They account for three of the four
Suffice it to say the FedEx Cup will have a fresh champion when the final putt drops Sunday at East Lake Golf Club. And it very well could come from a new generation starting to make its mark on the PGA Tour.
"It's been a tremendously rewarding year from the standpoint of watching so many good young players succeed," tour Commissioner Tim Finchem said.
Ten of this week's top 11 players in the FedEx Cup standings are 33 or younger, including each of the five who can capture the points title with no outside help.
Twentysomethings account for half of the tour's six double winners in 2011 — Simpson,
"It's been great for the tour to get good young players having success," said Mickelson, 41, one of just six players at East Lake in their 40s. "And the guys we have coming up that have had success are quality guys."
As part of his annual "State of the Tour" briefing, Finchem noted that the circuit has gone nearly overnight from having one dominant player — Woods — "to all the way at the other end of the spectrum."
"I think it's the beginning of a snowball," Finchem said. "When I go around the country, the first thing I hear from people is, 'Boy, you've got a lot of great young players right now, and they're so athletic and fun to watch on the golf course.'"
Simpson is in unfamiliar territory. Not only is he No. 1, but this is his first Tour Championship appearance. Last year, he didn't secure his membership for 2011 until the next-to-last event of the Fall Series.
"It's just crazy what can happen in a year," said Simpson, who won the regular-season finale and two weeks later at the
Johnson, Rose, No. 4
For guys like Woods and Singh, that $10 million champion's bonus might not have made as big an impact on their bank accounts. However, it's certainly catches the eye of this generation.
"The zeros definitely catch your attention," Johnson said. "That's a lot of money — enough for you to think about, for sure."