Date: September 12, 2016
Author: Mark Hayes

Scott, Day lock in top shot at FedEx riches

Australia has two golden chances to win the FedEx Cup with Adam Scott and Jason Day advancing to the Tour Championship in the all-important top five.

Although the focus for many will be on the back injury that forced Day out of the BMW Championship today, Scott moved past his fellow Queenslander with, remarkably, his third consecutive fourth-place finish in as many weeks.

The big move came from world No.2 Dustin Johnson, whose 3-shot victory over England's Paul Casey put him atop the points standings – and maybe ahead now of Day in the race to become the US PGA Tour's player of the year.

But while his third win this season, including the US Open in June, might give the athletic American favouritism in that race, Day is guaranteed to retain his world No.1 ranking, regardless of what happens at East Lake in a fortnight.

Scott couldn't find his birdie mojo today, despite making a spectacular birdie from the right rough next to a hot dog vendor on the eighth at Crooked Stick today.

He reached two under with another birdie on the 10th, but a sloppy bogey on the par-five 15th ensured he finished 11 shots adrift of Johnson, alongside Charl Schwartzel, Ryan Palmer, Matt Kuchar and JB Holmes.

Holmes looked in danger of missing the top 30 to make the Tour Championship when he doubled the 14th, but hung on for a 74 to make the finale on the number.

But so close was the race that Holmes still managed to finish 28th, leaving Rickie Fowler the man with the heartbreak story.

Schwartzel shot the day's best round of 64 to knock out Fowler, who shot a 72 to finish 59th. The gap between the pair was the smallest in the 10-year history of the FedExCup — 0.57 points.

Johnson's win was his third in his past eight tournaments, but this might have been his most complete performance.

"I've got a lot of confidence in every part of my game," he said.

Casey did just about everything he could, including two early birdies for two-shot swings that erased a four-shot deficit in two holes.

But Johnson answered with a pair of birdies and he was on his way. Casey made an 8m eagle putt on the 15th hole to get within one shot, but that lasted only as long as it took Johnson to make an 6m eagle putt on top of him to keep the margin at three shots.

Casey was runner-up for the second straight week after losing to Rory McIlroy a week ago. His consolation, along with $1,836,000 in those weeks, was the No.5 seed at the Tour Championship in two weeks.

Any of the top five – Johnson, Reed, Scott, Day or Casey – can win the $10 million bonus with victory in Atlanta.

Roberto Castro's eagle from the seventh fairway set up a 67 that was good enough for third alone today and to push him into 21st on the FedEx Cup standings.

Australia lost its other two playoff contenders with Marc Leishman's closing 67 today good for a T52 finish and to leapfrog Aaron Baddeley (76) who finished T61. The Victorians finished 68th and 69th, respectively, on the FedEx standings.

FedEx standings: