Date: August 25, 2016
Author: Martin Blake

Big money a motivator for Day

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Five Australians headed by world No. 1 Jason Day have a chance to break the drought of Aussie winners of the US PGA Tour's Fedex Cup as the playoffs begin this week.

The Fedex Cup, with its $US 10 million bonus, has eluded their countrymen since it was started in 2007, with Day (third in 2015) the closest. Day and Adam Scott, who is placed third on the points table, are the best-placed to change that.

The playoffs begin with the Barclays in New York tomorrow.

"Obviously there's a big … I'm not going to lie, there's a big price tag at the end of the four events that is very, very motivating,'' said Day today. "Obviously you put that kind of number behind anything, that's very motivating for most people. But once again, the ultimate goal for me is to win tournaments. I won two of these last year, and they are big, big events. They come with a lot of FedExCup ranking points and a lot of world ranking points, Official World Golf Ranking points. So it's all good things, really, really good things.

"But these tournaments are slowly but surely becoming a lot bigger and bigger, and they are getting towards the stage of the WGC events and things like that with regards to the players that are playing and the competition level. So I put it up around there.''

Day has won three events this year but no majors, and his near miss in the US Open he describes as "a kick in the gut''. He set up top spot on the points table with early wins in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, the Players Championship and the World Golf Championship Dell Matchplay, and has earned $US7.56 million.

Neither he nor fellow-Queenslander Adam Scott has played since the PGA Championship at the end of July, both skipping the Olympic Games.

Scott's third-place on the points table is based on early results, too, with wins in the WGC Cadillac Championship and the Honda Classic in February-March and $US5.1 million prizemoney. He has been in Europe holidaying before the final stretch of the season.

"It's nice to be in this position,'' he said. "I'm hitting it well. I have all year. I just haven't putted as well as I did at the start of the year the last few months since the Masters, and it's pretty much as simple as that. So I'm looking to putt a bit better. I've been working at it.''

Scott said he would keep the big money on offer to one side of his mind. "I try not to play golf thinking about money at all. If I did, and you told me three-foot putts are worth $500,000, I probably wouldn't be able to play."

Aaron Baddeley, Marc Leishman and John Senden are the other Australians in the field for the Barclays.

 

FEDEX CUP POINTS TABLE

1. Jason Day

2. Dustin Johnson

3. Adam Scott

4. Russell Knox

5. Jordan Spieth

6. Brandt Snedeker

7. Patrick Reed

8. Phil Mickelson

9. Kevin Na

10. Justin Thomas

Other Australians:

45. Aaron Baddeley

49 John Sendon

57 Marc Leishman

THE SYSTEM

Four distinct playoff tournaments worth $US8.5 million each, with a descending cut beginning at 125 players (or 124, as Anirban Lahiri has withdrawn).

THE TOURNAMENTS

The Barclays, Bethpage Black, top 125, this week

Deutsche Bank Championship, Boston, 2-5 September, top 100

BMW Championship Carmel, Indiana, 8-11 September, top 70

Tour Championship, Atlanta, 22-25 September, top 30.

THE BONUS

There is a reset of points after the BMW Championship so that the top five all have a chance of winning the Fedex Cup bonus with a final-week victory, which is $US10 million. Total bonuses for the top 30 are $US35 million.

WINNERS

2007 Tiger Woods

2008 Vijay Singh

2009 Tiger Woods

2010 Jim Furyk

2011 Bill Haas

2012 Brandt Snedeker

2013 Henrik Stenson

2014 Billy Horschel

2015 Jordan Spieth