With only 70 players in the field the tee times are more closely knit than usual. However, there still looks to me like there will be an advantage to those out first. I'm going to concentrate on those starting in the morning.
Zach Johnson (54th in the FedEx Cup standings) has plenty of motivation to play well this week. The double major winner is currently well outside the Tour Championship cutoff point (30). However, there have been plenty of encouraging signs in his recent performances and his form at Conway Farms is excellent (includes a win in 2013). Johnson is first out on Thursday - he has a great chance to get off to a flyer.
There was plenty of encouragement to take from Phil Mickelson's performance last time out at the Dell Technologies Championship. The sixth place finish was his best strokeplay result since his second at the 2016 Open. Mickelson is in a better position (36) than the aforementioned Johnson but still needs a positive result this week if he is to make the Tour Championship.
Charl Schwartzel and Louis Oosthuizen spent their downtime during this last week cheering on friend and compatriot Kevin Anderson as he made his debut in a Grand Slam final (eventually succumbing to Rafa Nadal in straight sets). Both golfers have been in good form of late, and both impressed during their sole visit to Conway Farms. With early tee times in the bank, it's hoped they can take inspiration from Anderson's elite performance last week.
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