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Tiger Woods, vying for $10 million payout, struggles at Tour Championship

updated 6:15 PM EDT, Thu September 19, 2013
Tiger Woods will have to make up significant ground if he is to win the Tour Championship at East Lake.
Tiger Woods will have to make up significant ground if he is to win the Tour Championship at East Lake.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Tiger Woods will claim the $10 million FedEx Cup prize if he wins the Tour Championship
  • Woods last claimed the FedEx Cup in 2009, while Brandt Snedeker is the 2012 champion
  • Woods, though, struggled in the first round and is nine shots behind leader Henrik Stenson
  • Any of the top five seeds at the Tour Championship will win the Cup if they win the tournament

(CNN) -- With a win at the Tour Championship, Tiger Woods will almost certainly be named PGA player of the year for the first time since 2009.

Woods is surely also thinking about the $10 million bonus that comes with capturing the FedEx Cup.

Woods is the top seed this weekend and as such is guaranteed golf's biggest payout if he conquers East Lake.

But by no means is Woods an overwhelming favorite.

In the sometimes confusing world of the FedEx Cup, one scenario is fairly simple: If any of the five seeds win the tournament -- the others are Henrik Stenson, Adam Scott, Zach Johnson and Matt Kuchar -- they will walk away with the multimillion dollar prize.

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"We control our destiny," Woods told reporters prior to the event.

The 25 others lining up in Atlanta can win, too, although things have to fall their way.

Woods' injury-hit year hasn't included a major and his drought will extend to six years by the time 2014 comes around.

But he has bagged five titles, including two World Golf Championships, to make him player of the year favorite.

If he is to win a sixth title in 2013, Woods will have to do it the hard way -- he trailed leader Stenson by nine shots following the first round and sat second last.

Scott was a mere shot behind Stenson. If Scott triumphs at the Tour Championship and thus tops the FedEx Cup standings, he could edge Woods in player of the year voting.

"It's been a great year for me for sure," Scott, who opened his account at majors at Augusta, told reporters in the buildup to the Tour Championship. "But I think this week counts so much for me in how the year will be remembered by myself and others.

"There's so much to play for -- two trophies here this week and also potentially throwing my name in a player of the year debate.

"I feel I've played a lot of good golf here but haven't capitalized on it."

Stenson shot a six-under-par 64 despite nursing a wrist injury.

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