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# FedEx Cup playoff series

September 12, 2007|Mike James

The scoring system in the FedEx Cup isn't quite as complicated as the Pythagorean Theorem; anyone with a double degree in statistical analysis and quantum physics can probably decipher it in a sitting or two. But at least the number of possibilities has been reduced heading into the last event of the FedEx Cup playoff series.

The Tour Championship this week will determine the Cup champion. The winner of the tournament won't necessarily win the Cup; that goes to the player who has accumulated the most points in the four-tournament playoff concluding this weekend.

But only six players in the 30-player field have a mathematical chance of winning the \$10-million deferred bonus that goes to the FedEx Cup winner.

The point standings of those six heading into the weekend:

1. Tiger Woods, 112,733. The line: Take Tiger against the field.

2. Steve Stricker, 109,600. The line: Nice guy has a shot but don't bet the mortgage.

3. Phil Mickelson, 108,613. The line: He beat Tiger head-to-head at the Deutsche Bank. Problem is, Tiger doesn't forget.

4. Rory Sabbatini, 103, 588. The line: This is something like picking Appalachian State over Michigan at Michigan -- without the points. Who would ever make that bet?

5. K.J. Choi, 103,100. The line: He's playing the best golf of his career. Doesn't matter.

6. Aaron Baddeley, 102,800. Mathematically, it's possible. Funny stuff, that math.

The skinny:

* Woods, Stricker and Mickelson are the only players who have realistic chances of winning the FedEx Cup.

* If either Woods or Stricker wins the Tour Championship, he wins the Cup.

* Mickelson can win the Cup if he wins the Tour Championship and Tiger does not finish alone in second.

* Sabbatini and Choi can win only by winning the Tour Championship and having the top three guys fall back.

* Baddeley? He'll need to win the tournament, and Woods will have to fail to post a score.

Here are the FedEx Cup points that players earn from their finish in the Tour Championship. You can do the math at home:

*--* 1: 10,300 11: 1,440 21: 690 2: 6,200 12: 1,330 22: 640 3: 3,900 13: 1,220 23: 590 4: 2,800 14: 1,120 24: 550 5: 2,300 15: 1,030 25: 510 6: 2,060 16: 965 26: 475 7: 1,920 17: 910 27: 440 8. 1,780 18: 855 28: 420 9. 1,660 19: 800 29: 405 10: 1,550 20: 745 30: 395 *--*

-- Mike James