By Mark Lamport-Stokes
ATLANTA (Reuters) - American Matt Kuchar finds it a little strange that he could end up clinching the FedExCup and its mind-blowing $10 million bonus without winning this week's season-ending Tour Championship.
The world number eight lies fifth in the points standings going into the fourth and final playoff event and has a mathematical chance of landing the lucrative jackpot by finishing second at East Lake Golf Club.
"I hope that's not the way it works out," Kuchar told reporters on Wednesday. "I think the way Jim Furyk did it last year, winning the Tour Championship and winning the whole thing, that's the way to do it.
"If it works out that I don't win and I still win the FedExCup, that will be a fun topic to try to figure out how to prove myself or prove that being worthy.
Each player in the top five of the FedExCup standings going into this week controls his own destiny at East Lake and would secure the playoff trophy, and the mind-boggling bonus, with victory on Sunday.
Webb Simpson heads the standings, followed by fellow American Dustin Johnson (second) and Britons Justin Rose (third) and Luke Donald (fourth).
"To be in the top five, to have a chance to win $10 million, it's a crazy amount of money," said Kuchar, who has not won a PGA Tour title this season despite nine top-10 finishes. "It's really fun to be able to be in that position.
"It makes me a little more proud of the consistency I've been able to uphold for the last two years, to be a guy who's been in the top five back-to-back years."
Kuchar came into last year's Tour Championship heading the points standings but he played poorly at East Lake to tie for 25th in the elite field of 30.
"I didn't have a great week and ended up finishing second in the FedExCup, but, all-in-all, it was a fantastic run," the 33-year-old recalled of a 2010 campaign that featured a victory in the opening playoff event, The Barclays.
"Looking back at the year, I realized that the tournament to win was not necessarily the first of the playoff events, it's the last of the playoff events that you really want to win.
"It's exciting for me to be back, still in the top five, still knowing if I win the Tour Championship I'll win the FedExCup."
Kuchar, who topped the PGA Tour money list year after recording 11 top-10 finishes on the U.S. circuit, is scheduled to tee off at 1:35 p.m. in Thursday's opening round along with compatriot Brandt Snedeker.
(Editing by Frank Pingue)