Expert Picks for THE TOUR Championship
The final 30 golfers in the FedExCup standings will give it their all to capture not only the THE TOUR Championship but also the $10 million that the FedExCup winner scores. With such a limited field, young players and those outside the established elites will have little to no history at East Lake Golf Club. Fear not, there's more than enough stats and trends to draw from in order to build a strong lineup and end your fantasy golf season strong.
Luke Donald [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #3
In four career starts at East Lake Golf Club since 2005, Donald has never finished outside of the top 25 -- highlighted by a runner-up performance last year. Over his last six events this season, he’s finished no worse than 18th with two consecutive top-fives. Donald ranks first in scoring average, second in strokes gained – putting, fourth in birdie average, and ninth in All-Around Ranking.
Webb Simpson [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #19
While this is the first career start at East Lake for Simpson, it really doesn’t matter. He leads the FedExCup standings with finishes of 10th, first and fifth thus far in the postseason. Simpson has been pacing the field in All-Around Ranking nearly all year. He also ranks second in scoring average and third in birdie average. After yet another impressive finish, Simpson figures to leave Atlanta as the Tour champion and will likely earn Player of the Year honors.
Nick Watney [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #23
After a strong regular season, Watney has struggled in the last two playoff events. He finished T61 at the Deutsche Bank Championship after a brutal Sunday round of 80, but rebounding with a T22 at the BMW Championship. Watney began the postseason with the points lead, but has dropped to seventh. East Lake offers a legitimate last stand for Watney as he’s finished T4 and T13 the last two years. He ranks fourth in both scoring average and All-Around Ranking.
Adam Scott [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #7
In addition to winning the 2006 event at East Lake, Scott has never finished worse than 27th in five career starts at the site. The Australian has a win and two more top-10s in his last five events, but only one coming in the playoffs. Scott ranks second in All-Around Ranking, fourth in Total Driving and 17th in scoring average.
Jason Day [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #35
Last year at East Lake, Day was on track for a top-10 finish in his first ever career start at the site. He would fade to finish T17 after a round of 73 on Sunday. Day is coming off a T49 at the BMW Championship, his worst result of the postseason. The Australian ranks ninth in birdie average, 10th in scoring average, 12th in strokes gained – putting, and 10th in All-Around Ranking.
Phil Mickelson [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #10
Since 1998, Mickelson has eight starts at East Lake, winning in 2009 and 2000 with two more top-fives. However, Phil has been struggling as of late with three finishes outside of the top 40 in his last five events. Lefty ranks 16th in scoring average, 19th in birdie average, and 18th in All-Around Ranking.
Matt Kuchar [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #9
Last year marked Kuchar’s first trip to East Lake and saw him finish in the back of the field -- T25. He’s recorded four straight top-25s this season, including a runner-up performance at The Barclays, after posting much stronger performances for much of the year. Kuchar ranks fourth in scoring average and sixth in All-Around Ranking.
The typically bulletproof Stricker is now a major risk. He had to withdraw from the BMW Championship with neck pain, an issue that’s been escalating over the last month. Prior to the early exit, Stricker recorded his worst finish of the season at the Deutsche Bank Championship. Stricker ranks first in strokes gained – putting and birdie average. He’s also third in scoring average and seventh in All-Around Ranking.
Brandt Snedeker [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #4
Following consecutive third-place results to begin the playoffs, Snedeker finished T22 at the BMW Championship. His lone start at East Lake came in 2007 with a T29 result. Snedeker ranks fifth in strokes gained – putting, 13th in scoring average, and 14th in All-Around Ranking. If he gets the putter going again, look out.
You just never know what you’ll get with Johnson. In his last eight events, DJ has three top-fives with a win at The Barclays to start the playoffs. However, he also finished outside of the top 40 in four of the last five. In the last two years at East Lake, Johnson has finished T22 and 27th. When he’s on his game, Johnson is a top-notch talent. However, his mediocre history at this site will cause most to take a pass.
David Toms - World Ranking: #61
While Toms did not play at East Lake last year, he finished T13 in 2009 and has been consistent at the site throughout his career. After struggling in the opening two events of the playoffs, Toms enters with a top-10 from the BMW Championship. He ranks third in greens in regulation percentage, fifth in driving accuracy percentage as well as ninth in both birdie average and scoring average.
Justin Rose [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #5
After a strong start to the season, Rose had fallen off the radar a bit until posting a sixth-place result at The Barclays and picking up a win at the BMW Championship. The Brit finished T15 last year at East Lake and T11 back in 2007. The overall body of work has Rose sitting eighth in All-Around Ranking.