The 2023 season has concluded with the Tour Championship at East Lake, with Viktor Hovland sealing back-to-back wins to take the number one prize in the FedEx Cup rankings.
We take a look at the true winners and losers from East Lake.
2023 Tour Championship Winners
With his reputation for comeback wins, Schauffele would have been one of the last men in the field Hovland would have chosen to be chasing him down, particularly with his FedEx Cup finishes of 3rd, 15th, 2nd, 2nd, and 5th in the previous five years.
Schauffele has overturned 54-hole leads three times to win on the PGA Tour, including a five-shot deficit at the 2019 Sentry Tournament of Champions, a three-shot deficit at the 2017 Greenbrier Classic, a three-shot deficit at the 2018 WGC-HSBC Champions, and a two-shot deficit at the 2017, you guessed it, Tour Championship.
Schauffele would have fancied his chances at closing down Sunday’s six-shot deficit, too, shooting an 8-under 62 despite missing five fairways. Ultimately, it wasn’t enough to catch Hovland but remained an impressive performance which resulted in a climb of 23 places in the FedEx Cup rankings to finish second.
Hovland’s 23-foot par putt on the 14th was a huge momentum clincher as it helped the Norwegian maintain his lead and in the process put out any hope in the mind of a chasing Xander, his 2019 graduating classmate.
Hovland’s win was so convincing that even the trophy engraver began carving his name onto the trophy whilst he was still on the 18th tee.
Hovland has had a killer season. 23 events played. 18 top-25s. Zero missed cuts. $14,112,235 earned (not including the $18,000,000 FedEx Cup bonus).
In winning the 2023 FedEx Cup Hovland joins a small number of international winners of this event, joining Vijay Singh (2008), Henrik Stenson (2013), Justin Rose (2018), and Rory McIlroy (three times). However, it is thought that the Norwegian is the only one of these champions to have a death metal playlist.
McIlroy has been a permanent fixture on the leaderboard this season. This weekend’s casual 4th place finish resulted in him finishing in the top 10 in 10 consecutive weeks for the first time in his career, an astonishing feat of consistency.
Despite some concerns about a back injury, McIlroy shows no sign of slowing down ahead of the Ryder Cup scheduled at the end of September.
Before then, Rory is already committed to playing the Irish Open at the K-Club and the BMW Championship at Wentworth before teeing it up for Team Europe.
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2023 Tour Championship Losers
There have not been many moments this year that could be considered a loss for Scheffler, but this weekend certainly was one.
Scheffler started the week three shots clear and at the top of the FedEx Cup ranking. That lead was quickly canceled out by a fast start from Collin Morikawa, however, who shot a 9-under 61 on Thursday.
Scheffler opened his account with a one-over par 71 on Thursday and followed that up with a promising 5-under par on Friday. Scheffler then shot three-over par on Saturday and even par on Sunday to drift far away from the top end of the leaderboard and finish T6 at 11-under; just one shot better than where he started the event.
Scottie fell from 1st to 6th in the FedEx Cup, a loss of over $15,000,000. Scheffler will not lose too much sleep over this having not missed a cut all season and taking home $21,014,342 in season earnings, but this weekend’s performance will still sting.
Another weekend to forget for the Australian. Day has had a fantastic 2023 season in what has been a convincing comeback year. There were low expectations for Day coming into this season, but doubters have been silenced after his win at the AT&T Byron Nelson and solid performances at the Masters (T39) and the Open (T2).
Day’s success this season is shown by just being present and part of the last 30 at the Tour Championship, but playoff performances of T52 (FedEx St. Jude Championship), T45 (BMW Championship), and 28th this weekend are not the strong finish he would have been hoping for.
Day finished his campaign at 28th in the FedEx Cup rankings, a fall of three places over the week. He only just beat out both Emiliano Grillo and Taylor Moore this week at the bottom of the leaderboard, who both had equally forgettable performances at East Lake.
Schenk caught some by surprise after his blistering start on Sunday. Schenk was stood on the 8th tee at five-under par for the round, a performance worth literally millions of dollars.
Unfortunately, Schenk succumbed to two bogies and 2 double bogies on his remaining holes which led to a finish of just one-under for the day.
Easy come, easy go.