Justin Rose on FedEx Cup final: "There's less protection for leaders"

Rose believes the likes of Justin Thomas, Patrick Cantlay and Brooks Koepka have a target on their back at the Tour Championship.

Andy Roberts's picture
Thu, 22 Aug 2019

Despite plenty of talk of volatility and unfairness when it comes to the new handicap scoring system at this week's FedEx Cup finale, defending champion Justin Rose believes he and the chasing pack still have a very good chance of scooping the $15 million jackpot on Sunday. 

Rose, who won his first FedEx Cup last year, believes the FedEx Cup leader Justin Thomas has a target on his back as he starts with a two-stroke lead on 10-under par. 

Under the new format, Rose believes Thomas has just as much to lose as the other 29 players who begin the week with ground to make up.

"I think there's much less protection now for the leading players," said Rose, who starts the week in tied 16th on 2-under par and eight strokes behind Thomas.

"If you were leading the FedExCup in the past and you had a poor week, you'd finish maybe second, possibly third in the FedExCup. You have a poor week now, you can finish 12th, 15th, 18th, 20th."

Rose considers those players in the chasing pack can just play with a little more freedom rather than trying to hold onto a lead from the offset.

"There's a lot more volatility, I think, with this format, which is what playoff golf is all about, I guess," said Rose.

"It's the guys basically bringing their best golf when it counts the most."

Rory McIlroy, who starts five strokes back on 5-under par, has slammed the FedEx Cup's new scoring system.

McIlroy, who has one more victory and six more top-10 finishes than Thomas this season, considers the FedEx Cup finale to be unfair for a "season of championships."




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