Mickelson's Tour Championship streak at risk
Of the three players who have played in all seven Tour Championships since the FedEx Cup playoffs began in 2007, only two have a chance to make it eight-for-eight. But Phil Mickelson and Hunter Mahan need to step it up a bit. (The third, Steve Stricker, won’t make it. He’s sidelined with a torn labrum.)
Mickelson, who famously skipped the end-of-year all-star gathering a few times but hasn’t missed since 2007, enters the FedEx Cup playoffs 42nd in points. He’ll need solid efforts at each of the next two playoff stops to get inside the top 30, but you’d be wise not to wager against him.
The odds are a little higher against Mahan, who is 59th in the standings. Mahan is the only player to have competed in each of the playoff tournaments – four a season for seven years. He has yet to win any of those 28, and he has been top 10 just six times.
It’s not quite a first-to-worst scenario, but the season-ending party will go on without four players who made it all the way to the Tour Championship a year ago. In fact, they won’t even tee it up in the playoffs this season.
Of course, Dustin Johnson fits into this category by virtue of a technicality – be it a suspension or voluntary leave of absence. But the other three simply had miserable seasons, for whatever reasons. Tiger Woods was the regular-season leader in FedEx Cup points a year ago but fell to 218th this time around. Roberto Castro left East Lake No. 21 in the standings a year ago but finished 135th this time around. And D.A. Points fell from 30th to 173rd.