Tour ChampionshipAugust 25, 2019

Paul Casey is refreshingly honest about his chances of catching Brooks Koepka, Rory McIlroy and others at the Tour Championship

TOUR Championship - Round Three
Sam Greenwood(Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

ATLANTA—There's not much math involved in the new FedEx Cup scoring system. But Paul Casey has done the leader board calculations, and he doesn't like how it checks out.

Casey's in the penultimate group at the Tour Championship, which is no surprise: The Englishman has four T-5 or better finishes in five career starts at East Lake. His in-week scores of 66, 67 and 68 are second to only Xander Schauffele.

However, thanks to the staggered start, Casey is four shots back of Brooks Koepka with 18 holes to play. If Koepka was the only player between Casey and the $15 million prize, perhaps Casey would have a formidable chance. Unfortunately for the 42-year-old, Rory McIlroy and Xander Schauffele are at 14 under and Justin Thomas is tied with him at 11.

So when asked his game plan heading into Sunday afternoon in Atlanta, Casey was brutally honest.

"Still the same, only because I'm the total underdog, and the only pressure I've got is the pressure I'm putting on myself," Casey said. "Because even I look at it, and I'm like—I know J.T. just made a slight error, but last time I looked at it, I've got Brooks, Rory, and Xander—Xander is a hell of a player ahead of me—and J.T. right next to me. Even I don't fancy those odds."

Those are the words of a realist.

But not a fatalist. Casey asserted he's going to be aggressive while also enjoying the moment.

"There can be a lot of stress out there this week. You see guys really grinding and teeing off on Thursday worrying about winning a FedExCup. And that couldn't be kind of any further from the forefront of our decisions and our focus. So we're just going to go out there and, as I said, tear it up if we can. If we don't, it doesn't matter."

Clearly Casey has come to peace that the $15 million may be out of reach. Of course, it helps that fifth place still earns $2,500,000.