Jason Day to take on world number one as Cup kicks off
GOLF: Major winner Jason Day will tee off alongside the man whose world No.1 ranking he wants, American Jordan Spieth, in the first round of the FedEx Cup playoffs tonight.
No Australian has won the lucrative FedEx Cup in its eight-year history, 2013 Masters winner Adam Scott coming closest that year when he finished fourth to Sweden's Henrik Stenson.
Scott is also the only Australian player to have won one of the four tournaments that make up the FedEx Cup playoffs, taking out The Barclays in 2013.
That event will again launch the series tonight in New Jersey, with Scott and fellow Queenslander John Senden the only Australians to have featured in the playoffs every year since the concept began in 2007.
Steven Bowditch, Marc Leishman and Matt Jones make up the six-strong Aussie contingent in the playoffs, the smallest number to have earned a place since 2009 when nine Australians finished in the top 125 on the points rankings to get a start in the opening tournament.
Not surprisingly after their final round showdown in the PGA Championship earlier this month, Day and Spieth have been paired together for the first two rounds, playing alongside dual Masters winner Bubba Watson.
Spieth finished the season on top of the points, just ahead of Day, with Watson in third place.
After achieving a lifetime dream by winning his first major, Day said he wanted to keep the momentum going in his bid to overtake Irishman Rory McIlroy and Spieth to become world No.1.
"It's a chance to really finish the year on an absolute high and get closer to my goal of being world No.1," he said.
Having played just one tournament - the PGA Championship - since injuring his ankle prior to the British Open, McIlroy has elected to take another week off before joining the playoffs in week two at the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston.
While Day is guaranteed to make it through to the final tournament of the playoffs, the Tour Championship in Atlanta, Scott (No.94) and Senden (No.88) will need to play reasonably well this week to line up in Boston when only the top 100 on the standings earn a start.
Scott will need to finish 60th or better, while Senden will need to finish in the top 65.
The FedEx Cup playoffs offer the top 125 players a staggering $A49 million in bonuses, on top of the prizemoney for each of the four tournaments.
The winner will pocket a cool $14 million.
Former world No.1 Tiger Woods is the only player to have won the Cup twice (in 2007 and 2009), but he failed to make the cut this year.