On Sunday at the conclusion of the BMW Championship, Brandt Snedeker is all but a lock to end one of the stranger short-term curses in recent PGA Tour memory.
Sitting in seventh place heading into the third leg of the FedEx Cup playoffs, Snedeker is considered “likely” by the PGA Tour to remain in the top 30 in the standings and advance to the Tour Championship next week.
Why is that such a big deal? In the six-year history of the FedEx Cup concept, so far, no champion has made it back to East Lake the following season to defend their title.
Here’s a look at where past FedEx Cup champions finished in the standings the year after their $10 million pull:
- 2007 champion Tiger Woods didn’t make it to the playoffs at all, ending his 2008 season after winning the U.S. Open. He still finished 70th in points.
- 2008 FedEx Cup champion Vijay Singh had a down year in 2009, finishing 81st in points and not even getting to the third leg of the playoffs.
- Tiger Woods won the FedEx Cup again in 2009, but his injury- and scandal-plagued 2010 left him able to only finish 42nd in points.
- Jim Furyk capitalized that rainy week at East Lake to win the 2010 FedEx Cup, but had a massively disappointing 2011. At 36th, he finished six spots shy of a return trip to the Tour Championship.
- Bill Haas was literally one shot away from being the first with a shot to defend the FedEx Cup title. He finished 32nd in points last year, missing that Atlanta trip by one shot at the BMW Championship at Crooked Stick.
Snedeker looks good to enter the Tour Championship inside the top 10 in points, however, only the top five can control their FedEx Cup fate and earn the $10 million prize with a win in the playoff finale.