking entering playoffs: 15

Playoffs movement: -15

Playoffs finishes: MC, The Barclays; T-64, Deutsche Bank Championship; T-37, BMW Championship.

Tour Championship appearances: 1st

The skinny: Piercy has played the FedEx Cup playoffs each of the past four years, but this was only the second time he qualified for the BMW Championship. Now he’s headed to East Lake for the first time. Piercy got hot in July, finishing 12th-3rd-1st, to propel himself to East Lake.

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