Tour Championship: Player power rankings

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will tee it up together again this week at East Lake.

Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will tee it up together again this week at East Lake.

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The Tour Championship is upon us, with the PGA Tour's top 30 performers gathered at historic East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta. The field is full of big names, but we're here to help you separate the pretenders from the contenders. We've ranked the field based on players' recent form and history at East Lake. Let the debates ensue:

• • •

1. Rory McIlroy

FedEx Cup ranking: 1

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 may be making his debut at East Lake, but how can you bet against him? He’s 40 under in his last eight rounds.

• • •

2. Tiger Woods

FedEx Cup ranking: 2

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

Past Tour Championship results: 1st, 2007; 2nd, 2009.

The skinny: Hard to believe, but this is Woods' first appearance at East Lake since 2009. He’s in good form, and has a good record at East Lake.

• • •

3. Phil Mickelson

FedEx Cup ranking: 4

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

Past Tour Championship results: 20th, 2007; T-3, 2008; 1st, 2009; T-22, 2010; 10th, 2011.

The skinny: Mickelson seems to have found his game after months of struggles. Credit 'The Claw' putting grip. He’s a past winner at East Lake and finished in the top five in his past two starts.

• • •

4. Lee Westwood

FedEx Cup ranking: 8

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. He’s a consistent contender in big events and in good form.

• • •

5. Sergio Garcia

FedEx Cup ranking: 12

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

Past Tour Championship results: 4th, 2007; 2nd, 2008.

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, including a win at the Wyndham Championship.

• • •

6. Jim Furyk

FedEx Cup ranking: 18

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

Past Tour Championship results: T-11, 2007; T-6, 2008; T-7, 2009; 1st, 2010.

The skinny: Furyk won the 2010 Tour Championship and FedEx Cup, but failed to return to East Lake last year. He’s looking for a fourth consecutive top-10 at the Tour Championship.

• • •

7. Dustin Johnson

FedEx Cup ranking: 7

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

Past Tour Championship results: 27th, 2009; T-22, 2010; T-23, 2011.

The skinny: Johnson is the only player to finish in the top-10 in the first three Playoffs events this year, but also has never cracked the top-20 at the Tour Championship.

• • •

8. Louis Oosthuizen

FedEx Cup ranking: 6

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 is becoming a consistent presence on U.S. leaderboards. Don’t forget he was runner-up at another big event in Georgia this year: the Masters.

• • •

9. Luke Donald

FedEx Cup ranking: 15

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

Past Tour Championship results: T-25, 2009; 2nd, 2010; T-3, 2011.

The skinny: Donald has finished in the top-3 in each of the past two Tour Championships. That’s enough for me.

• • •

10. Adam Scott

FedEx Cup ranking: 21

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

Past Tour Championship results: T-26, 2007; 27th, 2010; T-6, 2011.

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.

• • •

11. Ernie Els

FedEx Cup ranking: 22

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

Past Tour Championship results: T-26, 2007; T-6, 2008; 9th, 2009; T-7, 2010.

The skinny: The Open champion is looking for a fourth consecutive top-10 at the Tour Championship.

• • •

12. Ryan Moore

FedEx Cup ranking: 28

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

Past Tour Championship results: T-9, 2010.

The skinny: Moore has finished 10th at the past two FedEx Cup playoff events, and had a top-10 in his Tour Championship debut.

• • •

13. Brandt Snedeker

FedEx Cup ranking: 5

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

Past Tour Championship results: T-29, 2007; T-16, 2011.

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.

• • •

14. Nick Watney

FedEx Cup ranking: 3

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

Past Tour Championship results: T-13, 2009; T-4, 2010; T-26, 2011.

The skinny: Watney has cooled since his Barclays win, but did finish fourth at the Tour Championship in 2010.

• • •

15. Zach Johnson

FedEx Cup ranking: 9

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

Past Tour Championship results: T-2, 2007; T-16, 2009; T-9, 2010.

The skinny: Johnson shot 60 at East Lake in 2007. Georgia is the site of the biggest moment of his career: his victory in the 2007 Masters.

• • •

16. Bubba Watson

FedEx Cup ranking: 11

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

Past Tour Championship results: 30th, 2008; T-17, 2010; T-23, 2011.

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.

• • •

17. Bo Van Pelt

FedEx Cup ranking: 19

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

Past Tour Championship results: 24th, 2010; 9th, 2011.

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.

• • •

18. Keegan Bradley

FedEx Cup ranking: 14

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

Past Tour Championship results: T-11, 2011.

The skinny: Bradley has made the Tour Championship in each of his first two PGA Tour seasons. He’s had an inconsistent run during this year’s playoffs, though.

• • •

19. Jason Dufner

FedEx Cup ranking: 10

FedEx Cup ranking entering playoffs: 2

Playoffs movement: -8

Playoffs finishes: DNP, The Barclays; T-18, Deutsche Bank Championship; T-28, BMW Championship.

Tour Championship appearances: 3rd

Past Tour Championship results: T-19, 2009; T-13, 2011.

The skinny: Dufner has yet to crack the top-10 at the Tour Championship and didn’t play his best in the playoffs.

• • •

20. Steve Stricker

FedEx Cup ranking: 13

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 appearances: 6th

Past Tour Championship results: T-17, 2007; T-24, 2008; 6th, 2009; T-25, 2010; 15th, 2011.

The skinny: Despite all his playoffs success – he’s tied for the most top-10s (10) in FedEx Cup playoffs history – it hasn’t really carried over to East Lake.

• • •

21. Matt Kuchar

FedEx Cup ranking: 16

FedEx Cup ranking entering playoffs: 9

Playoffs movement: -7

Playoffs finishes: T-38, The Barclays; T-35, Deutsche Bank Championship; T-54, BMW Championship.

Tour Championship appearances: 3rd

Past Tour Championship results: T-25, 2010; T-20, 2011.

The skinny: The Tour Championship is 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.

• • •

22. Justin Rose

FedEx Cup ranking: 24

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

Past Tour Championship results: T-11, 2007; T-15, 2010; T-20, 2011.

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.

• • •

23. Hunter Mahan

FedEx Cup ranking: 23

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

Past Tour Championship results: T-5, 2007; T-17, 2008; 24th, 2009; T-15, 2010; 2nd, 2011.

The skinny: Mahan seemed lost at the BMW Championship after failing to be picked for the Ryder Cup team. He’s had an off week to clear his head, so maybe that will help.

• • •

24. Webb Simpson

FedEx Cup ranking: 25

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

Past Tour Championship results: 22nd, 2011.

The skinny: The U.S. Open champion struggled in his Tour Championship debut and hasn’t had the best playoffs. It’s understandable, though. He’s dealing with his first major and the birth of his second child.

• • •

25. John Senden

FedEx Cup ranking: 29

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

Past Tour Championship results: T-10, 2009; 25th, 2011.

The skinny: Two top-20s in the playoffs helped Senden make his third Tour Championship in the past four years.

• • •

26. Rickie Fowler

FedEx Cup ranking: 27

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: Hard to believe this is Fowler’s first Tour Championship appearance. He’s been struggling lately, which is why he’s not on the U.S. Ryder Cup team.

• • •

27. Robert Garrigus

FedEx Cup ranking: 20

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: A good week at the BMW Championship clinched his first Tour Championship appearance.

• • •

28. Carl Pettersson

FedEx Cup ranking: 17

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

Past Tour Championship results: 21st, 2008.

The skinny: The big Swede struggled in the past two playoff events, including a 69th-place finish in the 70-player BMW Championship.

• • •

29. John Huh

FedEx Cup ranking: 26

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.

• • •

30. Scott Piercy

FedEx Cup ranking: 30

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 started the playoffs at 15th in the FedEx Cup, but barely stayed in the top 30. This is his Tour Championship debut.

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