X

Have feedback / suggestions? Let us know!

Golf

Top Five Dark Horse Contenders For The 2014 FedEx Cup Playoffs

Dark Horses To Watch During The 2014 FedEx Cup Playoffs

Phil Mickelson FedEx Cup Playoffs
Getty Images

On the eve of the 2014 FedEx Cup Playoffs, we've already taken a look at the favorites to win the season title and the million prize that goes with it. These are some of the biggest names in golf, and they've earned their place?

But what about the guys outside the top 25? There's some real talent there, and despite injuries or just some poor play, these are the players you definitely need to watch out for. The road to Atlanta starts now.

5. Graham DeLaet

Graham DeLaet PGA Tour
Getty Images

5. Graham DeLaet

Graham DeLaet PGA Tour

DeLaet closed his 2014 campaign with two strong finishes - a T-7 at the RBC Canadian Open, and a T-15 at the PGA Championship - sandwiching a disappointing run at Firestone, where he came down with the flu.

Still, at 28th in the points race he has the least work to do to get to East Lake. Last year, DeLaet showed his playoff prowess by opening with back-to-back top-three finishes at the Barclays and Deutsche Bank. Can he do it once again?

4. Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson 2014 FedEx Cup
Getty Images

4. Phil Mickelson

Phil Mickelson 2014 FedEx Cup

I know, Phil Mickelson looked horrible for much of 2014. He didn't even contend for a win until the PGA Championship. Honestly, he didn't even look like the "Lefty" we all know. That said, he still earned 10 top-25 finishes on his way to 45th in the points. That's a down year lots of players would love to have.

This is a gamble, but I'm thinking that something clicked at Valhalla for Phil, and a win early in these playoffs could start a run.

3. Graeme McDowell

Graeme McDowell PGA Tour 2014
Getty Images

3. Graeme McDowell

Graeme McDowell PGA Tour 2014

How does a guy who finished in the top ten of more than half his tournaments only sit in 43rd place coming into the playoffs? For starters, McDowell only played 15 PGA Tour events.

Considering that, it's hard not to like McDowell, who led the Tour in strokes gained putting in 2014. If that doesn't inspire confidence, I don't know what will. He's got the Ryder Cup coming up, but for now he'll look on improving his FedEx Cup playoff record.

2. Brandt Snedeker

Brandt Snedeker FedEx Cup Playoffs
Getty Images

2. Brandt Snedeker

Brandt Snedeker FedEx Cup Playoffs

The lowest-ranked player in this list comes in second for a couple reasons. Snedeker does already have a FedEx Cup title on his resume, so the playoff pressure can't hold him back. Over his last four starts, he's broken 70 in 14 of 16 rounds. Then, he capped off a run of seven top-25's in eight starts with his best finish of the year at the Wyndham Championship. He's playing for a Ryder Cup slot, but the playoffs come first.

1. Jason Day

Jason Day FedEx Cup
Getty Images

1. Jason Day

Jason Day FedEx Cup

A couple months ago, you'd have thought I was crazy to call Jason Day a "dark horse" for pretty much anything in 2014, but nagging injuries kept him from reaching our expectations. Now seemingly healthy and in 34th place, Day has the game to win it all. Needing some big finishes to get himself in contention at East Lake, he's the most likely player to break through from outside the top group.