The last tournament of the season and the final stop of the FedEx Cup (FEC) playoffs is here. The TOUR Championship will be at East Lake in Atlanta, Ga. The course will play as a par 70, measuring 7,346 yards and will be putt on Bermuda greens. This course is a Donald Ross design.
The top 30 in FEC standings will be playing for a chance to win $15 million. After his six-hole playoff win over Bryson DeChambeau (+550, $12,300), Patrick Cantlay (+400, $13,400) has moved into first place in the FEC standings. The new scoring system implemented two years ago, which the PGA TOUR refers to as a “strokes-based bonus,” correlates to the FEC standings heading into The TOUR Championship. With the most points, Cantlay starts at 10-under, with second place starting two back at eight-under and descending by a stroke to fifth place. Head to the FedEx Cup page on the PGA TOUR website for a complete list of where the golfers will start.
Ross courses are about position golf off the tee and hitting elite approaches from the correct angles into these Bermuda greens. Speaking of which, they should play lighting fast, recording 12 to 12.5 on the stimpmeter over the past few years. While iron play is paramount on a Ross design, Strokes Gained: Putting has proved almost twice as crucial over Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green for the winners over the previous five years. Par 4 efficiency from 450 to 500 yards and long iron (175-200-plus yards) proximity will be important this week, with five par 4s measuring between 450 to 500 yards and one at 520 yards (no. 14).
Fading some of the golfers high on the leaderboard could prove prudent when filling out rosters. The golfers will be starting with their “finishing” position points on DraftKings, but as we’ve seen in the previous two years, those points can go away fast if or when the leaders are no longer where they started. The top of the leaderboard golfers only come in with their starting points, not the birdies or better points they usually get on the path to their victory.
Note: These odds are with the players’ starting strokes position.
Tony Finau (+700 to Win, $11,800 on DraftKings)
A strong Sunday should put Finau in the right mindset heading into the TOUR Championship. Finau will be in second place, and while he doesn’t seem like a value, he could potentially go lower rostered given the names around him. Finau didn’t start great last week, but as mentioned earlier, his Sunday was stellar, shooting 9-under par (63), which was the lowest round of the day. A win at THE NORTHERN TRUST and a great weekend at Caves Valley GC have Finau right in the mix to win the FedEx Cup.
Xander Schauffele (+2500 to Win, $8,900 on DraftKings)
Few players dominate no-cut events like Scahuffele, ranking fourth in Strokes Gained: Total, and DraftKings points gained over the previous 24 rounds in the format. Schauffele has a scoring average of just under 67.4 to go with his two runner-up finishes and a win back in 2017 in his four starts at East Lake. On Ross designs, Xander is only second to Rory McIlroy (+2500, $9,300) in Strokes Gained Total over the previous 50 rounds and ranks second in putting on Ross courses over the same timeframe. He’s starting in 17th place, so we should expect a lot of aggressive iron play from him this week.
Scottie Scheffler (+6500 to Win, $6,800 on DraftKings)
Scheffler’s 22nd-place finish last week should not deter you from rostering him this week at such a low price. He’s starting in 25th place, so he’s most likely not winning the tournament. Still, Scheffler ranked seventh in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green over the weekend at the BWM Championship and shot three rounds in the 60s last year at East Lake, with his final round being the low score of the day (65). We should also consider Erik Van Rooyen (+40000, $5,000) at the minimum price this week. He was in the final group at THE NORTHERN TRUST and just finished top 5 last week, gaining 6.5 strokes with his irons and shooting the second-lowest round on Sunday, a 7-under 65. He also ranked first in Strokes Gained: Tee-to-Green last week. Van Rooyen should only be considered for DFS.
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