With the FedEx Cup Playoffs beginning on Thursday, Sports Illustrated’s Michael Bamberger, Gary Van Sickle and Alan Shipnuck unveil their picks to win the four-event postseason. No mulligans allowed.
The majors are more draining than ever. The top Americans and the leading non-Europeans know they have a Presidents Cup in South Korea on the horizon, and they might be pacing themselves. You have to be all-in to win this playoff. So I’m going with a European who has been playing well and has no particular reason to feel drained from the majors: Sergio García. Señor Sergio plays for money about as well as anybody, and this four-event playoff is all about the cash.
Gary Van Sickle
Somebody may get hot at the right time and pull a Billy Horschel, but Jordan Spieth is the best player in the world. Though he has to be drained from chasing the four majors, he does have four wins and 14 top 10s in 21 starts. Spieth missed out on the Grand Slam, but he’ll take the FedEx Cup and the $10 million bonus, which, remarkably, is less than he has already banked in 2015.
Rory McIlroy will dominate. His fellow members of the new Big Three—Jordan Spieth and Jason Day—almost certainly are spent from a wild summer chasing glory. Rory, meanwhile, had more than a month to sit on his couch, stewing. The big ballparks in the so-called playoffs favor McIlroy’s smashmouth driving. Plus, he’s quite prideful and no doubt eager to recapture the spotlight.