How Tiger Woods can win the FedEx Cup

Tiger Woods hits out of the sand to the 15th green during the third round of the Tour Championship golf tournament Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, in Atlanta. (John Amis/AP)

With three rounds in the books at the final event of the PGA Tour schedule, Tiger Woods has his first win since 2013 locked firmly in his sights.

After shooting 65-68-65 through his first three rounds (12-under par) of the Tour Championship, Tiger built himself a three-shot lead and has an outside chance of also locking down the FedEx Cup.

After the third tournament of the playoffs, Woods worked his way up to 20th in the FedEx Cup standings. After points were reset for the ultimate tournament, Tiger sat at 219 points with Bryson DeChambeau leading the pack at 2,000.

Since the winner of the Tour Championship is awarded 2,000 points, Tiger will need more than a couple of things to go his way on Sunday in order for his potential 2,219 points to hold his place at the top of the leaderboard.

First things first, DeChambeau has to finish T15 or worse. Fortunately for Woods, the 25-year-old struggled through the opening two rounds but rebounded in the third. DeChambeau is currently T21 and 2-over par.

Second, current world No. 1 Justin Rose has to finish in a three-way tie for fifth or worse. This is where Tiger needs some luck on his side. Rose has been hot through the first three rounds with scores of 66, 67 and 68 (-9) and currently sits T2 with a comfy three-shot cushion over Kyle Stanley and Jon Rahm, who are tied for fourth at 6-under par.

Third, Tony Finau can’t finish in solo third or better, which is another cause for concern for the 42-year-old Woods as Finau is certainly in the hunt after Saturday’s 3-under-par 67 has him sitting T6 and 5-under for the tournament.

Fourth, neither Dustin Johnson or Justin Thomas can finish better than a three-way tie for second. For now, both elite talents are safely (ish) back, tied in ninth at 4-under par. For either to bust up Tiger’s chances they will have to shoot better than their matching low rounds of 67.

Finally, currently sixth in the FedEx Cup standings, Keegan Bradley has to finish T2 or worse, which is looking very likely as the world No. 31 is way back in T27 at 5-over par.

What looked like a very slim chance of happening heading into the Tour Championship, Tiger has a legitimate chance to take home the $10 million prize and hoist the FedEx Cup.

As of now, only Rose stands in his path, but the first step remains locking down that first win since the 2013 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. The rest is out of his control.

What a crazy year it’s been.

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