North Carolina: Jordan Spieth has said finishing runner-up over the next two weeks on the PGA Tour would suit him just fine.
The British Open champion is coming off two consecutive runner-up finishes, after losing a play-off to Dustin Johnson at the Northern Trust and then falling to Justin Thomas at the Dell Technologies Championship.
He tops the standings in the season-long points race going into the final two events of the FedExCup playoffs, and a pair of second-placings would crown him champion and earn the $10 million (Dh36.7 million) bonus that goes with it, barring an unlikely set of circumstances.
“On the PGA Tour I can’t call [finishing second] a bad thing,” 2015 FedExCup champion Spieth said on the eve of the BMW Championship at Conway Farms outside Chicago.
“If I finish runner-up this week I will (probably) accomplish the goal of being number one going into East Lake.” With three major titles under his belt already at 24, he observed that he had a chance for a very special career.
“If I have the year I have this year the next 15 years, I’ll be the greatest player to ever play the game, if you judge it by major championships,” he said.
Thomas, meanwhile, has a spring in his step, not only due to his last-start victory, but also because his south Florida home was not damaged by Hurricane Irma.
A five-times winner this season, he has found a level where only a bad short game or an off week with the putter prevents him from contending.
“I’m not making the stupid mistakes the weeks I play well,” he said.
“I’ve been consistently driving it better this year. I’m always going to be in contention if I’m chipping and putting well.” Thomas had to vacate his home last week due to a mandatory evacuation of his Jupiter, Florida neighbourhood.
Before doing so, he transferred some valuables, including the PGA Championship Wanamaker Trophy, to a sturdy safe at his friend and rival Rickie Fowler’s house.
Thomas is second in the FedExCup standings, with world number one Johnson third, followed by Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama and Spaniard Jon Rahm.
The top five heading into next week’s Tour Championship will control their own fate, meaning a victory at East Lake in Atlanta will also lock up the FedExCup.
Seventy players will compete in Lake Forest this week, with only 30 advancing to the Tour Championship.