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Rory McIlroy out to end outstanding 2014 with FedExCup win

Rory McIlroy could cap an outstanding 2014 with FedExCup glory if he wins this week's Tour Championship in Georgia.

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The Northern Irishman has returned to the top of the world rankings in a year that has seen him win major titles at both The Open and the PGA Championship.

The FedExCup - a championship trophy for the PGA Tour - begins at The Barclays, the first of four play-off events that sees the field gradually whittled down from 125 to 30 for this week's tournament.

And it is at the East Lake Golf Club's Tour Championship that the winner is crowned and given US$10million of the whopping $35million prize money.

McIlroy led the regular season rankings but ties for 22nd, fifth and eighth in the three completed events have seen him slip to fourth.

All of the top five players in the rankings will take the FedExCup if they win in Georgia, though, meaning McIlroy's task is simple.

The 25-year-old will be hoping to avoid a repeat of two four-putts in last week's BMW Championship, won by Billy Horschel.

"It sort of shows everyone out there that we do the same things as they do every weekend," McIlroy said afterwards.

"Two four-putts on the same green? It's not my worst. I have five-putted before. But it's one of those things that at least I can laugh about it and move on."

Horschel's win at Cherry Hills lifted him to second in the rankings, just nine points behind Chris Kirk.

The American also tied for second at the Deutsche Bank Championship - won by Kirk - last month and is clearly in good form.

Kirk was unable to repeat his heroics last week and tied for 36th, allowing Horschel to close the gap.

Bubba Watson was second to Horschel last week and sits third, ahead of McIlroy and Hunter Mahan, who won The Barclays.

While the top five will win both titles with success, the likes of Jimmy Walker, Jim Furyk, Matt Kuchar, Rickie Fowler and Jason Day - who round out the top 10 in the FedExCup rankings - would have to win The Tour Championship and hope other results go their way for dual success.

Furyk and Fowler are ones to watch, with the former - a FedExCup winner in 2010 - following up an eighth-placed finish at The Barclays with a tie for fourth last week.

And Fowler has posted seven top-10 finishes in his last eight starts.

The field at East Lake will only be made up of 29 players with the man who sits 30th - American Dustin Johnson - still on voluntary leave. Due to the small field, there will be no cut at the halfway mark.

Defending champion Henrik Stenson, who held off Jordan Spieth and Steve Stricker to win by three shots last year, did not qualify for the 2014 event.

The Swede - who won both the FedExCup and the European Tour's Race to Dubai last year - is 58th in the rankings for the former.

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