Brandt Snedeker acknowledges applause from the crowd
Brandt Snedeker acknowledges applause from the crowd after sinking a putt on the fourth hole during the final round of the Tour Championship golf tournament, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2012, in Atlanta.
2012: Brandt Snedeker
Brandt Snedeker, who began the final event of the 2012 FedEx Cup playoffs in fifth place, won the Tour Championship convincingly at East Lake Golf Club in Atlanta, finishing three shots clear of Justin Rose. The victory gave Snedeker the crown over Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods, each of whom could have won the Cup with victory at the Tour Championship.
2011: Bill Haas
Bill Haas, who was at No. 25 in the FedEx Cup standings, became the lowest seed to capture golf's biggest prize when he won his sudden-death playoff with Hunter Mahan on the third hole of the Tour Championship. Haas did it with an incredible par save on the second hole, splashing the ball out of a couple inches of water onto the green to 3 feet. ''It was an all or nothing shot,'' Haas said. ''So if I don't pull it off, I'm shaking Hunter's hand.''
2010: Jim Furyk
Furyk picked a heck of a way to end the longest slump of his illustrious career. Furyk entered the 2010 season having gone more than two full seasons without a Tour victory. He broke that spell early in the season, winning in his fifth tournament in 2010. He won once more before the Tour Championship, when he found himself up by a stroke on the 72nd hole of the tournament. A drive into a bunker 50 feet from the hole looked as if it could ruin his Cinderella story, but Furyk hit out of the bunker to within three feet of the hole and tapped in for par, winning what was the most dramatic finale in the brief history of the FedEx Cup — for a year, at least.
2009: Tiger Woods
Woods returned to the PGA Tour in February 2009 after an eight-month layoff because of knee surgery. He tied for 17th in his first event, the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, but soon thereafter found his stride. Five victories and a second-place finish at the PGA Championship made Woods No. 1 in the FedEx Cup standings entering the playoffs. Woods fell out of the top spot only briefly, after finishing tied for 11th at the Deutsche Bank Championship. He recovered quickly, winning the BMW Championship to regain the top spot and then cruising to the title with a second-place finish at The Tour Championship. Not long after the event, though, Woods' personal life started to unravel.
2008: Vijay Singh
Singh's victory in the 2008 FedEx Cup playoffs was as impressive as it was unexpected. Singh struggled to find his form much of the year while dealing with tendinitis in his left arm. His best finish at a major was a tie for 14th at the Masters, and he missed the cuts at the British Open and PGA Championship. Still, his only regular-season victory, at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in August, sent him into the playoffs in seventh place in the standings. Then, Singh took over. Victories at the first two playoff events, The Barclays and the Deutsche Bank Championship, put him so far ahead of his competition that sub-par finishes at the final two events couldn't keep him from the title.
2007: Tiger Woods
Woods was at the height of his powers in 2007. Only he could skip the opening event of the four-tournament FedEx Cup playoffs and still run away with the championship. After back-to-back victories at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and PGA Championship, Woods decided not to play The Barclays, stating on his website: "My body is spent and I need a break." His tactic worked. In third place after The Barclays, Woods finished in a tie for second at the Deutsche Bank Championship to retake the lead in the standings, then finished the season with back-to-back wins to storm to the title — and the $10 million bonus.