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Golf Australia Express : September 2014
But to survive the final cut of 40 and be among the 30 players invited to the Tour Championship seven years in a row? That takes some doing. If people love a winner, the FedEx Cup remains unapologetic in its worship of them. Winning pays and money talks, which is why before this year — despite playing every single FedEx Cup tournament — Mahan didn’t even feature among the top 15 players for career FedEx Cup bonus earnings. That’s certain to change once this year’s season rounds out, with well over $1 million already in his pocket after the first event and with him sitting in pole position to claim the $10 million prize for finishing at the head of the class. What’s changed to flick Mahan’s status from perennial but toothless hunter to the man Rory McIlroy says he has in his crosshairs? There was no secret formula to Mahan’s victory, according to the man himself. He just finally got his timing right. “There’s never really a bad time to play good golf,” he said. “And this is a really, really good time to play good golf.” “This time of year I want to be playing and I want to have the opportunity to win. These are big tournaments. These are the best players in the world. I want to have that opportunity to win.” Whether or not Mahan’s timely late-season surge translates into big bucks remains to be seen. His form wasn’t flash at the Deutsche Bank Championship, but you’d forgive him an off week after the previous week’s madness, wouldn’t you? Mahan flagged a potential drop- off in form after the victory, such was the combination of emotion and effort that went into securing it. “It was a great win because a lot went into the win. I’ve had a pretty impressive streak for the last seven years,” he said. “I want to continue it this year, so it feels good having done that.” The FedEx Cup’s win-heavy weighting system means that it's almost impossible to claim the ultimate prize without a win in the Playoffs. He’ll like those odds. OTG the player