Just three weeks ago, Billy Horschel had every reason to start looking ahead to next season.
He had missed the cut in the first FedEx Cup playoff event to fall to No. 82 in the standings. He only had two top 10s all year, scant evidence that he was on the verge of something special. He was weeks away from becoming a father.
What followed was the best golf of his life, and a payoff that was more than he could grasp.
Billy Horschel wins the Tour Championship which also gives him a FedEx Cup title and a $10 million bonus.
"I'm not sure life can be better than this," Horschel said.
Horschel capped off his improbable playoff run Sunday at East Lake by pulling away from Rory McIlroy early and holding off Jim Furyk late. He posted his 12th straight round in the 60s -- a 2-under 68 -- to win the Tour Championship by three shots and claim the FedEx Cup and its $10 million bonus.
That's what these FedEx Cup playoffs are all about -- who can get the hot hand over the last four tournaments.
Horschel took that to a level only Tiger Woods can appreciate. No one had ever won the FedEx Cup starting the playoffs lower than No. 19. Horschel started at No. 69. But he was the runner-up in Boston, a winner in Denver and he cashed in big in Atlanta.
Those three weeks of prize money and the FedEx Cup bonus were worth nearly $13.5 million.
It was just too late to show Ryder Cup captain Tom Watson.
Horschel's timing was perfect for the FedEx Cup, not so much for the Ryder Cup. Watson made his three captain's picks after the Deutsche Bank Championship -- Horschel was the runner-up -- and he had no reason to select a guy whose only PGA Tour win was last year in New Orleans.