ATLANTA – Jon Rahm picked a bad time to go into a mini-slump.
The Masters champion held the lead in the FedEx Cup for 30 consecutive weeks but after a pair of middle-of-the-pack finishes, he fell to fourth heading into the Tour Championship and began the third and final leg of the Playoffs at 6 under. A final-round 74 sent him tumbling to T-18 in the final FedEx Cup standings. Despite winning four times during the season and being the favorite to capture PGA Tour Player of the Year honors, Rahm got passed by Adam Schenk, who was winless during the season.
Schenk, who started the week T-23 at 1 under in the staggered start, finished in a five-way tie for ninth at the Tour Championship and earned $980,000, upping his winnings for the season to $5.8 million.
Rahm didn’t speak to the media after his finish on Sunday but he shared his feelings about the FedEx Cup beforehand.
“It’s easier to understand,” he said. “I don’t think it’s the best we can come up with. I think I’ve expressed my dislike towards the fact that you can come in ranked No. 1 in the FedEx Cup. You can win every single tournament up until this one. You have a bad week, you finish 30th, and now you’ll forever be known as 30th in the FedEx Cup this season. I don’t think that’s very fair.”
If you had told me that Adam Schenk (T-9) would finish ahead of Jon Rahm (T-18) in the FedEx Cup, I wouldn’t have believed it.
— Adam Schupak (@AdamSchupak) August 28, 2023
Rahm makes a fair point. Schenk finishing above Rahm in the final standings is akin to the New York Giants beating the undefeated New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.
Rory McIlroy, for one, has no problem with Rahm tumbling down the FedEx standings despite having the most wins in the regular season.
“A basketball team could go 82-0 and lose in the first round of the playoffs. If that’s sort of the competitive environment that we’re trying to create, then I would say more Jon Rahm finished second in the regular season in the Comcast Top 10,” Mcilroy said. “I think as that might become more prevalent as the years go on and more money gets put into the regular season as well. You know, it’s almost like two different competitions, two different events.
“You’ve got the regular season and then you’ve got the playoffs. I think everyone tries to put them together in the same sort of thing, but really they’re like regular season and then this is sort of like a 12-round sprint to the finish.”