Heading into the Tour Championship – the last event of the season-long FedEx Cup on the PGA Tour – Charl Schwartzel will have plenty to play for as he battles against the top-30 in the rankings for his share of tournament prize money as well as FedEx Cup prize money.
His victory at the Valspar Championship, where he carded a final-round 67 at Innisbrook’s Copperhead Course to force a playoff with 54-hole leader Bill Haas – whom he beat on the first extra hole – will surely give him a boost of confidence going after the $8, 500, 000 Tour Championship purse.
One of South Africa’s best performers on Tour, Schwartzel maintained his standing inside the top-30 heading to the FedExCup Playoffs mainly due to the three consecutive top-10 finishes registered during the season.
Schwartzel arrived at the BMW Championship 43rd in the standings. With scores of 70-70-72 in the first three rounds, his chances of making it to Atlanta looked doubtful until he carded a season-low 64 to down Rickie Fowler for the final spot by a fraction of a FedExCup point.
If Schwartzel is to claim the FedEx Cup, there are a number of factors which need to swing his way. Going into the week in 30th spot, Schwartzel will need to win the Tour Championship, hope Dustin Johnson finishes in a share of 29th or worse and hope several other players finish outside of him.
It’s a stretch, but one can never write-off the 2011 Masters champion and after some brilliant final round displays in the last month, Schwartzel could be a man to keep your eye on.