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Rory, Tiger, Nick and The FedExCup

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Late September is an important time for many reasons: the crisp air gives way to changing leaves, the NFL season is well underway, the FedExCup will soon be decided, and it's when you really should really be back at school.

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FedEx, whose ad campaign contends, ‘Nothing’s more important than your clubs’ is certainly trying to ally itself more with golf. So much in fact, they're again putting up $10 million for the winner of the Cup that bares their name.

FedExCup points have become something golf fans actually care about, more so than even Ryder Cup points.

The top 30 in FedEx Cup points will head to Atlanta’s South Side, home of East Lake Country Club and site of the TOUR Championship by Coca-Cola.

Rory McIlroy isn't out of the woods yet as the current FedExCup points leader. But the real story here is who’s trailing him. In second place is a guy you may have heard of who's 14 years older than McIlroy, Tiger Somethingorother.

If Tiger wins the Tour Championship, he wins the Cup. He has a reasonable chance to win should he finish in the top 3. Tiger has had one his best seasons since the debacle that-shall-not-be-named sent him crashing to earth, while McIlroy closed out the 2012 major season with a solid 8-stroke victory at the PGA Championship.

For years everyone anticipated a challenger for Tiger. He went off the reservation about the same time golf aficionados received the gift of McIlroy. McIlroy has showed the ability to dominate, even with the presence of Woods on a Sunday leaderboard, a sight which before sent competitors’ knees knocking and trees rattling with errant golf balls.

The first one to dare to pull the sword from the stone, and shatter the Woods mystic, will enter the TOUR Championship in third. Nick Watney, the low-key lefty, beat Woods in matchplay at the Accenture more than 5 years ago. With a win at Eastlake, Watney can secure the $10 million annuity from FedEx.

Tiger’s quest for major love in 2012 went unrequited. This is his last opportunity for glory that seems to come much easier for the Ulsterman these days. Should Tiger take The FedExCup, it will be a step toward confidence of the days of yore, bringing him closer to the record he’s been eyeing for decades—Jack Nicklaus’s 18 major wins.

Look for the same Woods-vs-McIlroy showdown the following week at the Ryder Cup.

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