Casey tops the leaderboard ahead of Kevin Kisner and Xander Schauffele, while he is ranked above U.S. Open champion Justin Thomas and three-time major victor Jordan Spieth in the race for the FedEx Cup. He won five PGA Tour events this season alone, with the most recent coming at the Dell Technologies Championship back in September (where Spieth finished in second). A week ago he needed to shoot a 30 on the final nine holes at the BMW Championship just to qualify for the final event of the FedEx Cup playoffs.
But the English ace knows this course better than either of his closest rivals, after finishing in the top five on all three previous visits to East Lake.
Jordan Spieth started the week with a 200-point lead over Justin Thomas, whilst Dustin Johnson, Marc Leishman and Jon Rahm are the only other players in control of their own destinies. But those two, Paul Casey, the 54-hole leader, and Kevin Kisner, the former University of Georgia standout, were unable to keep up with their younger counterparts. No wonder there was frustration from Day that he played the inward half in two over par.
It means Day needs to improve on his previous best Tour Championship score of 67 at the hard East Lake and eclipse the record five-shot comeback Camilo Villegas achieved to win the 2008 Tour Championship. Thomas (-11) was one stroke behind Schauffele (-12), a 23-year-old playing his first full year on the PGA Tour.
Paul Casey might not want to talk about it, but the Englishman has given himself a shot at landing a stunning $10million bonus on Sunday evening, days after becoming a father for the second time.
Thomas also won the PGA of America Player of the Year, which is based on a points system for tournament wins, official prize-money and scoring averages.
It meant Spieth ending the year as the Tour’s No. 2.
Casey closed by saving par with an adventurous No. 18.
“It’s a really weird day, getting asked what it’s like to win the FedExCup because as a competitor you’re mad you didn’t win the tournament”, Thomas said in a greenside presentation. It also ensured the San Diego State alum the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year award.
Starting day four six shots off the lead and an outside chance to claim his Tour title since May 2016, Day’s two-under total left him tied for 17th.
Thomas’ triumph ends a brilliant 2017 campaign that saw him win four calendar-year tournaments, including the PGA Championship.