One of the lesser-known golfers taking part in the FedEx Cup Playoff finale this week has, once again, quietly put himself into contention. Roberto Castro finished the first round of the TOUR Championship at three and par and is currently just three shots off of Henrik Stenson’s pace after 18 holes.
It’s not easy to get overlooked in a field that only contains 30 players, but he hasn’t been given much of a shot to contend this week. As usual, the bigger names in the sport dominated the headlines and rankings leading up to this event. Castro came to East Lake ranked 24th in the FedEx Cup standings, but was not able to break into the conversation as a contender this week. Maybe it’s because he did not pick up a win on the PGA Tour this year.
Castro started 28 events this season and made the cut in 18 of them. The vast majority of those 10 missed cuts came during a rough patch between February and April. Since May, Castro has only missed the cut three times. More importantly, he has yet to finish outside of the top 25 since the Fedex Cup Playoffs began. He has finished T25, T9 and 15th in each of the three events, respectively.
He has generally fared well during the first three rounds of events this season but has had a tendency to fall off on Sunday. He is in the top 40 in scoring average for each of the first three rounds but then drops to 92nd for the final round. He’s also struggled a bit with the putter, ranking 163rd on the Tour in strokes gained – putting. He was 26th in the field in that particular statistic in the first round.
He’s not incredibly long, but Castro is a superb ball-striker. If he can get something going with the putter over the next few days he just might surprise some people and take home the title this week.
Even if he does win this event, Castro is going to need a lot of help in order to win the $10 million FedEx Cup grand prize. The scenario that would have to unfold for him to win the FedEx Cup title is as follows:
Castro wins the TOUR Championship
Tiger Woods finishes 17th or worse
Henrik Stenson finishes T5 or worse
Adam Scott finishes in a three-way tie for third or worse
Zach Johnson finishes T3 or worse
Matt Kuchar finishes in a three-way tie for second or worse
Steve Stricker finishes T2 or worse
While it is certainly unlikely that all of these things will happen, it’s by no means impossible.