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The 2022/23 PGA Tour season has reached the finishing stretch as the FedEx Cup Playoffs get set to begin.
This year's Playoffs have been harder to make than ever, with the previous top 125 being reduced to just 70 for the final three tournaments.
There's a cast of 70 this week in Memphis, Tennessee at TPC Southwind for the FedEx St Jude Championship, with the top 50 making it through to next week's BMW Championship and then 30 for the season-ending Tour Championship at East Lake.
Rory McIlroy defends the FedEx Cup after winning it for the third time last year, and he's in prime position to retain it. The Northern Irishman enters the Playoffs in third spot after a superb year that has featured wins at the Scottish Open and Dubai Desert Classic (DP World Tour). He also won the CJ Cup last October, part of the 2022/23 season.
McIlroy is one of the many big names in the field this week at TPC Southwind along with World No.1 Scottie Scheffler, who was runner-up in the FedEx Cup last year and currently second in the standings.
Let's take a look at five TaylorMade set to challenge this week as the Playoffs get underway:
FedEx St Jude Championship Key Info
|Course||TPC Southwind, Memphis, Tennessee|
|Yardage/Par||7,243 yards/Par 70|
|Dates||August 10 - August 13|
|Defending champion||Will Zalatoris (-15)|
5 Big Names To Watch At The FedEx St Jude Championship
- World Ranking: 2
- PGA Tour wins: 24
- FedEx Cup standing: 3
Nobody has won as many FedEx Cups as Rory McIlroy (3 - 2016, 2019, 2022) and the Northern Irishman is set on picking up a fourth later this month after a fantastic season and year.
"I don't think that way. I think about trying to go and win a fourth FedExCup here in a couple weeks' time, go try and win a fifth Race to Dubai, go and win a fifth Ryder Cup. I just keep looking forward," he said after his T6 finish at The Open last month.
McIlroy didn't quite manage to get over the line in a Major this year, with a 2nd-place at the US Open his best effort, but he has won three times in the past 12 months and can return to the World No.1 spot this week with a win.
He has plenty of course experience at TPC Southwind, too, with his best result of a T4 at the 2019 WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational where he held the 54-hole lead.
- World Ranking: 1
- PGA Tour wins: 6
- FedEx Cup standing: 2
The World No.1 has been far and away the best player on the planet this year, with only his putting stopping him from winning almost every week.
Scheffler somehow didn't win his second Major in a season that has included two wins, 15 top-10s in 20 starts and zero missed cuts.
He was runner-up in the FedEx Cup last year after a losing a six stroke lead to McIlroy on the final day, so he'll be very keen to get his Playoffs off to a good start with victory in Memphis, where he was T4th in 2020.
- World Ranking: 23
- DP World Tour wins: 6
- FedEx Cup standing: 26
Fleetwood cut a devastated figure after the 151st Open at Royal Liverpool, where he didn't quite manage to chase down Brian Harman and challenge for his maiden Major title.
Still, the Englishman has played some stunning golf over the summer period with a 63 coming in the final round of the US Open, where he was T5th, and a runner-up at the RBC Canadian Open where he lost on the fourth playoff hole to a 70+ footer from Nick Taylor.
Tommy finds himself in a great position in the FedEx Cup standings with East Lake in sight, but he'll need a win or a high finish to get up towards the top-10 and higher.
- World Ranking: 26
- PGA Tour wins: 6
- FedEx Cup standing: 9
What a year it has been for Fowler, who ended 2022 outside of the world's top 100 and is now comfortably back inside the top 30.
Fowler won his sixth PGA Tour title at last month's Rocket Mortgage Classic, ending a four-and-a-half year drought.
He's set to return to the Ryder Cup side after missing 2021 and will fancy his chances of challenging for the FedEx Cup. As well as winning his sixth PGA Tour title this year, he also famously became the first man in history to shoot 62 in a US Open at LACC in June.
- World Ranking: 22
- PGA Tour wins: 5
- FedEx Cup standing: 22
Morikawa was T5th here last year so is primed to go even better after an indifferent year of form that has mixed plenty of off-weeks with a number close calls including two runner-up finishes and a third-place.
He missed the cut at The Open in his last start but before that lost in a playoff to Fowler at the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit. He hasn't added another victory to his impressive tally yet this year but you can never back against the talented two-time Major winner.
Collin has had five top-10s so far this calendar year and you do get the feeling that he is ready to pick up another 'W' pretty soon.
For more on all of TaylorMade's Tour Staff and the company's products, visit the TaylorMade Golf website
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Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-5. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!
Elliott is currently playing:
Driver: Titleist TSR4
3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max
Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max
Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW
Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58
Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5
Ball: TaylorMade TP5x
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