The final stop of the FedEx cup playoffs is here. The record-setting scoring week in Maryland at Caves Valley came to a phenomenal end on Sunday with Patrick Cantlay and Bryson DeChambeau going toe-to-toe and into a playoff. It would provide a great stage for the final tournament of the PGA Tour calendar year.
If this is your first time reading the article, or you’ve forgotten all about PGA DFS, then I’ll give you a quick summary of what’s to come:
- Tournament Intro
- Course Breakdown and PGA DFS Sweat Sheet
- Player Preview
- Statistical Preview
The Tour Championship PGA DFS Preview and Picks
The top 30 golfers in the FedEx Cup standings have been crowned, and now they’ll battle it out for the biggest prize in golf – $15 million. This marks the second year the Tour is also implementing a staggered start, with the golfer who performed the best during the regular season and the two previous playoffs events starting at 10 under par. From there, its is a sliding scale all the way down to even par. The winner on Sunday evening will win both the FedEx Cup and the Tour Championship. Here’s what that breakdown for this year looks like:
|STARTING STROKES||FEDEX CUP RANK/PLAYER|
|10 under||1. Patrick Cantlay|
|8 under||2. Tony Finau|
|7 under||3. Bryson DeChambeau|
|6 under||4. Jon Rahm|
|5 under||5. Cameron Smith|
|4 under||6. Justin Thomas
7. Abraham Ancer
8. Harris English
9. Jordan Spieth
10. Sam Burns
|3 under||11. Collin Morikawa
12. Sungjae Im
13. Viktor Hovland
14. Louis Oosthuizen15. Dustin Johnson
|2 under||16. Rory McIlroy
17. Xander Schauffele
18. Jason Kokrak
19. Kevin Na
20. Brooks Koepka
|1 under||21. Corey Conners
22. Hideki Matsuyama
23. Stewart Cink
24. Joaquin Niemann
25. Scottie Scheffler
|Even par||26. Daniel Berger
27. Erik Van Rooyen
28. Billy Horschel
29. Sergio Garcia
30. Patrick Reed
East Lake Country Club Preview
From an absolute birdie fest at Caves Valley last week to a good test of golf this week, East Lake is a par 70 around 7,400 yards. If the course plays like it has the last few years, they should only see about 2.5 inches in most spots, and instead of the sticky, hard-to-hit-out-of Kentucky bluegrass, they get Bermuda throughout.
The Tour Championship has been played here at East Lake since 2004, and it first hosted the tournament back in 1998. If you aren’t familiar with the East Lake neighborhood, I’ll tell you a bit about it. In the mid-’90s, investor Tom Cousins struck a deal with the city of Atlanta to build a mixed-income neighborhood. Since then, it has flourished as one of the best communities in the Atlanta area and has been a model for newer communities built with the same ideals.
With only 30 golfers in the field, there is no cut this week.
Course Facts & Figures: East Lake Country Club
Par and Yardage
- Par 70: 7,400 yards
- 24/41 -1.083 or 68.917
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- Four Par 3’s: 197, 235, 214, 211
- 12 Par 4’s: 469, 391, 479, 442, 481, 455, 424, 389, 440, 520, 455, 430
- Two Par 5’s: 525, 590
Grass Types & Hazards
- Grass Type: Bermuda
- Average Green Size: 6,300 sq. ft.
- Water Hazards: 6
- Bunkers: 74
- Donald Ross/Rees Jones
Facts and Figures
- Off the Tee: Harder-to-hit fairways for the entire field bring down the necessity to be perfect off the tee. In fact, just over 55% of the fairways were hit last year.
- Approach to the Green: Below-average fairways hit (ninth hardest in 2019) meant below-average greens in regulation, coming in at 63% for the week last year.
- Around the Green: The greens aren’t all that easy to get up and down for par either, with golfers doing so just 55% of the time.
- On the Green: As long as players get on the right side of a Donald Ross green, their putts are makeable. Get on the wrong side, and a three-putt is definitely in play as well. This course ranked 30th last year in overall putting average.
PGA DFS Sweat Sheet and Slate Preview
Last year, even with only 30 golfers in the field, DraftKings put out a $1.5 million guaranteed contest. The winning lineup for the contest had 5/6 optimal players in it, only missing out on Scottie Scheffler, and instead of having Rory McIlroy on the team, here is the Optimal Lineup from last year’s Tour Championship:
The only two par 5s on the course come into play at the 9th and 15th holes, and they produce over 30% of the total scoring. By contrast, the 12th and 17th are the only other holes to yield over 6% of the total scoring. With almost 20% of the total scoring coming in the last two holes, the Tour Championship fittingly equals quite a long sweat through the round for the best players of the year.
The Tour Championship PGA DFS Player Preview
Last year’s leaderboard:
With only 30 golfers and a staggered starting position, and a course that just doesn’t yield many scoring chances, DFS Contests were tight. Kevin Na had the lowest point total for the week, with 50.5, while three golfers got over 100, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas and Xander Schauffele. Mackenzie Hughes ended up being a huge piece to the DFS puzzle, scoring 80 points and shooting one of the best scores of the week eight under, good enough for the sixth-best score of the week.
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