Golf Glance: Dustin Johnson seeks first FedEx Cup title

Field Level Media’s Golf Glance provides weekly news and storylines from each of the major North American golf tours.


LAST TOURNAMENT: BMW Championship (Jon Rahm)

Dustin Johnson
Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

THIS WEEK: Tour Championship, Sept. 4-7
East Lake Golf Club, Atlanta (Par 70, 7,346 yards)
Purse: $60 million (Winner: $15 million)
Defending Champion: Rory McIlroy
FedEx Cup leader: Dustin Johnson
TV: Friday-Saturday, 1-6 p.m. ET (Golf Channel); Sunday, 1-3 p.m. (GC), 3-7 p.m. (NBC); Monday, 12-1:30 p.m. (GC), 1:30-6 p.m. (NBC).


The top 30 players in the FedEx Cup standings qualified for the season-ending event. The field will begin with a weighted start, and the player with the lowest score in relation to par at the end of the event will win the Tour Championship. … For the first time in the FedEx Cup era, the top three players in the standings are also the top three players in the official world golf rankings. … McIlroy is attempting to become the first player to win three FedEx Cup titles. … The field includes two rookies: Scottie Scheffler (No. 17 in standings) and Viktor Hovland (No. 27), and nine first-time qualifiers overall. … Johnson qualified for the Tour Championship for the 12th consecutive year, the longest active streak on Tour. He is tied with McIlroy for the most career playoff victories with five. … Justin Thomas is the only player with three Tour victories this season. … Webb Simpson leads the Tour in scoring average (68.86) and putting average (1.690). … Mackenzie Hughes (No. 28) and Joaquin Niemann (No. 18) played their way into the field last week.

Jon Rahm
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

1. Dustin Johnson, -10
2. Jon Rahm, -8
3. Justin Thomas, -7
4. Webb Simpson, -6
5. Collin Morikawa, -5
6. Daniel Berger, -4
7. Harris English, -4
8. Bryson DeChambeau, -4
9. Sungjae Im, -4
10. Hideki Matsuyama, -4
11. Brendon Todd, -3
12. Rory McIlroy, -3
13. Patrick Reed, -3
14. Xander Schauffele, -3
15. Sebastian Munoz, -3
16. Lanto Griffin, -2
17. Scottie Scheffler, -2
18. Joaquin Niemann, -2
19. Tyrrell Hatton, -2
20. Tony Finau, -2
21. Kevin Kisner, -1
22. Abraham Ancer, -1
23. Ryan Palmer, -1
24. Kevin Na, -1
25. Marc Leishman, -1
26. Cameron Smith, Even
27. Viktor Hovland, Even
28. Mackenzie Hughes, Even
29. Cameron Champ, Even
30. Billy Horschel, Even

Justin Thomas
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Johnson (+200 at DraftKings) won the first leg of the playoffs, finished second last week after Rahm’s miracle putt in a playoff and begins this week with a two-shot advantage as he seeks his first FedEx Cup title. … Rahm (+300) is chasing two shots and the No. 1 world ranking for a third time this year. Along with wins at the Memorial and BMW, he tied for 13th at the PGA Championship before a T6 at The Northern Trust. Rahm went 66-64 last weekend at the extremely difficult Olympic Fields Country Club. … Thomas (+525) has gone T37, T49 and T25 since winning the WGC-FedEx St. Jude. But he enters the Tour Championship only three shots back and is a previously FedEx Cup winner (2017). … Simpson (+1000) is the only one of the top players to take a playoff event off, skipping the BMW to rest ahead of East Lake. Simpson has a pair of wins in 2020 and is coming off a T3 and T6 in his past two starts. … True to history, McIlroy (+2500) found his playoff groove with a T12 last week that could have been higher. He’s among those with the firepower to make up the gap between himself and the leaders. … Morikawa (+2300) kept himself in the picture by going 68-68 last weekend and showed at the PGA Championship the type of final-round charge he’s capable of.

NEXT WEEK: U.S. Open, Winged Foot, Mamaroneck, N.Y.


LAST TOURNAMENT: NW Arkansas Championship (Austin Ernst)
NEXT WEEK: ANA Inspiration, Rancho Mirage, Calif. (Sept. 10-13)

Champions Tour

LAST TOURNAMENT: Charles Schwab Series at Ozarks National (Phil Mickelson)
NEXT WEEK: Sanford International, Sioux Falls, S.D., Sept. 11-13

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